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Attaching Swarovski Crystals with Silver Wire


#1

Hi all, I would really appreciate some input regarding the following
challenge: i am putting together an anklet and matching bracelet in
sterling silver for someone. the chain is made of silver curved bars
linked with closed jump rings. she wants sapphire-blue Swarovski
heart crystals to dangle from each jump ring. I have the crystals,
and they are beautiful, but when i experimented with different gauges
of silver wire i noticed the crystal scratched a bit around the hole
(they have a very small hole right in the “v” part of the heart for
stringing). Can anyone give me input as to how to avoid this
scratching? will using a very fine gauge silver wire take care of
the problem? are there any other creative ways to dangle these
crystals from the closed jump rings? also, if i do use silver wire,
i’d like to solder the loop closed, so i’m assuming i need kook jool
or something like that – correct? is crystal very sensitive to
heat? Thanks in advance! Lois


#2

Swarovski hearts are a notorious pain in the neck to make bails for.
that said, 20 gauge wire fits the holes. start out by making your
loop or noose on the top attached to the anklet . then I usually use
flat nose pliers to make one crisp approx 60 degree bend, thread on
the heart, use the very tip of chain nose pliers to make the other 60
degree bend ever so carefully without any part of the pliers ever
touching the heart itself. at this point you should have the heart
sitting on a triangular wire frame. switch your grip with the plier,
so that now you hold the tip of the triangle (where the wire goes
down to go into the heart, and where the wire comes back up out of
the heart) and very carefully wrap the end a couple of times around
the main stem.

the loss ratio is still going to be somewhere between 30-60%. I know,
it bites.

good luck!
Sparrow


#3

Hi Lois, You might consider attaching the crystals with a ball head
pin, that way the crystals are secured with no soldering necessary.
If you add a very small ( 2-3mm) round seamless sterling bead in the
dip of the heart it will protect the crystal and blend in with the
sterling you’re already using.

Best of luck!
Pam


#4

Hi Lois: Try using very fine (24 ga.) silver wire. Using your
torch, ball up one end to act as a stop for the crystal. Using the
tip of a pair of fine pliers, put the other end through the jumpring
and around the tip of the pliers–then wrap the wire around itself
three or four times. You now have a closed system that can’t open up
and lose the bead. I hope this is clear.

I think you can see what I am describing on my Fine Silver Crochet
Web Page–I have done this with many beads. Go to
elegantinsects.com and then to the Crochet pages.

Hope this helps Sandra


#5

Lois, I wouldn’t try to solder a jump ring to the crystal. Better
choice would be to wire wrap the crytals over the soldered jump
ring. It’s sure not to come off then.

Helen


#6

Lois - you might try putting a very tiny silver bead in the Y part
of the heart and that should protect the crystal. I’d wire wrap them
to the jump rings, no need to bother with soldering, they’ll be quite
secure if you wire wrap and they’ll look neat too. I’d use the
largest wire that would fit through the hole and silver bead at the
top -they’ll get a fair amount of wear bouncing around on the
bracelet and anklet. Usually (unless the hearts are very small) you
can use 22 gauge wire and that’s quite sufficient for wire wrapping.
Two wraps would do it and I’d ball up the end to rest the heart on
it. Or you could use a sterling head pin as well. Good luck and let
us know how it turns out. K


#7

Lois, Swarovski crystal is very sensitive to heat, And what you are
scratching most likely is the outer coating, these coatings are so
microscopically thin it is quite away down in the micron scale. This
coating is partially what gives them that fire and pizzazz (that=92s
a technical term) . I think you would just be better off wrapping
several loops around the connecting ring making them nice and even
and use a soft sterling headpin through the bead.


#8

Hi I Had a thought about solving the problems of attaching the
crystals to the silver wire.

Instead of trying to pass the wire completely through the hole in
the stones, how about filing the the ends of the jump rings to a
point. You could then push the ends past each other to add tension or
depending on the design of the piece, hammer the jump rings to give
them more spring. You could then put the ends of the jump ring into
the hole rather than trying to pass the wire through the hole and
breaking or scratching the crystals.

Another idea is rather than use a jump ring, use a finer wire half
the thickness and pass the ends of the wire through opposite sides of
the hole using some sort of decorative pattern that would allow you
to weave the ends of the wire together after they have gone through
the hole.


#9

Hi Lois, I’ve worked with those crystals for a couple of years now
and they are beautiful. In your situation, I would get a fairly
fine soft wire and do a wrap around. That way you won’t be risking
exposing the crystal to heat.

What do I mean by a wrap around? You can use a head pin. After
stringing the crystal, be sure you have at least 1/2" of wire left.
Using round nosed pliers make a loop about 1/8" above the bead.
Wrap the remaining wire around the 1/8" part.

Of course you can vary the length of the dangle by the length of the
wrap.


#10

Lois

I have worked a lot with Swarovski crystals and have only had a
problem with scratching or chipping if the wire is too thick. I
would suggest using 22 ga sterling head pins and attaching them by
using a wire wrap technique. It is relatively easy, looks good and
requires no soldering. You will need a pair of flat nosed pliers
and a pair of round or chain nose pliers.

First slip the crystal onto the head pin. Using the flat nose
pliers, bend the wire at a 90 degree angle leaving about 1/8" of
wire between the bend and the crystal.

Next - with your round pliers, grasp the wire at the bend the
opposite side of the crystal and wrap the wire around the pliers
forming a circle with the wire crossing itself at a 90 degree angle
at the bottom of the circle. (This might take a little practice).

Now slip the free end of the wire through the jump ring of the chain
so that the loop that you have made and the jump ring are entwined.
Then - holding the loop you have made with your flat nose pliers -
wrap the free end of the wire around the space between the loop and
the crystal, keeping the wraps tight and close together. Trim off
the wire close, and…there you have it. Done.

You might want to do a couple of trials with some other kind of bead
or with one of the crystals you have already scratched. If you have
some trouble figuring this out from reading directions (like I do)
and need some pictures - email me off line and I will send you
something.

Good Luck - whatever you decide to do.
Sharon