Wire Hinges for Jewelry Boxes, Cage or Box Pendants
by Barbara MacDougall.
I’ve been making and selling jewellery at a weekly farmers market in a small town for over 12 years. Over this time, people have come to know me, and it’s doing custom work and repairs which have made being a vendor at this market worthwhile.
I get many requests for crosses, and the other day I was playing with a design for a wire-woven cross specifically for a male customer on a budget. My goal here was to keep the overall design strong and spare and the weaving simple to keep my hard costs down while meeting his aesthetic requirements.
I’m not terribly happy with the design itself (the curls on the ends gotta go), but what I ended up coming up with completely by accident was a perfect hinge design for caged pendants, box pendants, large woven boxes… almost anything.
Most weaves start by using a bottom base wire. This is a very simple 2/2 weave plus 4 singles — but here I was using the *middle* wire as the base wire — which is how I was able to get the hinge effect. The top and bottom freely move and bend through 180 degrees. There appears to be no stress or catching on any individual part across the hinge.
To prevent the cross from bending while wearing it, I wire-wrapped an oval flat-backed bead above and below the centre portion. Unfortunately my customer arrived just as I was finishing up, and I forgot to take a picture of that step. He loved it.
One other comment: eagle-eyed readers will notice several mistakes in the weaving. Yep. They’re there. This was a prototype. One of the nice things about a weekly local market (versus a one-off craft show) is you see the same people every week and you get to know each other.
Many of these people love my work but can’t afford it, so to them I’ll occasionally offer my flawed prototypes and wonky experiments at a discount, something I would never do at high(er) end craft shows.
Hope you find this design element useful.