Friday, January 16, 2015

Findings, A Lesson on Metals

Let's face it, Findings are just plain fun!

A Clasp can make or break a jewelry design.  Personally, my favorite is a toggle clasp, just for the simple fact that there are SO many choices out there.

I think I'm stuck in Fall mode, because I'm still loving the burnt oranges, reds, browns and yellow, all which go fantastically with Copper & Brass.  Here is an example of some of the colors that inspired me this past Autumn.
Large Dagger Fringe Necklace with a Brass Toggle

Some things to keep in mind when choosing your Findings:
  1. Metal Allergies!  If you are creating a piece that is a custom order always ask if your client has any metal allergies.  If they do you will probably be limited to using Sterling Silver.  However there are some new products on the market that are Nickel Free.  Nickel is the metal that most people are allergic to, but it is always safer to ask your client if they are allergic to nickel or have any other metal allergies.  You should also keep in mind that even 14kt Gold Fill has Nickel in it.  The higher the kt number, the less nickel it will have in it.  However, the higher the number, the more pliable the metal will be.  (i.e. 24kt will bend more easily than 14kt, it's the nickel that gives it strength).  One way around this issue is to try a Boro Glass Toggle, no metals at all in these.
  2. Color, I always put gold, brass, and copper with warm tones like red, orange, bronze, yellow, brown, etc.  Sterling, silver and black oxide always seem to go better with cool tones like blue, green, purple, etc.  Once you have your beads picked out for your project, try to imagine the best color finding that will compliment your finished work.
  3. Size, you don't want to put a huge Toggle Clasp on a dainty bracelet.  It will swallow up the beauty of your design.  Make sure your clasp is proportionate to the piece of jewelry.  This necklace shown has a large brass toggle on it, which is fitting since it is a bold piece.
  4. Finishing Touches, Nothing will make your piece of jewelry more professional looking or durable than going the extra mile to put on the finishing touches.  I'm talking about wire protectors and crimp covers.  These little guys will make your jewelry stand out and help with wear and tear on jewelry wire, thread or Fireline.
I hope you find these little finding tips useful.

Owner/Operator of CaLex Beads and Jewelry