Friday, August 27, 2010

My Never Ending Quest

As many of you know, I do local art market every month.  I often customize pieces on the spot so that people can get a piece of jewelry that they've had a part in putting together. I like that and it makes me happy. I'm on this never ending quest to make my life simpler and my customers happy.

I also really like dropping little things off of wire wrapped beads.  These pieces are often difficult, and sometimes impossible, to put on a diffrent style chain or cord without taking the chain apart. And those jump rings on the end are tiny and hard to work with in a market environment.

Today as I was puttering away, I had one of those light bulb moments. Mostly my light bulb is on the dimmer switch but today it was blazing brightly. The problem with my wire wrapped beads was that the loop at the top is closed. So what if I made it like an eye pin, more like a pendant bail? The wire I use is 20-22 gauge so a regular eye pin just doesn't seem sturdy enough to drop a pendant off. Besides I really like the look of a double strand of wire up there on the top.

Probably you are all rolling your eyes and muttering, 'Silly, girl. The solution is obvious.' But I am so danged pleased with myself I'm going to show you what I did.

I took a 4 inch or so piece wire and used that flat plier thingy that I don't know the name of and bent it half.

I squeezed the two ends of the wire tightly together, starting at the bend in the wire.

Then I made this sturdy eye pin. You can't really see it here, but it's a double strand of wire that you see only the side of.

I use my round nose plier to grip the base of the eye pin. Then I take one end of wire and bend it back at a 90 degree angle.  It seems to look more centered if you start your wrapping from the back (the open end of the eye. The piece on the left of the photo is the stem. The piece on the top will get wrapped around the stem.

Wrapped top of bail is done. Please ignore the nasty yuck under my nails. It's oxidized copper from something I was working on earlier. I don't even want to think if this is nasty and toxic. It will be gone later when I clean up!

I slipped on my bead and made a little loop at the bottom. The loop is oriented at 90 angle to the eye at the top so that when I put a jump ring through it everything is facing the right way. This bead is a lovely opalized something or other stone that I can not remember the name of. Wish I could, because I want more.

The finished bead thingy all ready to take a ride in the tumbler. The back side of the top loop can be gently manipulated to slide on a chain.

Want that bead at the top of your pendant in brass instead of copper? Want it in blue? No problem :-)

Have a fantabulous weekend!


Judy said...

LeAnn you are so stinking clever! That is such a great idea!

Have a super fabulous show!

SueBeads said...

Excellent idea! can't wait to use it!

bellajoya said...

Great idea. Wasn't that how Burger King struck it rich? :)

Marsha Neal Studio (Marsha's Garden Blog, Marsha Minutella) said...

That being doubled over will make it so much more secure - good thinking! Love it when that lightbulb burns bright!
Isn't it funny how you notice your nails and hands in pictures… and all the details…
Thanks for sharing!

The Joy of Nesting said...

By George I think she's got it!!! A perfect solution!! I think I'll be using the LW Connector quite often!!! Thanks Madam Inventor. :)

Ohhhh I'm loving the green. Cuz in order for me to see the lovely verdigris color on your fingers I had to look pass the lovely verdigris color under my nails as they were typing on the keys!! :)

Have a hugely successful weekend!!
Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Mary Newton Designs said...

I had to laugh when you said your light bulb was on a dimmer switch!
This is a great idea and I'm gonna try it!

Cindy said...

This is awesome!!!! You are SO clever, LeAnn! When I saw your first photo, I immediately noticed the double loop and really liked it...but you took it a step further and made it in to a "simple" loop that could be opened! I just love it! Thank you for the photo turtorial too!

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Love your brilliant idea! How fun, and now that it's been shown it looks so "of course" but until you did it, it wasn't, of course. LOL

lunedreams said...

that is too cool!! i like my bails to have a double or triple loop too, and that is a great way to have that look and keep it open too! thanks for sharing, looking forward to trying it!

sharon said...

Brilliant and excellent! And, a big thank you LeAnn!

Marie Cramp said...

Fantastic Idea! I hope it works well for you :) I really love it!

Gerry said...

These are so creative. Your light bulb was on bright...thanks.