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About brooches


#1

Hello everyone - or some of you, as many have probably already left
for my hometown! (It’s always exciting to see all the tents go
up…and this girl remembers the early shows at the fairgrounds,
hanging out with all the other organizers’ kids, ogling the fool’s
gold, getting into trouble, etc etc - I guess we still do the same
thing, only now we have to pay for it!).

Anyway - several of my galleries have suggested brooches as good
sellers, especially if I can bring them in under $100 or so retail.

I don’t wear brooches, and so I have two questions.

1 - About size/weight. Anyone have any rough guidelines for what’s
"too heavy" - in the books, some brooches look big and heavy, and I
think about pinning that to my lightweight shirts and having it sag
and make holes in my fabric…any guidelines???

2 - About the pin-back. I like to make things that are versatile -
so I want to try to make at least some of the brooches so that they
can convert to pendants for my Bella Bola necklaces, which are
selling pretty well and so I’d have an additional upsell item.

Here’s the challenge - I have some pre-made 2" diameter copper rings
(like gaskets - they are open in the middle - actually, that’s what
they were - trash from a space project) that I want to use because
that will help keep costs way down. So I don’t want to make a
traditional pin-back because the pin will show when worn as a
pendant.

So I thought about using a removable stick-pin for the pin part. I
could run the pin through 2 very small tubing pieces soldered to the
back. But I’ve never seen this…don’t know if it would work.

Any other ideas for attaching pins like this??? I will try to put
pictures of protoypes/prefabs on my website…

http://www.desertrosedesignstudio.com/brooches.html

Roseann
Roseann Hanson
Desert Rose Design Studio
www.desertrosedesignstudio.com
Tucson, Arizona
520-591-0508


#2

There’s a guy in my area that makes pins with only pin backs. The
card on which the piece is presented explains that by cutting a
drinking straw to the right length, the pin can be a pendant for
pennies. As long as the pin back is mounted low enough on the piece
to not see the drinking straw, you’re golden!

As for weight, that all depends on the weave/firmness of the fabric.
I have pins that I cannot wear on loose-weave sweaters because they
are just not supported properly (weave is too loose, pin sags).

Elizabeth
www.borntobeworn.com


#3

Roseann, your brooches are beautiful and innovative. I think you
will be very successful with them.

    1 -  About size/weight. Anyone have any rough guidelines for
what's "too heavy" - in the books, some brooches look big and
heavy, and I think about pinning that to my lightweight shirts and
having it sag and make holes in my fabric....any guidelines??? 

One way to prevent this is to give it more support, such as using a
double pin back. To prevent it from sagging/rolling, the pin
placement should be in the top third of the piece if in a horizontal
placement. Alternatively, you can use the pin placement vertically or
obliquely (running from a top corner to a diametrically opposite
bottom corner).

    2 - ... I want to try to make at least some of the brooches so
that they can convert to pendants...So I don't want to make a
traditional pin-back because the pin will show when worn as a
pendant. 

The pin placement doesn’t have to run perfectly horizontal or
vertical. The way many of your brooches are made, it will be possible
for the pin to be placed under the main stone and remain hidden. You
might also consider making the pin stem as a decorative element that
deliberately shows through when worn as a pendant, since the rings
are wide enough to hide the hinge and catch. Fabric doesn’t care if
the pin stem itself has a wiggle in it; it just needs a hole to slide
the stem through. You could make a friction catch, similar to the old
Celtic and Viking brooches that were used on cloaks. Research fibulas
and cloak brooches for ideas.

Since you are using non-precious metal for the main design,
fabricate you pin stems out of nickel silver, yellow brass or even
titanium wire.


#4
Fabric doesn't care if the pin stem itself has a wiggle in it; it
just needs a hole to slide the stem through. You could make a
friction catch, similar to the old Celtic and Viking brooches that
were used on cloaks. Research fibulas and cloak brooches for ideas.
Since you are using non-precious metal for the main design,
fabricate you pin stems out of nickel silver, yellow brass or even
titanium wire. 

Katherine! You’re a genius. I’ve been laying awake at night (oh the
joys of hormone imbalance) trying to solve this, and there you go!
Love it.

I love Orchid. Thank you!

Roseann


#5

Oooh! OOOHH! I have an idea!

