Hi Carol, This can be a frustrating problem, but is solvable with
some planning and forethought. What I tend to do is think about how
my bail will work and what direction it will “tend” to face very
early on in the project. For example, right now I’m working on a
series of flat copper squares attached to structures similar to
picture frames. I want them to lay flat to the body and not turn.
So I’ve planned a couple of different sorts of bail attachments to
change the “pivot point” natural to the piece.
In 2 of the pieces (sorry, i don’t have pictures yet), i’ve "hung"
them from a decorative rope wire coming up from both sides of the
frame (almost a triangular shape). The wire contains a soldered
large jump ring that is the actual connection point to thread the
chain. In these cases, this bail is actually part of the design of
In another of the pieces, I’ve attached 2 round bails, one at each
of the top corners. The chain will thread through both, which will
hold it flat across the top of the square. This approach works just
as well if you want the bails hidden and attach them on the back of
Both of these designs make it harder for the piece to turn because
the connection point to the chain is “wider” than usual.
In other designs, I always count the number of jump rings I’m going
to need to get the chain to pass through at the correct angle to the
piece. If you think about a flat piece of copper, drilled front to
back, the first jump ring will go through at a 90-degree angle to the
body. If that ring is large enough, the chain can pass directly
through it and there’s no pivot. However, if you want the piece to
"drop" below the chain more, you have to add more jump rings. Each
one you add will be at a 90-degree angle to the previous one, so to
get back to the correct angle to the body, you have to have an odd
number of rings (no matter what the size of the ring or even if they
vary in size).
Hope this helps!