"Excellence is in the details.
Give attention to the details and excellence will come. "
~ Perry Paxton
Obviously, we love using art beads around here. And when you are using art beads in your designs, you want something a bit more special for the closure. This tutorial shows you three ways that I like to add that special touch to my designs.
I purchase a lot of generic looking findings wherever I can get them. I love toggle clasps and hooks as they are like a blank canvas waiting for me to embellish them. They are like the work horses of my design studio. These humble little toggles can be dressed up to complement the color and style of the art bead that you are using.
To add that special touch, all you need are some simple toggles and large jump rings, wire and beads.
Take a pretty egg bead from Kelley Wenzel of Kelleysbeads in a lovely midnight blue with gorgeous frit. Pair that with a rope twist copper plated toggle, vintage bronze wire, and some navy seed pearls. Wrap one end tightly around the base of the toggle. String one pearl and then two wraps in between. Repeat until the end, tucking the wire into the toggle.
I love word beads from Diane Hawkey. This red color is so bright and cheery and will make a perfect gift for my Tiny Dancer's dance instructor (and red happens to be her favorite color!). Sometimes I wander into different aisles at the craft store just to see what I can find. I think I had read about this on a blog once years ago (I wish I could remember where) that there was an embroidery floss that was wired. I happened upon the thread aisle at Michaels and discovered the DMC Color Infusions Memory Thread. This copper wire wrapped in embroidery thread adds a soft touch to your design and was perfect for embellishing a plain jump ring to make a pretty toggle to go with the 'dance' bead. Just wrap tightly around the ring, making sure that the opening to the ring is inside the coil and then tie a tight knot.
My favorite embellished clasp uses this hook from Vintaj. I use the vintage bronze colored wire to wrap the end of the hook tightly then add beads along the outer edge of the hook, in this case I used seed beads. Then just wire around the curve of the hook for a nice detail. Works well with the affirmation rings from Vintaj.
Another great look is to find some larger holed beads that can slip over the hook, like I did with this bracelet design (which happened to be my May 2009 ABS challenge entry, "Song of the Golden Lotus"). Just wrap the wire tightly between the beads for a charming variation.
I believe that the true strength of a design is in the details, and having a simple clasp on a stunning piece created with beautiful art beads is just not good enough. Have fun spicing up your designs with these simple touches.