Saturday, July 13, 2019

Solving Problems: Clasp Edition

Last week, a customer in the bead shop wanted to attach a slider/tube clasp to a bracelet she had just finished stitching. We both love these slider clasps because they have such a low profile: you see more stitching; less clasp!

Her bracelet was perfectly designed for a 3-hole clasp, with three "peaks" on the end:
St. Petersburg bracelet
But when I placed a 3-hole slider next to the bracelet's end, the clasp clearly wasn't wide enough:
Bracelet next to 3-hole slider clasp

A 5-hole slider was the perfect size, but the 2 extra holes just wouldn't do. Unsightly, just sitting there, empty:
Bracelet next to 5-hole slider clasp
I'd always wondered what would happen if I tried to remove some of the rings on these sliders, and here was the perfect opportunity to find out.

Using my chainnose pliers, I grasped the extra loops (individually) as close to their soldered connection to the tube as possible, and gently twisted each loop back and forth until it snapped off. Then I filed each connection point as close to the tube as possible to remove the leftover loop and solder:
5-hole clasp after removing 2 loops on each half and filing smooth
Look! Pretty close to a perfect match:
The 3 remaining holes line up almost perfectly with the peaks on the end of the bracelet
And here's the finished product:
Nice, right?

Other than that time I used Perfect Pearls to turn a silver clasp purple (and similar patinations with Liver of Sulfur, etc.), I have never altered clasps. If I couldn't find a clasp I liked, I just stitched one from seed beads! But this successful experiment has emboldened me a bit!

Have you ever altered findings to make them suit your needs?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Building Bridges: A New Beadweaving Tutorial

This bracelet tutorial uses Rizos, DiamonDuos (or GemDuos), Arcos Par Pucas, and 15/0s. The pattern is designed for more experienced beaders, and is available in my Etsy Shop.

Building Bridges, a beadweaving tutorial ©Sweet Freedom Designs

It is a wide, flexible bracelet, and the 11-page step-by-step tutorial includes instructions for substituting 3mm Firepolish beads for the Rizos. Four colorways are also shown.

Building Bridges, a beadweaving tutorial ©Sweet Freedom Designs

4 colorways for Building Bridges, a beadweaving tutorial ©Sweet Freedom Designs