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December 28, 2013 , In: General
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the letter “S”! For me the past month, it stood for “stressed”…today it stands for “sick”. I have had a nasty head cold since Christmas Eve and all I want to do is sleep. See, that starts with “S” too! I decided today that I would recycle one of my most popular “Saturday Share” posts. I has definitely been one of my favorite techniques for 2013 and I’m sure I will be using it a lot in the coming year…maybe with some new twists!  Thanks to all that have pinned and re-pinned it on Pinterest! I hope it has been a helpful technique and will inspire someone new today, that perhaps didn’t see it the 1st go round! I’d also like to say Happy New Year to all of you, our wonderfully supportive readers…I wish you the most creative, happy, productive, peaceful year ever!

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Happy Saturday, everyone!  For today’s installment of Saturday Share, I decided to write up a quick and easy tutorial for the double headpins (for lack of a better name) that I use in connecting components, such as layered pieces or discs.  I have had several folks ask how certain pieces are connected and I thought this would be a good forum to share!

After struggling with balled headpins in connecting layered pieces and discs, I had a brainstorm one day.  What if, instead of balling up the end of 1 piece of wire, I somehow melted/fused 2 pieces so that I could use both “tails” to better stabilize my components to the base?  Imagine my surprise, that after twisting the wire together and sticking it in the torch, just like normal torched headpins, it worked!

Here is my method…start with a piece of copper wire.  I like 22 or 20 gauge.  Fold it in half, press together and twist until you have about an inch twisted.  Torch until you have the size ball you  want, quench, and untwist! Simple, huh!

It really is!  Things to watch for…make sure the wire is touching throughout your twist. Any segments that do not fully come into contact with the other wire will melt through, leaving you with a single pin, or worse, will cause the balled-end to fall off.  If you are using scrap wire, you don’t have to loop at the end, just twist the 2 together, but make sure the very tips are touching. 

If you want to enamel the ball, do so as you would with regular torched pins, before you quench.

I thought this would only work with copper or fine silver, due to their fusing capabilities, but decided to try sterling silver and it works!  It also works with brass/bronze.

Layer your components in your desired configuration…thread double headpin through the holes and make sure you have a good fit.

With these 1-holed components, I wrapped the tails around my base form…usually in the opposite direction for a stronger and closer connection.

When I use a flat base to connect to, like these earrings, I like to punch 2 holes, like a button, and thread each tail through their respective holes, then on the back, flatten them and tightly coil them.  Since the ends are exposed with this method, you have to make sure any sharp edges or burs are filed.  I squeeze with my nylon-jawed pliers to work harden, then I usually tumble to strengthen as well.

There you have it!! I am sure that I am not the 1st one to figure this out!!  It is a really versatile technique and can be used in all sorts of ways!  I want to try fusing several strands together and do some wire weaving, but that’s another day!

Thanks for stopping by…If you have any questions, let me know!

Melissa Meman
Melismatic Art Jewelry
Art. Life. Love

Melissa Meman

Melissa Meman is a mixed-media jewelry artist and owner of Melismatic Art Jewelry. She loves all things metal... fabrication, fold-forming, enameling, but has recently been drawn into metal clay and polymer clay! Her Melismatic Morsel line features pendants, charms, and more in all her favorite mediums. Melissa lives in Frederick, MD with her husband and son and dreams of retiring from her day job, and resorting to singing and hammering/finishing metal for a livelihood!
  1. Reply

    This is genius at work! It solves some construction engineering problems I have been pondering. Much obliged!

  2. Reply

    Oh this is awesome!! I hadn't seen this post before, so glad you reposted. Can't wait to try this!!

  3. Reply

    This is a wonderful idea Melissa. Thanx for sharing. When you first started describing this I was picturing double ended headpins. This is way cooler.

    • Wendy
    • December 31, 2013
    Reply

    great tutorial, thank you!

  4. Reply

    This was one of my favorite posts! Sorry you have been feeling poorly

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