Just in case you ever wondered - there are many ways to get to the same result in jewelry making. Most people, jewelers included, will just buy a clasp from a jewelry supply store. Most of those pieces are made overseas where the workers are paid pennies, or they are stamped out in factory machines here, so that there is little labor cost.
I'm still trying to find a good balance between making every part of a piece from the raw metal or buying some of the components like chain and clasps.
Anyway, here are some pictures of a clasp I made recently. First the pattern is copied onto tracing paper and glued onto the metal. Then I use a jeweler's saw to cut it out. This is not too easy, as it must be thick metal to be strong enough for a clasp. When the pieces are just sawn out, they are flat. I use files and sandpaper to round them and smooth them. Then the components are put together. This is a very simple clasp, called a sister clasp, or fold over clasp. It took more than an hour to make. The only way it is cost effective for me, is if it is attached to a necklace that is outstanding.
So...back to the bench.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
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