New jewelry designers will come up toheadpin speed faster when they earn the terminology of different jewelry-making components. Find the right components quicker, project professionalism to potential customers, and enhance your jewelry making credibility by using correct terminology.
Definition of Jewelry Findings
In the jewelry industry, “jewelry findings” are components of jewelry less than a finished piece.
Definition of Headpin
A headpin is a long, thin piece of wire with a “head” — a flattened piece of metal bigger than the diamter of the wire that acts as a stop to beads on the wire. The opposite end of the headpin is flush cut, not sharp as with straight pins used in sewing.
Fancy headpins may have a ball end, granulated bead design, crystals or other decoration as the head.
How is a Headpin Used?
Headpins are used to create dangles (such as earring dangles) or links, with beads or charms wire wrapped onto the pin. For a dangle, beads will rest against the head. The remainder of the pin will be twisted and wrapped to make a loop which can be strung on stranded beading wire, silk or another jewelry fiber or attached to a clasp with a jump ring or split ring.
To create a link, the head end of the pin must be wire wrapped into a loop; then, after putting the beads and charms in the middle of the pin (above the first loop), a second loop is wire wrapped. These links can be used “in line” – between two sections of chains or strung beads.
Headpins are available in the noble metals – gold, silver and platinum. However, in the DIY Jewelry market, headpins are usually sterling silver, gold-filled or brass plated with silver, gold, antique copper, antique brass, gunmetal, imitation rhodium and nickel.
Headpins are also available in a variety of wire diameters. Very thin headpins (under .020 inch diameter/24 gauge) are often required for freshwater pearls or for gemstones sourced in India. Thick headpins (21 gauge) may match a bold jewelry design better than a thin headpin. A headpin may need a small stop bead to be used with a bead that has a larger hole size.
Headpins come in a wide variety of shapes, designs and prices. After mastering simple jewelry construction using stringing methods, learning to use headpins and wire wraps will dramatically extend the possibilities in jewelry design. One who learns what pearl clasps are and how they are used will project a professional knowledge and attitude when making jewelry.
Paul Brandon knows headpins and writes for OhioBeads.com, which sells bulk jewelry chains and jewelry findings to the U.S. market.
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