I was so excited when the group decided on CLASPS as the topic for this next Boot Camp. Early on in my beading career, I fell in love with the idea of making rather than buying the closures for my jewelry pieces. In bead weaving, as with probably most other jewelry art forms, these clasps can go from simple, utilitarian closures to elaborate focal points which also happen to serve as clasps.
I thought I'd give you a brief tour of some of the places bead woven closures have gone at Sand Fibers, starting with the super simple hematite chip I used as a button substitute on one of my very first bracelets.
Moving on to the peyote tube toggle bars I use on most of my peyote cuffs, some of which are quite simple in design
others of which echo the pattern in the cuff in order to blend in which the overall design, a form of bead camouflage
If you've followed my work, you probably know that I can become obsessive about peyote triangles. I've created them as pendants for necklaces, but I also love using the "open" version of them as part of "toggle" focal point closures for cuffs and bracelets, as you can see in these examples.
Necklaces provide a wonderful opportunity for bead woven clasps as well, going from the simple to the extremely elaborate, depending on what the piece calls for. This is the beaded rope for my You Are My Sunshine necklace, designed to feature a pendant with a Lisa Peters Art cabochon I bezeled but versatile enough to wear on its own with the closure becoming a focal.
One of the things I learned from that particular closure was that symmetry and balance are a good thing. Were I to make it again, I would probably have a matching "toggle" on the other side, as I did for this elaborate piece, made in collaboration with the mosaic artist Eve Lynch
And I can't leave without showing you the closure I am probably most proud of, the one for Where There's Smoke There's Fire
The clasp provided the "fire" in this piece, while the smoke-fired beads by Artisan Clay provided the focal "smoke."
I hope this has tempted you to consider bead weaving as an option in creating your next clasp.
Be well and get going!