My Clasp, My Clasp, My Kingdom For A Clasp!

Warren Feld
10 min readApr 16, 2020

The Jewelry Designer makes many choices when creating a piece of jewelry. Lots of things to manage and accomplish.

Probably the two most important choices, right up front, in creating a wearable art-piece that will be around for future generations are your:
(1) Stringing Material, and
(2) Clasp

When you work with so many customers in a store, and so many students in classes, you begin to see that people are not necessarily that great in selecting clasps. Many are in a clasps-rut — they use the same clasp over and over again.

Others pick out clasps they find appealing, whether or not they would visually or functionally work with the piece they have made.

Few people anticipate how they are going to attach the clasp to their beadwork, often resulting in an overly long, awkwardly connected clasp assembly.

So, how to you go about choosing clasps?

Clasps always seem like they’ve been someone’s last thought. They should be the first thought. Or at least thought about concurrently with the design of the piece. But they should never be the last thought.

As clasps should be thought of in their entirety — as clasp assemblies. Clasp assemblies include all the rings, loops and other hardware necessary to attach the clasp to the beadwork. The clasp itself may be beautiful, but the entire clasp assembly may not be.

But many people get so excited creating their beadwork, that they forget about the clasp — until the last moment. You can tell when the jewelry maker hasn’t put much thought into their choice of clasp in many ways. Often, the clasp doesn’t look like it was meant to go with the bead work or general design. It might be out of proportion. It might be a different texture or sensibility. Its function — how you open and close it, while wearing your jewelry — might seem odd, perhaps unnatural. And not only does the choice of clasp seem as an after-thought, but how to attach to the bead work to that clasp seems un-thought out, as well.

So it’s not surprising, that when we were repairing jewelry on a regular basis, about 80% of the pieces to be fixed had broken at the clasp.

It is best to, in part, build your design around your clasp. If your piece has a centerpiece or focal point, then how does this link up to or coordinate with the clasp. At the…

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Warren Feld

Beading and jewelry making have been wonderful adventures, from custom work, production work, and teaching. *Design is about the ability to make smart choices.