Pinned Pretties – A New Technique!


Pinned Kyanite Earrings

So here’s a technique that I’ve wanted to try for years – literally!  Don’t judge… it takes time to get to things.  I have tons of techniques and projects that have been on the back burner for some time but haven’t had time to get to.  The important thing here is that I finally got to it – and I love the results!  Loved the results so much that I was kind of obsessed for about a week.  It’s all I wanted to do – though grudgingly I had to put aside play time and do the stuff I actually needed to do.  So I stuck a deal with myself – I’d do the ‘must do’ stuff, take a break and make a pendant or pair of pinned earrings, then go back to the must do stuff so I could reward myself with a little play break again.  I created quite a few petite necklaces over that week under this arrangement so I thought I’d share them with you here.  I was, after all, very kindly admonished for my lack of social media presence over the past year by some faithful followers at the Art in the Park show in Foley a couple of weeks ago – you know who you are. 🙂  I wish I had taken your pictures so I could include you in my blog – maybe a photo of you wagging your finger at me, like ‘shame on you, abandoning your fans!’  lol  So here I am, sharing, to show my loyal readers that I really DO care about them…  Can you feel the love?

Well, since I purchased a number of those amazing kyanite drops I thought I’d create a necklace to match, and so I did.  Sure it’s petite, but the stones are beautiful and I didn’t have to do much else but show them off and this technique is perfect for putting the focus on the stone – and of course, there’s that fun kinetic element since the stone swings freely in it’s setting.  Kinetic fun is always a plus!


Blue Kyanite Pinned Necklace

You can find these pieces in my etsy shop here: Pinned Kyanite Earrings and Pinned Kyanite Necklace.

And if you know me, you know I love the color green and I love the stone chrysoprase.  A beautiful, bright green stone.  I’m get all dreamy eyed just thinking about it… no, really.  I find this green simply entrancing.  I scored some AMAZING quality chrysoprase, triple a grade, and created this little treasure.


AAA Chrysoprase Pinned Necklace

This is a healthy little drop, not so dainty.  The second picture here shows the scale of this lovely stone.  You can find this piece in my etsy shop here: Pinned Chrysoprase



Now if those aren’t lovely enough, I decided to make a very simple pinned pearl necklace and as much as I love the kyanite and the chrysoprase I have to say I think I find the simplicity of this setting paired with the pearl to be quite striking.  It makes for a classic sort of beauty. What do you think?


Pinned Pearl in Mixed Metals


16″ 14k Gold Filled Chain


Showing scale:  A plump pearl

You can find this necklace in my Etsy shop here: Pinned Pearl Necklace

I also had fun with a turquoise bead.  It needed a little something extra though so I made some mill textured bead caps in sterling and copper to cap each end before setting it.  I liked the way it turned out.  A very different look for the same setting, I thought.


Pinned Turquoise in Mixed Metal


Close up view

You can find this beauty in my Etsy shop here:  Pinned and Capped Turquoise

And there were many more.  Some sold before I could get photos.  Some I haven’t gotten pictures of.  There are more earrings too.  Maybe I’ll get some photos of them up eventually as well?


Peach Aventurine

In my Etsy shop:  Pinned Aventurine Necklace


Green Onyx

In my Etsy shop: Pinned Green Onyx Wishbone Necklace


Pink Peruvian Opal

Listing coming soon.


Blue Amazonite

Listing coming soon.

I really enjoyed this technique and there will be many more pinned pretties to come.  I can’t wait to experiment with fun new ways to incorporate this technique into other jewelry designs as well.  Stay tuned!  This obsession is sure to grow.



8 thoughts on “Pinned Pretties – A New Technique!

    • I have handmade all of the bails myself. I forged them by hand from 14 gauge wire. They really have to be made to fit each stone based on the curve at it’s peak and where the holes are in the gemstone bead.

  1. Love them! Really beautiful! How long did it take to master the technique? And if you don’t mind, how did you do the opposite end of the balled pin without hurting the stone? The balls on each end look perfect. I am truly impressed. thanks for sharing.


    • Ah, that was the scary part. Believe me, I’ve sacrificed many good beads to the flame. I had a lovely opal in blue chalcedony bead that shattered… oh what a heart breaker that was. Basically, I form the first ball, assemble it all and then trim the wire to the length I think I need to make a matching ball. I use a Little Smith torch, so I can use a fine tip that will make a very small flame point and I use a hot, angry hissing little flame to melt the wire and stop it just as it balls up next to the bead then I quickly quench the bead to cool everything down so that the heat doesn’t continue to transfer through the metal into the stone. Occasionally I pull the flame away to quickly and the bead stalls too far from the stone to make a good, secure closure so I have to try to get back in there and drive it up further. That’s the tricky part. Sometimes it’s a losing gamble… So if you try this technique be prepared to lose some stones to it. Start with stones that you’re not attached to. Save those for after you’ve gotten a feel for the technique (and even then be prepared to lose a few). The worst mistake, as I’ve learned it, is pulling back too quickly. It’s better to be fearless the first time out than to have to go back and try to tighten a rivet, as it were. Thanks for the comment, Jan.

      • These “pinned pretties” are beautiful! I too wondered about your process and was happy to see that you shared it so freely! My question is have you ever tried a heat shield of any kind? Would you recommend it? Thanks!

      • I haven’t tried a heat shield, but I’ve considered it. I ruined the most beautiful (and not cheap) blue chalcedony opal briolette trying this technique. I’ve heard of people using those old manilla folders (like you use to file papers) soaked in water as a heat shield – problem with that in my opinion is that it leaves more space an I personally don’t like that. I like to try to make my ball sung up for a secure fit. For that reason I haven’t tried a heat shield yet, but if I had another stone like that beautiful chalcedony (that I still keep on my bench and gaze upon with remorse every day when I’m in my studio) I might consider trying it.

  2. Thanks Doreen. 🙂 Just having fun. So glad to hear that the consignment is working for you. Nice to not bust your butt in the heat and still sell your treasures, isn’t it? :::hugs:::

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