Thursday, January 05, 2012

Mad for Brooches -- Double Stem Pin Back Mechanisms

Since I spent so much time recently agonizing over how to do my pin back, I thought I'd corral a bunch of inspiration and how-to here for my future reference and to help any of you who might also be searching for input.

But first, here's my back, finished with the inserted double pin stem. I rank this as quite easy! This photo raises an interesting question of how to photograph a brooch that is open enough to reveal the closure mechanism. But that's a question for another day. Today, let's consider interesting versions of double stem pin backs.

Aran Galligan
This is the ultimate in double pin stem mechanisms - a stand to hold the brooch when not wearing!

Chris Irick
These turbine brooches have the classic tube hinge and wire catch construction, but the pierced backs and curved pin stems elevate the look.

Shana Kroiz
An interesting variation is shown here, with a constructed hinge and soldered stem wires.

In terms of instruction, there is a simple diagram of a double pin stem system in Charles Lewton-Brain's Ganoksin entry on Hinges and Hinge-Based Catches. He also has an entry titled Some Hints on Pinback Placement.

Murano Silver
For a simple single stem fibula, try Nicola Callow's blog tutorial, which demonstrates soldering both ends of a sterling wire onto the back, then cutting and shaping the spring loaded pin and the catch.


  1. Thanks for the great post Vickie! Your pin turned out BEAUTIFUL!

  2. Gorgeola! As to how to photograph, some do the photoshop thing and some take pics before inserting the stem. ;D I've got some other interesting pin backs on my pinterest and so does Angela Bubash.

  3. I love your pin back ;o)>
    That how I did mine pin/pendant piece in December and I really like it.
    Your piece is gorgeous as usual !!

  4. Thanks to three of my idols for the nice comments!

  5. That last one is a good one. It's also in Tim McCreight's Complete Metalsmith. I teach that one in metalsmithing class. I think it's the easiest for beginners to solder.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Sterling PMC!