Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
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Welcome to my studio. These last weeks, I have been busy making toggle clasps on a copper base. Lots of sanding and polishing to do once the image is finished. But I love making these each step of the way.
Metal soldered stamped toggle clasps by Mary Harding some now in my Etsy Shop
I was thinking back the other day to when I first began making toggle clasps and realized it has been quite a few years now. My first toggle clasps were made from ceramic clay. I continue to make some that way to this day.
I love how they look and especially enjoy painting on the glazes. Looking at the date this photo below was taken, it is safe to say that I have been making toggle clasps for over 6 years.
The photo of this ceramic toggle clasp by Mary Harding was taken on July 23, 2008.
This picture of a 3 hole toggle clasp/donut pendant by Mary Harding was taken in September 2014.
My metal clasps have evolved a bit since I started making them a couple of years ago.
Copper clay toggle clasp by Mary Harding
Flame Patina toggle clasp by Mary Harding
Double layer toggle clasp with flame patina by Mary Harding
Soldered Butterfly Toggle Clasp by Mary Harding
Now my metal toggle clasps have many more steps before they are completed. Since I love using the torch so much, I take time to think up some new ways of making them. This fall I came up with this combination of metals and textures
Textured Toggle Clasp by Mary Harding
This week I had a new idea for a toggle clasp. It started out this way:
Wrapped wire and solder toggle clasp work in progress by Mary Harding
Then I thought it needed to have a smaller middle opening so I wrapped wire around a base and came up with this design which I think has promise
wrapped wire over a base toggle clasp work in progress by Mary Harding
I think that it is important for studio/beading sessions to have some play and experimentation time. For me it usually comes close to the end when I am tired of standing and need a bit of a break. Whether or not this design will go any further is not as important as it is to let go of inhibitions and take chances. Which brings me to my question. How do you play/experiment in your beading/studio sessions?
Leave a comment below and you will automatically be entered to have a chance to win one of my new silver metal toggle clasps. One winner will be randomly chosen next week. I look forward to reading what you have to say.