Jan 132009

I was working on a bracelet using some scrumptious rubies from The Earth Bazaar yesterday, and thought long and hard about what to do for a clasp.

A nice swirl or S clasp would have worked, but just didn’t have the “oomph” that I wanted to add to this bracelet.

I remembered Lisa Niven Kelly’s “Tornado” clasp, and thought I could try something similar using my wire wrapping skills.

I had a plain toggle clasp that I’d gotten from Artbeads.com a while back, and decided to make it sparkle using 30g sterling wire, tiny rubies (also from T.E.B.) and 3mm sterling silver round beads.

Basically, I just wrapped the rubies and silver beads around the front of the ring of the toggle. I didn’t plan out any design, just added beads as I went along, and used the wire to stabilize the beads in place.

Wrap, wrap, wrap…and I love the result! The bar for the toggle still fits well through the ring, and snugs up nicely when worn. Since the toggle is now weighted down with stones and beads, it stays at the inside of the wrist – although I wouldn’t mind if it slid up to the top either!

I’m thinking about doing a few more of these, maybe even use for a focal on a necklace. The wrapping wasn’t horribly difficult (although I do have wire cuts all over my fingers!) and the results are really unique.

Jul 142008

I’m working on some items that I think will be good for the county fair next week, simple things that are relatively inexpensive. I thought I’d share some ideas – I’ll update with some photos soon.

Silver-plated chokers from Fire Mountain Gems are a hard wire that you can add a pendant to for a quick necklace. I purchased two different styles, one has a ball that you can unscrew to slide on a pendant, the other has a thin chain to clip a clasp to, and it slides through a pendant bail. The only problem I’ve got with these is that the bail opening needs to be fairly large to accommodate the size of the wire, and I want to rethink that component before making too many more. Might do some dabbling in making some soldered bails instead of simple wrapped loop dangle.

I also made a bunch of discs from some of the re-purposed copper tiling I got from Mom & Dad and stamped them with metal stamps from Beaducation…I’ll use some of them for simple charms that can be personalized (using letter stamps from Contenti) and some for a couple of charm bracelets.

The discs are more labour intensive than you’d think – clean the copper (it’s got adhesive on the back, and some kind of coating on the front), cut out the discs, drill a hole to hang from, stamp, tumble, file, hammer, stamp…whew, I’m tired just thinking about it!

I’d gotten a new “Paw” stamp from Lisa Niven-Kelly (Beaducation) and made Rex a cute little name tag that he’s test driving. I think he likes the way it jingles against his other tags, LOL.

Finally, I made 6 copper bracelets using Beaducation’s bracelet blanks. Again, more work than you’d think just looking at them! I came up with 6 different phrases to stamp on the bracelets, figured out how to best lay out the text and stamped it. Filled in some design stamps, oxidized, drilled holes to attach clasps, made the clasps, formed the bracelets using a bracelet mandrel, and attached the clasp using jump rings.

Of course, this is only the start of the busy season. Thank goodness I have all of August to recover before the big shows start up!!!