Jewelry Bail Making
Jewelry bail making... this page features tips, jewelry examples and ideas of how to make bails with jewelry wire.
What exactly is a Bail?
It's a jewelry making component that attaches a pendant to a necklace, chain, cord etc. Sometimes it's also called a pendant holder. Go to the jewelry bails page to learn more about these findings and the different types.
How can you use your wire jewelry skills with a bail?
Firstly, you can use wire to attach a store bought finding. That’s obvious I guess. You can also make your own bails out of wire. It really doesn’t have to have a wire-look. Of course you sometimes want a wire-look too, depending on the jewelry piece.
I started making bails because I had a need for simple looking bails to compliment my jewelry.
Here are a few examples of bails made out of wire...
In this case I have used texture to make the rather simple ring a little more interesting. I have hammered the ring after soldering it closed. I used the ring bail with a silver clay bead, clear crystal quartz and wire wrapping.
This one is more decorative. It goes well with the flowers in the lampwork glass bead.
Although this doesn’t look like wire now, it was round wire when I started out making the bail. I hammered a small piece of wire, bent it in a loop and soldered it closed. You cannot tell that I started with round wire after filing and polishing it.
Making your own Jewelry Bails
The one thing that stands out about making my own bails is that I have made a specific mistake more than once. I made the loop where the chain is going to fit through too small.
Jewelry Making Tips
Decide on the chain or cord that you are going to use with the pendant. Keep it next to your work area when you make your piece. Test every step of the process that your loop of your bail is big enough.
Make the loop in the bail bigger if you are unsure about which chain or cord is going to go with the pendant. In this way you will have a few options to choose from.
Try a clean and simple looking bail first if the pendant self has a lot of detail.
Try repeating some of the design elements in your necklace or pendant when you design your own component. Say you have s-links in your necklace. An adaptation of an s-link may just be the right thing.
The Different Types
There are a number of different types of bails. Here is a list of many of these finding components.
- Glue On
- Snap or Snap-On
- Pin and Hole
- Triangular, Oval and Other Shapes
Wrapping It Up
The great thing about using wire as your jewelry making material is that you can make any of these components on the list. Some of the pendant holders can be made with round wire and bending techniques. With others you will have to use other techniques and tools including soldering and annealing.
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