Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Hangers for Sun Catchers

Unless you are using some manufactured system or a frame, the most frequent way to provide hanging points for copper foiled sun catchers is to create a loop from copper wire.

Hangers should originate in a solder bead that goes some way into the piece. The loop's tail should lie a significant distance into the solder line to ensure it does not pull the piece apart. If this is to remain invisible, some planning will be required to allow the small extra space between the foiled glass.

The loops for hanging a piece of any size should not be soldered to the perimeter foil without reference to the solder bead lines within the piece, as the adhesive and foil are insufficient to hold the weight without tearing.

Reinforcement of free hanging or projecting elements can be done by placing wire around the piece with a significant excess going along the perimeter in both directions. The supporting wire can go into the solder line, if it is a continuation of an edge of the free hanging piece.

An example of a piece that needs reinforcement around the wings to keep them firmly attached to the body

The strongest method of proving hangers is to wrap the wire around the whole perimeter of the piece. Choose easily bent copper wire. This will be pretty fine, but when soldered, will be strong enough support the whole piece.

The perimeter wire can also be concealed by edge cames

The hanger can be made by leaving a loop of wire free along the perimeter. This way you can hang from any convenient place on the perimeter. This loop can be made by a single 180 degree twist in the wire, or by bending a loop into the perimeter wire. In all cases you will need to tin the wire to blend it with the rest of the piece.

An example of wire running between the yellow and purple on the left and incorporated into the design

This perimeter wire can be simply butted at the start/finish of the wire. It could be overlapped, but this is unnecessary on any piece where this method is adequate for support. The start can be at the top or bottom, although I prefer the top, so the wire is continuous from loop to loop. The reason for continuing beyond the loops is to provide support to all the edges of the sun catcher.