I'mnew to this, so please forgive my lack of knowledge.
I'm a painter and have started creating images on plastic to use as pendants. The pendants are small (approximately 2"x2") and very light weight. I would like to put them on leather necklaces. So far, I have simply attached the pendant with a sterling silver open jump ring. It has seemed to work fine and look good. I haven't had any trouble with the ring opening up. I would like to begin selling these, but the pessimist in me is afraid that the jump ring might open and the customer might lose the pendant because it isn't soldered shut, something I obviously want to avoid. I bought some locking jump rings and have tried using them. They seem to be very awkward to use, very small, and hard to see-- not even sure if I successfully locked the one I worked with. Aesthetically, the locking rings weren't as nice as the simple rings.
My question is will regular jump rings hold well if attached properly? Are there any tips you can give me to help me get the results I'm looking for. If the open jump ring isn't the way to go, does anyone have suggestions for an alternate method keeping in mind that I really need the attaching process to be simple, quick, and effective?
Thank you so much for any advice you can give me.
Hi Alexandra, welcome!
There are a few options more secure than open jump rings. If you use fine silver rings, you can fuse them closed (much easier than soldering). Using a torch that close to plastic might still pose problems, however, so probably not the best choice. (I imagine you could protect the plastic in layers of glass or firebrick or something like that... still might be iffy, since plastic melts so easily).
There are split jump rings--they're kind of spirals, like the rings that keys go on, but small, like regular jump rings. They're much more secure and almost as easy to attach.
If you want to stick with regular jump rings, one way to make them more secure is to make them harder and therefore less likely to open up. Opening and closing a ring multiple times will work harden it, as will tumbling them in a tumbler of steel shot or hammering them with a rawhide mallet. You can also buy them made of hard wire (as opposed to half-hard or soft) and in a larger gauge wire (maybe a 20 gauge).
Another option that comes to mind, since you're using leather and plastic, is to go mixed-media all the way and tie the pendants on with a silk/sari ribbon or some other kind of cord knot... especially if they're colorful paintings. That sounds really nice! Easy and secure, too.
If you're new to jewelry, some of these terms might be new to you--just ask and I'll elaborate!
Hope this helps!