Clasps without Jumprings… A Tutorial

I like doing different things when it comes to making clasps for my jewelry.  One thing I hate, is to use jumprings only to have them eventually wear out or have to keep adjusting to close them.  This is what I do.

20 gauge gold plated wire
20 gauge gold plated wire

I cut two pieces of wire, about two inches each.

Making the Part with the clasp.
Making the Part with the clasp.

I take a pair of round nose pliers, and, placing the wire about 1/8 of an inch down, I let about 1/4 of the wire go through the pliers.  Then, I bend it like you see here.

Don't forget to put the lobster claw on before the next step.
Don’t forget to put the lobster claw on before the next step.

I put the lobster claw, or what I am going to use as the clasp on the first loop that I made.  holding the wire close to where the cross itself the first time, I loop behind the wire and in the opposite direction.

starting the wrap
Starting the wrap

I take the tail I just made and wrap it around, taking care to include the tail from the first loop.

Slant the wire as you wrap.
Slant the wire as you wrap.

I slant the wire so that it sits parallel to the loops.  After I finish the wrap, I cut off any excess.

One end down
One end down

For the other end, I use the bigger end of the round nose pliers for the first loop.

Where you should put the wire on the pliers.
Where you should put the wire on the pliers.
This is what it should look like before you wrap.
This is what it should look like before you wrap.

So, when I am done, both of the look like this:

You can do this with any clasp or toggle.
You can do this with any clasp or toggle.

I like to do it this way.  I know that the piece will stay closed, and not come open.  There is nothing I hate more than to put all my heart and soul into piece, and have the customer come back to me so that I can put on a new jumpring or a whole new closure.  It let’s me know they spent money on something that didn’t last.

How a Mess Made a Necklace…

glass pearls in a container
This is the mess. Can you see the inspiration?

This mess happened to be made when the box that I store the pearls in was placed on its end in a carry bag to take to work (the gas station).  I opened the case and pulled it out only to find some of the beads had decided to move in with each other.  Then it hit me.  A couple of those would be perfect in a chain necklace.

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Story of an Inspiration… Part 4

As you can see, I twisted two colors of wire together.  I then wound some in the middle of the heart, and used some for the loop on top.

wire jewelry,16 gauge wire,twisted wire,wire work,earring,wire earrings
The twisted wire

This is the final result…

Look for the listing on etsy soon.

Final Product

Story of an Inspiration… Part 3

After a few attempts at playing with the jig and shaping the wire, I finally settled on this:

Fresh off the jig

After I got a style I liked, I made the second heart, and matched them up to themselves to make them as identical as possible.  I have to decide whether I want to wrap the hearts in wire or intertwine the middle and fashion loops in order to hang crystals from them.  The first choice will allow me to weave the beads into the wrapping process.  The second will cause me to create small millimeter chain to hang the hearts from the ear wires.  Then again, I may get nutty enough to make two different styles of earrings.

The Story of an inspiration… Part 2

A basic plastic wire jig

This is a jig that I purchased many years ago when I started toying around with wire jewelry.  It is small, and doesn’t tend to cooperate when I want to make large pieces, but, fortunately, I haven’t gotten to the large piece phase.

I have placed the pegs where I want the wire to go, and and imagined what it would look like once I put the wire onto it.  I chose 16 gauge wire instead of the 14 I originally planned to use because the smaller wire (16 gauge), looked better artistically, in my humble opinion.

The Beginning of an earring...

So, here I have wrapped the wire around the jig.  The next step is to pull it off and set it just the way I want the heart to look so that it can have crystal accents.  I may wrap wire around the main wire.  I haven’t decided yet.  I never know what the finished piece is going to look like until I am done.

More Later…

The Story of an Inspiration…

…Or how to turn a heart into jewelry.

It starts, with me a least, a picture I see clearly in my mind.  Sometimes, it goes from the picture in my head to the idea being put together.  There is a rare occasion that the idea becomes a sketch in a book.  This series of posts will be a pictorial journey of how something goes from sketch to reality.

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