Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Endings..........

by Kelli Pope

After years of trying to find unique closures, or simply buying mass produced toggles or lobster claws, I decided it was time to make them myself. It was something I'd always wanted to do. (In fact, it is still my goal to make each and every component in each and every design. Luckily, until that time comes, I have found some INCREDIBLY talented artists I can purchase handmade pieces from, that still make my designs unique.) What finally made up my mind was a judge at an art show. I've worked for years to climb that art show ladder, applying and jurying to bigger and better shows each year. One particular show I'd finally gotten into a few years ago awarded prizes for best in show, most unique, etc. A judge was appointed to each category and came around and viewed your booth. When the judge reached my booth, she pointed to one of my necklaces, and asked if I had made the closure. "No." I had to say, crushed. She looked at another piece, and pointed to that closure, and asked again. "No, but........" She wasn't interested in my "buts", or what was unique and handmade about my pieces. That did it for me. I started out by making hooks to finish my pieces. And it was SO easy!!!!! Follow along, and I'll show you how.

I used 16g copper for this one, but you can choose your wire.


Pull out your tools of choice.

Start by making a simple loop around your pliers.

Then bend into a hook shape, and cut your wire just below the loop on the opposite side. Use your pliers to make another smaller loop to the end.

Voila!!! You have a hook!



For strength, I hammer mine. Plus, I just like the hammered look :)




You can hook it into a jump ring,
a hammered ring, as above, or make your own link, to complete
the closure.



To make your own link, start with a simple wrapped loop,

add a bead of choice, and create a larger wrapped loop on the other side.


When I started making my own closures, it added a special touch to each
piece, gave me a sense of accomplishment AND made for much happier endings...........
pun intended :o)

9 comments:

Spirited Earth said...

thanks for sharing ..great idea and lovely clasp

Chris said...

You are so right! Making your own clasps is pretty easy and really impresses buyers and people who love handcrafted jewelry~Cool post~

Alice said...

I love you handmade clasp. And I agree that a handmade clasp can really complete the piece. Thanks for sharing!

SummersStudio said...

Thanks, Kelli. I think a handmade clasp has so much more potential to become part of the design, rather than just the ends of the piece.

MaCarroll Beads said...

I remember my first handmade clasp. I was so proud of myself. I love the 2nd one. I'm going to try that too since it can blend right in with the piece! I have a problem with my clasp taking up too much space on bracelets....that seems like an easy fix :O)

mairedodd said...

it is so true when it comes to shows... it is sometimes the push we need to go further than we have gone before... lovely clasp...

rosebud101 said...

Thank you for sharing! I want to make my own closures, too, and you have given us a head start on that with your tutorial!

Kinderhook said...

Thank you for this. As a newbie, I bought a bunch of cheap clasps and a few really great artist-made ones. Now I wonder why I bought those cheap ones b/c they sure make the whole piece look cheap! I've learned my lesson but your post gave me a whole new lesson! I can do this! Wow! Thank you so much. Now do you know anyone who'd like to buy some cheap clasps? lol

Createology said...

Thank you for sharing and making it look so doable. Happy creating...

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