The assembly you show in the lowermost left of your example page is
crying out to be a Celtic penannular brooch, like the Tara (Google
"tara brooch" images). “Penannular” means “almost a circle” - this
design would need for you to cut a slot in the copper ring for the
pin to slide through (you put the attached but movable pin to the
back of the ring, push it through the fabric, bring it forward
through the slot, and rotate the circle a bit so the pin rests on
the ring) - I used to make these for the SCA back when NObody made
Celtic jewelry. The trapezoidal stone you show would be perfect for
the head of the sliding pin - that shape was frequently used for
such. I’ll try to take a picture of one I made and post it … but
first I have to find it …

HOWEVER - the copper rings look pretty light, and may not work well
if cut. SO - back to the Tara brooch again - the real one, an
archaeological find, is really a MOCK penannular brooch - made
without a movable pin to look as if it were movable, then either
sewn onto clothing (not a good idea today) or made with a standard
pin behind the fixed mock-movable pin.

I made mine out of very heavy copper and brass, as they were
designed for use with heavy full-length wool capes, but I can still
wear the one I kept, as a lapel pin on a wool blazer, or right at
the neck seam of a heavy turtleneck.

Tas <–in MA, where it’s 7 below zero, with frozen HOT water pipes,
and three dig-outs so far this week. Spit.

http://www.earthlywealth.com


#6
 So I thought about using a removable stick-pin 

Addendum - You could attach the removable pin with a chain and use it
as a design element … trapezoidal head stone and all …

Tas
http://www.earthlywealth.com


#7
  Here's the challenge - I have some pre-made 2" diameter copper
rings (like gaskets - they are open in the middle - actually,
that's what they were - trash from a space project) that I want to
use because that will help keep costs way down. So I don't want to
make a traditional pin-back because the pin will show when worn as
a pendant. 

My first thought on reading this was an annular brooch - an ancient
style where the pin is incorporated in the design. There are a
variety of examples at:

http://www.medievalwares.com/medieval_brooches.htm

And the finest of the lot - the Tara Brooch:

http://www.fionasplace.net/AnIrishPatchwork/TheTaraBrooch.html

Best of luck. This old desert rat loves your designs.
Epaul Fischer
www.gemartist.com


#8

That is simply too ingenious. It is one of those no-brainers that
leaves you thinking…DUH! Why hadn’t I already thought of
that???

And here I’ve been trying to design backs that did double duty. Big
sigh. I’m going for drinking straws when the weather improves.

Beth in SC awaiting the ice. Brrrrr!


#9

Harold O’Connor gave me a great idea for the same purpose. attach
silver tubing to your chain. Then slide the tube over the pin stem
to use as a necklace.

Also, I had a student show me a somewhat similar product that has a
magnet attached to a tube. Slide the tube with magnet over the pin
stem and then use another magnet to attach the pin to your blouse.
Then there is no pin hole damage to the blouse. Its great for nylon
and fine mesh fabrics.

Janet Alexander
J Alexander Designs
www.ornettes.com
Janet Alexander
972-724-8405
www.ornettes.com


#10
    My first thought on reading this was an annular brooch - an
ancient style where the pin is incorporated in the design. 

Many thanks to all who gave great ideas. I do love the penannulars -
and the Tara brooch is spectacular! I am working on redesigns that
might do this. Tas at Earthly Wealth also suggested this idea - the
metal is about 14 ga so it’s able to withstand cutting into a
penannular (heck, they are meant to withstand the rigors of space
travel - they came from the Cassini-Huygens project – cool, huh??).
But I am having trouble visualizing how to do a penannular with a
thin pin (afraid today’s light fabrics won’t hold up to a cloak
pin)…AND also still have them convert to elegant pendants… But
great ideas to mull over.

Best of luck. This old desert rat loves your designs. Epaul Fischer 

Thank you, Epaul! I notice that you are one of at least two
Orchidians featured in the very fabulous Manning House show in Tucson

  • the ONLY juried show in the lot (along with Derek of Gem
    Maker.com). Congratulations, and great work - I love Medieval and
    Renaissance stuff (I adore RenFairs, even got an “outfit” - maybe I
    need one of your crowns…every girl secretly wants one, you know!:wink:

Roseann