Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clasp how-to ...

by Barbara Lewis

Kelli gave such a good tutorial on how to make an S-clasp, so I thought I would follow on her heels.  To start, cut 2.5" of 16 to 14 gauge wire.  I use 16 gauge. I don't usually hammer the ends of my wire to get a flattened look.  I narrow the ends ... it's a personal preference.  

Step 1 - You can place the wire in a ring clamp or hold it in your hand.  For the last 1/2" of wire, file to narrow it, rotating the wire as you go to keep the end symmetrical.  Repeat for the other end. 




Step 2 - Place the wire between the jaws of round nose pliers so that you just "feel" the tip of the wire protruding from between the jaws.



Step 3 - With your other hand, swing the wire around the jaw of the pliers to create a smooth loop.





Step 4 - Repeat steps 1 through 3 with the loop at the tip of the wire facing in the opposite direction as the one you just created.

Step 5 - Rest the wire on a cylinder that is approximately 10 to 12mm in diameter with the loop facing you. If you're right-handed, place your thumb on the loop to steady it.  Use your left hand to swing the wire around the pen to create a loop.




 Step 6 - Sew one end of the clasp closed with either 24 or 22 gauge wire.



Step 7 - (Not Shown)  Rest the large curve of the clasp on a bench block and hammer to strength the clasp and to create aesthetic interest. Repeat for the other end. 

Step 8 - Either leave the clasp bright and shiny or oxidize it in Black Max or other blackening solution.  Remove oxidation from the highlights with a 3M sanding pad (Fine). 



The finished product.  You may choose to add the clasp to your jewelry before the end is sewn closed or in this case, I'll be wire wrapping a bead onto the clasp, which is also a secure attachment.




Tip:  Use your crimping pliers to tuck in the ends of wire.


Ta Da!

7 comments:

steufel said...

Thank you! Love the additonal wire you added to the clasp!

Barbara Lewis said...

Thanks, Stephanie. The extra wire is a technique from Stephanie Lee ... I think it adds a lot to the security of the attachment and to the appearance.

MaCarroll Beads said...

One problem that I have when working with wire and making my own designs from it is once I start, I have a hard time stopping.....just one more, just one more...

mairedodd said...

absolutely stunning clasp - and that extra touch of security always makes me feel more comfortable when sending a finished piece out into the world to be worn...
your tutorial was wonderful - and thank you for the special touches...

KayzKreationz said...

Very nice. I like the idea of sewing one end closed. Really adds to the look of the clasp.

Barbara Lewis said...

Thanks, Kay! Welcome to our little group. :-)

cookievf said...

well-thought-out and crystal clear for this beginner! love the idea of a sewn closure..
Thank you!
- vicki xo

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