A Cool Cool, Clasp

23 04 2011

I doodle with wire… that’s right, I’m a doodler! When I’m sitting in front of the TV, I often have a few spools of copper wire in front me, along with my tools, and just twist and wrap and fold and coil! Seeing different designs and ideas come together is very satisfying!

Sometimes I start out with a sketch that I made, and see how it turns out. And sometimes I start with something specific in mind, to see if I can make it work. I wanted to see if I could come up with a simple circular clasp, maybe to use for some multi-stranded necklace designs, and this is how it progressed!

Doodle Try #1

I had a few parameters for the clasp: I wanted clean lines, I wanted the hook side and the eye side to lay in the same direction so it would be comfortable on the neck, and it needed to be easy to use. The first “doodle” started with a figure “8” in wire, which I sorta folded over, so that the smaller loop rested on top of the bigger loop. This has a construction issue, because I would have to solder both ends to a common wire at the point where the clasp folds, leaving 2 potential weak spots.

Doodle Try #2

The next doodle was similar in look, but it starts with an “O” shape that is pinched to create the two loops. This has a real advantage over the first style, in that the ends of the wire meet together, so it only has one connecting point. And since the original shape is round, it is easy to make sure the solder point doesn’t get stressed.

Final Clasp in Silver

I decided to create the clasp using some twisted wire I had, and I love the end result. I started by soldering a large ring, and then shaped it like an “8” using some mandrels. Once the loops were nice and round, I carefully folded it at the place it pinched to create the hook. Next, I created the other side sizing it to the clasp.

Silver Clasp Closed

Here is the clasp closed – you can see how the two sides are balanced, so it looks nice, both sides lay in the same direction, so it is flat against the neck, and there are no wire ends, so nothing catches onto your clothes or sticks into you.

I have tried variations of this without soldering, some work ok, but the advantage of the soldering is that it makes the clasp robust. Knowing a variety of techniques is key to being able to create your designs as you envision them…!


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6 responses

31 03 2012
Lisa

Very cool clasp. I’m enjoying your blog and your jewelry designs. I have recently started attempting making wire jewelry. I came upon a simple bracelet design that uses closed wire rings alternating with glass rings. The wire rings are closed using two wrapped loops. HOW DO I MAKE THESE WIRE RINGS without losing the shape of the ring. I’m a beginner and have no clue. Any tips would be much appreciated.

4 04 2012
Dax58

Lisa, thanks much! I cannot tell what kind of closed wire rings yo are refering to… but you can harden wire rings by hammering them or tumbling them, which will help them keep their shape. I suggest stopping by a local bead store and asking them your questions – local bead shops are very helpful!

7 04 2012
Smokey Quartz Pendant

This is a great clasp. Thanks for sharing how you make it. I want to try one this way.

6 09 2013
jabbajane

love this. just subscribed today. I hope you learn a lot from you!

24 05 2015
sheyicreations

Nice pictures like how pictures marry up with text

21 08 2015
Helen Derici

I work in exactly the same way🙂 I always have wire and pieces of metal next to me plus a small box of tools, pliers, hammers, files, rulers, bench block, mandrels etc: (my ‘inside’ tool box). I’ve come up with some very good designs/ideas just by bending, shaping and forming pieces of metal. Great minds think alike – ha ha!!!

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