Welcome back to my teaching series featuring basic wire working techniques. I hope you had a chance to check out the other techniques in this series "Wrapped Loops", "Links: Beaded and Crazy", and "Jump Rings".
Today I will be sharing how to make a hook and eye clasp.
Why use a handcrafted hook and eye clasp over a ready made clasp?
It will add much more interest to your design and give that extra unique quality that transforms it into a piece of wearable art.
Tools and Supplies:
Stepped forming pliers
Flush cutters (one side of the cutters are flush and make a straight cut, the other side makes a "V" cut)
Small jewelers file
Steel bench block (or something solid to hammer on)
Wire: I've used 16 gauge copper for my photos. I suggest you begin with copper; it's malleable which makes it easy to work with and it's inexpensive.
The picture above shows two pairs of chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, and flush cutters. Below is what stepped forming pliers look like.
A note before I start the tutorial:
In my photos I did not leave the looped end that will attach to the chain open. If you are going to use a jump ring to attach the clasp then you can go ahead and close the loops as I did in the photos. If you choose to attach it directly to a fused chain link then you will need to leave the loop end open (see "Links: Beaded and Crazy" to see how to connect loops).
Hammer one end of an 8" wire to flatten it.
Place the round-nose pliers at the tip of the flattened area.
Curl the wire around the pliers.
Your piece should look like this.
Place the base of the round-nose pliers on the wire above the curl (how far up will determine how long the clasp will be).
Use your fingers to bend the wire back towards
the underside of the curl.
Place the chain-nose pliers on the wire and make a 90 degree bend.
Make a wrapped loop (click here to refer to my earlier tutorial on wrapped loops). Trim the wire and file the end smooth.
Hammer to add texture and strength.
(Hammering metal work hardens it and helps it to keep its shape.)
Your finished hook clasp should look like this.
Make a wrapped loop at one end of an 8" wire (click here to refer to my earlier tutorial on wrapped loops). Place the stepped forming pliers on the wire (each tier is a different diameter - use the tier that will make the size of loop you desire).
Wind each wire tail until they meet and fill the space
between the loops. Trim ends and file to smooth them.
Hammer the loops to add texture and strength.
Your finished eye clasp should look like this.
The finished hook and eye clasp set should look like this.
Here are a few examples of where I have used handmade hook and eye clasps in my designs. Notice that sometimes I just use the hook part and use a large handmade jump ring for the eye part and sometimes I added a bead to the clasps.
This will be the last (at least for a little while) in my Basic Wire Working Technique Series. I hope these tutorials have helped you in some way. Thanks for checking them out!
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