This summer I have been creating handmade necklaces and other jewellery, as part of an expansion of the jewellery range at Taylor Two into semi precious metals and gemstones; providing customers with a more luxurious range for gifting to themselves or others.
In the case of the handmade pure copper necklaces I've been creating handmade clasps to go with the piece.
The original reason for making my own was that I was unable to source pure copper clasps to use with the necklace chains and pure copper is what I really wanted so that the clasps would nicely match the metal used on the pendant.
However since I was somewhat forced to create my own I've come to realise there are some notable benefits to the handmade clasps over the standard clasps we all know and love - which is the the classic 'lobster claw'.
Above, my handmade necklace clasps
In the image above you will observe my handmade clasps, which are incredibly simple to make and I'm sure anyone crafty can figure out how to create them by just looking at the photo alone.
So what we have used on the clasps is a good weight of copper wire; and by good weight I mean strong and thick enough to be a clasp and hold it's shape when being manhandled, yet soft enough to be bent into this shape using a pair of pliars.
So what size is this copper wire? It's 2mm pure copper wire. So now you can make your own, but don't forget to sand off the edges, you don't want anyone cutting their fingers on sharp bits of metal.
The major benefit to this clasp over other necklace clasps is that the issue of being left or right handed is eliminated.
With most necklaces the intention is that the pendant faces a particular direction (outwards) and therefore the lobster claw is usually put onto the right hand side of the chain so that when attaching it a right handed person can manipulate the button on the lobster claw to easily open and close it over the loop it attaches to.
Now I'm a right handed person, but I can imagine that doing this with the lobster catch in your non dominant hand is possibly a difficulty at times, especially if it's a rather tiny lobster claw, which brings me onto my next point.
A lobster necklace catch shown above, so
that you can understand what I'm talking about.
How many times have you wrestled for some time with these lobster claw necklaces catches before getting them on, and indeed a similar trauma involved in getting them off?
I find the culprit is often size, tiny claws may look cute and blend into the chain well but I really don't mind a bigger clasp at the back so that I can actually get the bugger on and off, and don't end up sleeping in it out of frustration one tipsy night.
For this reason, I don't attach teeny tiny lobster claws to my jewellery pieces, they're on the bigger size for the vast majority of the necklaces. Not big enough to look ugly but not so tiny that they cause issues.
And as described, for the copper pieces instead of using copper lobster clasps, I've been making handmade clasps that are also big enough to manipulate easily - and in addition have the benefit of being double sided, so no more 'I'm left handed' traumas either.
So how do you actually open and close the clasps and do they fall off easily?
Check out the video below that shows the clasps being opened and closed, and while you may be concerned about their open ends, I can reassure you that not only have I worn the clasps myself without any falling off incidences, I've also had these handmade clasps sitting on a bouncy 8 year old all evening at a special event and her necklace didn't fall off once.