Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's A Clasp

It's A Clasp

I feel like I cheated.  This is not what I envisioned. However, it works.

Okay, so why do I feel like I cheated? Because I bought some tutorials from Nicole Hanna.  This clasp is a very slight adaptation from her Hang My Heart Earrings.  

Here is a bad picture of my first attempt at her tutorial next to half of the finished clasp:
Side by side results

Alternate hooks

I used larger wires and added a few more weaves to compensate for the larger wires.  I also only used the central element of her earring design.

I fabricated three different hooks for the clasp.  I am not going to keep the hook in the picture at the top of this blog; I think it is too weak.  Instead I will use the hook with the flower embellishment pictured to the right.

I like the hook with the weaving but it is far from smooth when actually trying to hook the clasp.

I have been considering constructing my own findings for years.  I was pushed into doing more than mere contemplation by Cindy Wimmer's The Missing Link book and the lack of a multi-strand clasp for the necklace I am making.

I think I made a mistake when my first attempt at making a wire woven clasp was for a multi-strand necklace.  A simple single strand clasp or a toggle and bar clasp would have been a better choice at this stage.  Nonetheless, I am happy with the results.  Here is the serviceable but not quite so pretty back:
The multi-strand back

One more picture for the blog with a ruler to give you an idea of the size.

Some final thoughts:
  • I want more practice- especially with those curls. 
  • I want to do more design, but that requires better skills and more practice.  
  • Tool marks are like thread, they really show up in pictures more so than to the unaided eye.
  • I want to keep doing this.   
Oh, and all errors are my own and not a reflection of the fabulous work and tutorials of Nicole Hanna.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Still Experimenting

At least snow days are good for experimenting on creating multi-strand clasps.

Here is my best try:

Almost There
I think this will eventually work.  However, it is just a part of what I envision the clasp to be. 

Although photos show every little imperfection, I need more practice to get the weaving more even.  I also  need more practice at weaving into the loops. I suspect I might need to go to a three or four base wire weave.  In other words I still have a lot of experiments ahead but I do feel like I am making progress. 

Let me show you another test piece:

Multiple Experiments
There were lots of experiments going on here. 

From the right to left  let me walk you through the process.

The loops on the right were made after the weave was started.  Not a bad option, and maybe it is my just my skill set, but the I could not keep the base aligned. 

As you can see, the loops in the middle are jump rings.  This was a good idea but I could not get the jump rings evenly sited on the base wire.  You can see the one on the right sits lower than the one on the left.

The non-loop on the left was another good idea but it just seemed unworkable when I tried it.  It could be that it was at the end of a day of experiments and I was tired. 

All these thoughts are good.  I need more practice wire weaving. I also need to figure out further embellishments to draw the eye away from what is inherently uneven when adding loops. 

What I have not mentioned so far is this does not include the hook and eye part of the clasp.  This part of the experiment is just to add the strands to the clasp.  I think I had better start practicing the three base wire weave and perhaps a four wire base, I might just need all those wires to pull this off.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Have I ever mentioned that I think clasps play an important role in finishing your jewelry?  That a clasp can make or break a piece?  That a clasp should reflect your piece in weight, content, and style? 

I think I have failed to mention that I never have enough clasps in my stash.  I particularly do not have enough multi-strand clasps.  I do not have a single multi-strand clasp in anything other than sterling.  With all of my beads I still need more clasps.

So, I began experimenting. 

I am working on a multi-strand necklace using these links from "The Missing Link:" 

I am experimenting with making my own clasps.  Promise not to laugh?  Here is my first attempt:

Okay, not bad for someone who does not weave wire.  The thought was good, the execution needs a bit more practice.

So, my second attempt:

This one I did not even try to finish.  It was not working. The 16 gauge wire for the base was okay, but the connector loops were not the right choice.

The third attempt was better yet:

Adding the connectors as jump rings was the right solution.  Making the jump rings (furthest left) in 16 gauge was the wrong choice- 20 gauge was a better balance. 

My conclusion, the theory is good, the design is going in the right direction.  Execution needs a lot more practice. 

Practice does pay off.  Take a look at the first two links I did and the final links:

There is improvement.

I am going to keep experimenting.  I am going to think some more about design.  I will also see what I have in my stash to put together the necklace without making a clasp.  I am thinking I can use the spacer bars i bought at Beadfest to reduce the strands and use a single strand clasp.  It just might work.

Just in case your interested, the other parts of the necklace include these beads:

If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.