Open RingsOpen Sesame: An open jump ring is one that has a cut in it that allows you open and close it as to connect pieces together. Open jump rings are used in Chainmaille designs and can be grouped in clusters.
To open a jump ring, use two sets of pliers (chain or flat nose). If you only have one set, you can hold the other side with your fingers or use a jump ring opener. When opening a jump ring, open with a twist. It's like a push/pull action. Push in one direction and pull in the other. Never open a jump ring by pulling the sides apart. It will warp the ring. To close it back, just twist. You should hear a slight grading of metal on metal when you close the jump ring correctly.
|Jump Ring Opener available at Prima Bead|
To use the Jump Ring Opener, slide it onto a finger on your non-dominant hand. Insert the jump ring into the closest fitting slot on the jump ring opener. Using your chain nose pliers or fingers, gently open one side in a downward direction. The tool will help you stabilize the jump rings while you work on them.
See the video below for more technique.
Closed Up Shop: Closed jump rings have been soldered shut and have no way of opening them. These are perfect for adding dimension to dangle earrings. Use them as a connector for your eye pins and head pins to connect to. I use them as the an "eye" for clasps. When I have finished my beading, I slide the wire through the ring and crimp. It provides a more secure connection for the clasps. These can come in various styles and shapes and are often referred to as connector links.
Split RingsSplit Personality: A split ring resembles a miniature key ring. Split rings provide a stronger connection than open jump rings and offer an opening that closed jump rings cannot. You can also use these for more secure connections of charms on a charm bracelet. I find it has more stability and security than regular jump rings when attaching beading wire to a clasp.
There are a few ways to open them. The first way is to insert a fingernail to open a split ring and slide a head or eye pin shaft to help you hold the spring ring open a you thread on your clasp, bail, or connector. Once started, pull the pin out of the way, then finish twisting the split ring on. The second way to open them is using a set of special pliers for split rings or a set of split ring tweezers.
|Pliers available from Prima Bead|
|Tweezers available from Beadaholique|
Check out the video below. For more information.
My hope is that this information will help you choose the right jump ring for the right project. Happy beading!
Unless otherwise credited, all photos and videos are from Prima Bead and Cousin Corporation.