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Monday, December 1, 2014

A Clasp To Hold It

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.  

Wire Wrapped Malachite Bracelet, Artisan Station Chain Handmade Clasp
Spring loaded clasp, handmade by Boho Wire Wrapped
Rodochrosite and Sterling Silver 4 Stone Link Bracelet brchk2239
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.  

Leather and Gemstone Bead Wrap Bracelet Lemon Jade Celtic Button Clasp
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.

Mother of Pearl Swirl Pendant on Kumihimo Braided Necklace
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!)

Argentium Silver Byzantine Bracelet
Hook and eye clasp by Wagoner Wire Works
Now we've all seen hook and eye clasps, they're fairly common.  Some are handmade and some are store bought, mass-produced.  This one, by Wagoner Wire Works, is handmade.  It is also unique in that the eye part has a sort twisted and hammered look to it.

Oak Leaf Toggle Designer Clasp .925 Sterling Silver Handmade in U.S.A.
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.


  1. Really enjoyed this post, Roxanne!

  2. This is a very educational and inspiring post, Roxanne. I am always fascinated by that toggle clasp when I visit your studio. It is a really special design and has the usual perfection of your hand crafted creations.

    1. Thanks Anna! I intend to make some more clasps next time I get some sterling metal clay. I really like doing them.

  3. Great post, Roxanne! Making more of my clasps is on the list for next year (:

  4. I didn't realize there were so many different types of clasps until you pointed it out. Each one is best suited for a particular use. I especially like the "s" shaped ones.

  5. I love adding that special touch to the clasp :)

  6. I love that oak leaf toggle clasp - I definitely haven't seen anything like it before!

  7. Thanks everyone! I hope to have some new clasps soon!