One of the great things about handmade jewelry is how an artist can give a unique twist to certain components of a piece. Often that is a clasp. There are many different kinds of clasps, and when it comes to handmade jewelry, you can find some interesting twists (both literally and figuratively.)
Clasps are sort of the "unsung heroes" of a piece of jewelry, because, after all, they do the work of holding the piece together! I decided to go looking through the Artfire shops of the Jewelry Creators United in Numbers (JCUIN) guild and see if I could find some clasp inspiration.
|Spring loaded clasp, handmade by Boho Wire Wrapped|
|Toggle clasp by Lunar Skies|
The idea came to me earlier today when I happened across this incredible clasp. Sadly, Margaret of Boho Wire Wrapped is no longer with us, but this clasp shows just a bit of her amazing wire-wrapping skills. Her family is keeping the shop open to sell what remains of her wonderful wire-wrapped treasures.
The toggle clasp is very common in handmade jewelry. Most of them are purchased. What makes this one special is that it looks slightly different and I'm pretty sure that Quentin of Lunar Skies made this one himself.
|Button clasp, bracelet by Pink Sunset Jewelry Designs|
While this clasp is not handmade, it is a nice adaptation, and a way to recycle an odd, lone button. This bracelet, by Pink Sunset Jewelry Designs, is a great example of a button clasp. These are especially popular in wrap around bracelets like this one.
|Sprial clasp by Meant 2B Cherished (M2BC)|
Here is an example of one of the many spiral type clasps that wire wrappers love to do. These clasps are simple, elegant, and unique because each one is made by hand. This necklace is by M2BC (Meant 2B Cherished). Finding this was a pleasant surprise, because it is a departure from her usual fused glass pendants (which are also pleasant to be sure!)
|Hook and eye clasp by Wagoner Wire Works|
|Sterling leaf toggle clasp by Shanghai Tai|
There are many variations on the basic toggle clasp, including geometric designs, flowers, leaves and animals. Most are cast and store bought. Here is a handmade toggle clasp from Shanghai Tai with an oak leaf motif.
Thank you to the members of the JCUIN guild on Artfire for providing the inspiration for this blog. I know looking at clasps inspires me to be more creative with mine. So I hope next time you are looking at a piece of jewelry, you will notice the unsung hero, the clasp.