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Topics: Cameo, Pendant Conversion

Q.
I bought an odd-shaped cameo in Roatan, Honduras. Would I damage the product if I bonded a bail to it? I bought just the piece, so there is no sterling or any other type of metal attached to it already.
- Rosanne
A.
A glue-on flat back bail can convert a cameo into a pendant without harming the piece, however the bond would be permanent.
To apply a glue-on bail:
  • Choose a bail that complements the design of the cameo
  • Using sandpaper, lightly rough up the spot on the back of the cameo where you will attach the bail
  • Apply a small dab of adhesive to the bail
  • Press into place and let set until cured according to the manufacturer's instructions
  • String the pendant onto your choice of chain or cording for a custom made necklace
Wirewrapping the cameo is another method that could work. Fashioning a loop at the top which can be used to attach a bail, or creating a bail from the wire are both ways to make the wrapped cameo into a pendant. The wire should bridge the space between the bottom of the cameo to above the curve of the sides, like a bezel setting. Adding in flourishes of wire is what makes wirewrapping an artistic expression and complement to the cameo or stone itself.

Choose 22- or 20-gauge round, half-round, square dead-soft or half-hard wire. This will be fine enough in diameter to not interfere or overpower the design yet be heavy enough to maintain shape and security for the cameo. Working with dead-soft and half-hard will yield crisp bends yet allow some wiggle room to maneuver the wire as you set it around the cameo.

Another option would be to set the cameo into a premade bezel setting or cinch-mount setting. Choose one that has a bail already attached to make the conversion from cameo to pendant easier. To set the cameo follow the tutorial below that matches the setting you select.

Materials Resources Design inspirations for wire-wrapped pendants: Design inspirations using cinch mount settings: Design inspirations using bezellite settings: Design inspirations using cabochon settings:

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