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Thread: Brooch fittings and fichu joints

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2022
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    2

    Default Brooch fittings and fichu joints

    Hi, I am fairly new to jewellery making and completely new to this forum. I am making my first brooches and it has been a far more technical journey than I expected, lots of brooch pin melting, melting the brooch itself, breaking fittings and trying to buy or make the right fittings. My most recent purchase was a fichu joint which I have had difficulty finding out how to fit, until I looked on here. Thank you Dennis for your advice to someone else about how to do it - I had filed it flat and soldered it on standing up, which I have actually got to work. My question is should I solder it or any other attachments from underneath, as the heat often seizes catches up etc, when applied on the same side. However I don't want to risk melting the silver, which is what I work in - this piece is 0.5mm thick. I'm going to test out the fichu joint on it's side (as I now it's supposed to be), but wonder if this joint is even the right one for a brooch which will attach diagonally and if a fichu joint will allow enough space for the pin to go through thick material? I would really appreciate any advice to do with the above. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    8,584

    Default

    Hi Rebecca, and welcome to the forum.
    I will try to answer some of your questions, but come back if I have left something out.

    0.5mm is rather thin for a brooch, but doable. 0.7mm would be better. The hinge joint is used on its side so that the closed front gives the pin its springiness. The height at the front can be left, or reduced according to material.

    Traditionally brooches are worn on the left, and the pin undoes downwards.
    The pin is placed so that it is more than half way up the back, or the brooch will flop forward. Sometimes to avoid too short a pin, it has to be placed obliquely.

    The joint can be soldered on from the back using easy solder, but first ensuring that its gap is sufficiently wide for the pin to move inside. The flame used is softened by opening the air hole a little, moving the flame around, and working in a darkened area, to avoid overheating any part of the brooch. As always, the whole piece must be heated first before homing in on the solder.

    The catch and the pin can be bought or made from wire. Once the hinge and catch are in place, the pin is riveted in place.
    I attach various ancient pictures, where the joints are no longer available, but similar. Dennis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Low Tech Solutions Using Tubes..jpg   Pin Positions   .jpg   Magic Bunny Brooch Reverse.jpg  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,041

    Default

    As an easy option it is possible to buy a ready-made all in one brooch bar. You just solder the base to your work.
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2022
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Hi Rebecca, and welcome to the forum.
    I will try to answer some of your questions, but come back if I have left something out.

    0.5mm is rather thin for a brooch, but doable. 0.7mm would be better. The hinge joint is used on its side so that the closed front gives the pin its springiness. The height at the front can be left, or reduced according to material.

    Traditionally brooches are worn on the left, and the pin undoes downwards.
    The pin is placed so that it is more than half way up the back, or the brooch will flop forward. Sometimes to avoid too short a pin, it has to be placed obliquely.

    The joint can be soldered on from the back using easy solder, but first ensuring that its gap is sufficiently wide for the pin to move inside. The flame used is softened by opening the air hole a little, moving the flame around, and working in a darkened area, to avoid overheating any part of the brooch. As always, the whole piece must be heated first before homing in on the solder.

    The catch and the pin can be bought or made from wire. Once the hinge and catch are in place, the pin is riveted in place.
    I attach various ancient pictures, where the joints are no longer available, but similar. Dennis
    Thanks Dennis and Pearessence,

    it's great to be able to run things by others on here. I successfully soldered the fichu joint on its side, thanks for the advice. Re whole pin joints I have tried one of these but the pin melted. I think I'm slowly getting there. Rebecca

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