Saturday, October 6, 2012

Easy To Fasten Jewelry

I'm a big fan of throw-on jewelry. I have oodles of patience and dexterity to wire wrap stones and seaglass or bead a long eyeglass chain. Oddly enough though, I can't stand messing about with finicky little clasps when it comes to blinging up.  And I'm not alone in that.

larger losbster clasp
handmade hook and eye clasp
In my case it's because I tend to fling on a necklace just before grabbing my coat. But my Mum has arthritic fingers, something I must bear in mind when making a piece for her. She prefers a larger lobster clasp or (my favourite,) a big hook and eye. Some of my customers have the same requirements and if the clasp is too dainty for them I will customise when possible.
rounder lobster clasp with extender chain

                  Connemara marble pendant with extender chain

An extender chain tends to have broad appeal, even with a standard sized trigger or lobster clasp. Not only does it allow for adjustable sizing, but it can be easier to latch onto at first go than a tag as the links tend to be wider.
 Recently, I began searching for something fresh and edgy to use for my seaglass pendants. I don't crochet - another thing I don't seem to have the fingers for, but maybe one day I'll come to grips with it....'scuse the pun. As an experiment, I commissioned some cotton crochet chains from the very talented Mo of Huggle Knits,  I've been using one of these chains myself now for a couple of months on my own personal seaglass and button pendants to see how it wears. I absolutely love it! Not only has it kept its shape and not gone all fluffy or dirty looking, but it has to be the easiest chain I've ever put on. And it's so light and comfortable, I forget I'm wearing it.

The crochet chain closes with a button. The hypoallergenic cotton is elastic enough to stretch the loop over it, without even looking in mirror. Just what you need as you rush out the door. Yet, the chain does not sag or stretch under the weight of my seaglass pendants. And if it does get make up or perfume on it, a quick wash with soapy water is all it requires.
First Communion bracelet
gemstone bracelet with sterling silver toggle clasp

When it comes to bracelets, an extender chain is always useful. Many find it much easier to latch the clasp onto it with one hand than onto a tag. However, Toggle clasps are generally easier again, once you get the hang of them, that is.
Asymmetrical, gemstone necklace, silver plate
Ease of use also comes into play in my necklace designs. Oftentimes, I will use a toggle clasp placed at the front or side instead of the back. This allows for a modern, asymmetrical style
asymmetrical necklace, sterling silver
Just as importantly, you can throw on the necklace without any help or a mirror.  Handy if you are on the run or up-styling your work outfit as you head off to the office night out.

                                        Adjustable slip knots                   Pendant on adjustable chord                                 
For a more casual look, an adjustable chord necklace can be really handy and easy to use, especially if you prefer to wear your necklaces long. Like any long necklace, just slip it over your head. Then if you want to wear it short, you just slide the knots away from each other. The soft suedette in the turquoise necklace above slides easily with just the right amount of traction. 

You can make this type of adjustable, chord necklace yourself. To learn how, click HERE

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