One of the most important elements of creativity is being open to discovery. Sometimes, you set out with a specific destination in mind but end up following another surprising and wonderful path. Many of you know that my signature Ripple Ring started as a happy accident. Fortunately for me, there have been many such accidents along the way, big and small, that have led to new discoveries and contributed to my original style. My unique Crescent Connection is one such creation. While you may not have noticed this detail before, it’s one of the many tiny embellishments that make my handmade jewelry so special.
There are two basic ways to connect necklaces to chains. Unfixed pendants can be removed from the chain and fixed pendants cannot. Many unfixed pendants use a connection called a “jump ring,” which is really just a simple metal loop that is soldered closed. Another, fancier version of this is called a bail. I’m sure you’ve seen it a million times! (You can learn more about connections on my Guide to Chains page.)
Many of my necklaces are fixed, so the chain and the pendant are joined together permanently, but this wasn’t always the case. In fact, it all started when I was trying to create a simple jump ring!
A Fateful Mistake
I’m not sure how many jewelers would openly admit that they failed to make a jump ring properly but, hey, mistakes happen to the best of us! One day, I was in the process of soldering a simple jump ring closed and accidentally melted the metal more than I intended.
The melted metal bunched up into a little ball, pulling the ring into a half-circle (aka crescent) shape. I was intrigued by this shape so, rather than throwing everything away and starting over, I decided to test if I could repeat the same effect on the other side. Lo and behold: it worked! I now had a u-shaped piece with two little balls on either end. By drilling a small hole in a pendant, inserting the metal piece, and melting the end, I could create a very secure fixed connection that I had yet to see anywhere else!
All in the Details
For me, beauty is all in the details. Even though the connection isn’t the first (or second) thing most people look at in a piece of jewelry, there’s no reason that it should be boring. The Crescent Connection is elegant and visually interesting, adding another layer of texture to simple pieces, like the Pearl Bar Necklace. I can even use it to connect multiple pendants together, as I do with the Triple Pearl Necklace.
Last but not least, the Crescent Connection makes it easy for me to add contrasting metals to a piece. (If you know anything about me, you know I’m all about mixing metals.) A great example of this is the Excursion Necklace in silver with gold accents. The gold Crescent Connection becomes a star feature of this piece, providing visual contrast and complementing the gold granules. I have Crescent Connections available in silver, yellow gold, rose gold - you name it - and I can easily swap them out depending on a client’s preference.
The Crescent Connection in Earrings
But wait… there’s more! The Crescent Connection also frequently makes an appearance in my earring designs. My popular Bubble Studs are formed from a cascade of Crescent Connections, creating smooth movement and a graceful dangle look. The Crystalize Earrings use it to connect the gem bezel to the pendant and to add color contrast. Finally, the Shimmer Studs feature four itty-bitty Crescent Connections to elegantly link the fringe to the pendant. When I say it’s all about the details, I’m serious!
Why I Love the Crescent Connection
Although small, the Crescent Connection exemplifies many aspects of the Kristen Baird® aesthetic. The soft shape is reminiscent of the changing phases of the moon and adds extra detail to each piece. The deceptively simple texture can only be done by hand, so it’s unlikely you’ll see it anywhere else. This may seem like a lot of effort for such a tiny feature, but that’s what happens when you love your work as much as I do. (And are maybe a little bit obsessed!)
Now that you know about the Crescent Connection, you can recognize it every time! I hope you can appreciate the details in your Kristen Baird® necklaces and earrings even more. If you don’t own any pieces with a Crescent Connection, maybe now is the time to grab one!