Monday, July 1, 2013

Boot Camp: Securing the Perimeter aka: clasps

And we are off to Boot Camp again!!! This time we will be sharing the many ways that we can find closure. The whole idea of "closure" in our jewelry designs lends itself to being very concise, complete and, in other words, "done."

That last step, however, just might be one of the most important ones. To head off this boot camp, we have chosen to do a rerun post by Kelli Pope that was written in 2010. Hopefully, this will get your nuerons charged and we will have LOTS of fun ideas to share at the end of this boot camp!

Remember, the best way to share with everyone is to have a blog. Even if you are not a blogger, why not set up a simple blog for boot camp. If not, there are other ways to share your creations like Flickr. That's what our friend and follower Erika Atkinson chose to do for our last wire work boot camp

So, without further ado, let me share with you the rerun written by Kelli:

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)


Stacie said...

Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!!

Carol Dean Sharpe said...

A handmade closure can really "sign" a piece of jewelry, so I think this is a wonderful idea for a Boot Camp!

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