28: Hexagon Pendants

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is a bit of a hexagon craze going on.  It’s always been a popular design for bathroom floor tiles.  The shocking decline in bee populations have brought them to the forefront of consciousness, including the clever designs for their honey combs.  You can buy a hexagon clock at IKEA that is customizable.  And in quilting there is a revival of interest in English paper piecing (or foundation piercing), and hexagons are by far the most popular shape.

Finished pieces

Finished pieces

I have toyed with the idea of making layered pendants for awhile, and with a bit of encouragement (thanks Rebecca!) these customizable hexagon pendants were born. In designing, I might have gotten a little overzealous.  There are half inch hexes, three quarter inch hexes and one inch hexes.  I couldn’t decide if I liked them wide or tall, so I made both.  And then when I started putting hexes together, I knew I had to stop to get this post done!  So many fun designs, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

All the styles of bamboo pendants

All the styles of bamboo pendants

All the acrylic pendants

All the acrylic pendants

Each pendant is made from two pieces of material – a frame and the backing.  I originally was working with 3mm materials, thinking they could house more dimensional things.  Right off the bat, I felt that the backing at 3mm was just too clunky.  It makes for a combined depth of 6mm, which is hard to find a jump ring for.  So the first redesign was to use a 1/16th of an inch backing.  (Sorry, I know I’m switching measurements types – darn this English measurement system!  1/16th is *roughly* 1.5mm)

3mm frame with a 1.5mm back makes a great combination!

3mm frame with a 1.5mm back makes a great combination!

Straight on view of the same leather material in the deep frame and the thin frame.

Straight on view of the same leather material in the deep frame with 3mm back and the thin frame with a thin back.

A side view of the depth difference with the same leather insert.

A side view of the depth difference with the same leather insert.

Rebecca graciously offered to help me fill pendants (thank goodness!) and she had a different take: she used them to showcase different flat materials such as washi tape, stamped paper, even embroidered fabric.  The shadow and dimension of a 3mm thick frame was okay, but I felt it was just too strong with a flat background.  So we tried a few pieces with a trimmed down (1.5mm deep) front as well.

Yellow and black acrylic in homage to the bees.

Yellow and black acrylic – in homage to the bees. These were made with the thinner frames.

Frame filled to the brim with beads!

Frame filled to the brim with beads! Rebecca’s design.

The paper is trimmed inside the outline of the backing and glued down before the frame is put n.

The paper is trimmed inside the outline of the backing and glued down before the frame is glued on.  Because the lace is thicker, I added that after.

I tried filling these pendants two different ways: a) gluing the frame to the back, then decorating and b) decorating the back, then gluing on the frame.  In some ways, gluing the pieces together first was easier.  There was less worry about glue spilling all over a completed design on the inside.  But if you want complete coverage on the back with a flat piece of material, cutting a perfect hexagon is nearly impossible by hand.  For that, decorating before gluing on the frame is easier.  One caveat with that method, though – trim the material away from the edge.  That way, gluing down the frame can hide the edge of the materials.  If you don’t, the edges show quite clearly between the front and back.

Final design verdict: The thinner back is perfect, and there are uses for both the thicker and thinner frames.  I really enjoyed flexing my creative collaging muscles, and I really think people could do amazing things with them!  If you’d like your own, I’ve put them up for sale in my supply shop, Beadeux.

Tiny half inch hexagon pendants - so cute!

Tiny half inch hexagon pendants – so cute!

This is a great, personalized piece.  Rebecca embroidered her daughter's initial in it.

This is a great, personalized piece. Rebecca embroidered her daughter’s initial in it.

Variety on one inch hexes

Variety of one inch hexes

Layers of the larger triple hexagon.  Love the lace!

Layers of the larger triple hexagon. Love the lace!

 

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