Creating a Wire S-Clasp
I really admire jewelry artists who create every bit of their designs down to a customized clasp, so I was excited when Sandra Lupo offered to share these steps for creating an S-clasp. Sandra has been making jewelry for 20 years in her New Jersey studio and will be teaching at BeadFest Wire in April 2008. Her BeadFest classes include Wire Aura Beaded Bracelet (pictured at left), Twigged 'N Twined Necklace, and Double Lattice Triangle with Pendant.Learn more.–Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor
Creating an S-Clasp
by Sandra Lupo
Using a butane torch to ball up the wire ends to form a clasp is a nice touch when using thin gauge (20–24) fine silver. But if you want to finish the ends of thick gauge (14-8) sterling silver when forming a clasp, you’ll need heavier equipment. Here’s a torch-free approach, working with a few inches of wire, a hammer, slender half-round pliers, metal file or emery paper, and a buffing or polishing cloth.
1. For a one-inch, 14-gauge wire "S" clasp, a nice touch is to form a small curled circle just before you shape the clasp. Hammer the end of a 2.75" piece of wire 5/8" long with a ball peen hammer into a flattened and thinned paddle. (For 16-gauge wire, use 2.50"; for 18-gauge wire, use 2.25".)
2. Use a metal file to remove sharp edges. Polish the paddle with a buffing cloth before you turn the paddled wire end with the very tip of half-round forming pliers.
Left to right: The flattened paddle, the curved end, and the finished clasp.
3. Form your "S" clasp with larger barreled (5mm) forming pliers or a 1/4" dowel. Repeat the process for the other end's curled circle. After forming, hammer your "S" curves for a finished look. Polish.
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Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She has a right-angle weave bracelet to finish this weekend before she can even think of playing with wire!