Creating a Wire S-Clasp


I really admire jewelry artists who create every bit of their designs down to a customized clasp, so I was excited when Sandra Lupo offered to share these steps for creating an S-clasp. Sandra has been making jewelry for 20 years in her New Jersey studio and will be teaching at BeadFest Wire in April 2008. Her BeadFest classes include Wire Aura Beaded Bracelet (pictured at left), Twigged 'N Twined Necklace, and Double Lattice Triangle with Pendant.Learn more.–Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor



Creating an S-Clasp
by Sandra Lupo

Using a butane torch to ball up the wire ends to form a clasp is a nice touch when using thin gauge (20–24) fine silver. But if you want to finish the ends of thick gauge (14-8) sterling silver when forming a clasp, you’ll need heavier equipment. Here’s a torch-free approach, working with a few inches of wire, a hammer, slender half-round pliers, metal file or emery paper, and a buffing or polishing cloth.

1. For a one-inch, 14-gauge wire "S" clasp, a nice touch is to form a small curled circle just before you shape the clasp. Hammer the end of a 2.75" piece of wire 5/8" long with a ball peen hammer into a flattened and thinned paddle. (For 16-gauge wire, use 2.50"; for 18-gauge wire, use 2.25".)

2. Use a metal file to remove sharp edges. Polish the paddle with a buffing cloth before you turn the paddled wire end with the very tip of half-round forming pliers.


Left to right: The flattened paddle, the curved end, and the finished clasp. 

3. Form your "S" clasp with larger barreled (5mm) forming pliers or a 1/4" dowel. Repeat the process for the other end's curled circle. After forming, hammer your "S" curves for a finished look. Polish. 

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Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She has a right-angle weave bracelet to finish this weekend before she can even think of playing with wire!

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I am the editor of Beading Daily.  My designs have appeared in a variety of publications, including Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Beadwork, and other publications.  If you have a great suggestion for Beading Daily, or just want to show off your latest project, send me an email!

3 thoughts on “Creating a Wire S-Clasp

  1. Great post! Definitely going in my file.

    Since I was too late with how I organize for travel, I’ll show how on my blog, w/pics, as I think it’s a cool and versatile way.

    Plus, a custom-made beadboard project I worked on with my dad (it’s a rough draft, and rough because the tool most suited for what he was doing to make the grooves, indentationes, bead wells, etc. had just broken down and wasn’t fixed yet.

    Oh, and it’s 2-sided.

    Ack, I don’t mean this to sound like a spam ad for my blog, it’s not! It’s just, a really different idea I’d never seen out there (and I hope to make a folding version (via hinges) at some point!

    Anyway. Looking forward to the organizing post whenever those who sent you info in time get posted about the cool tips you post about!

    Thanks Sandra for this S-hook, torchless, thicker wire clasp instruction.

  2. I was thrilled when this one landed in my in box.I’d had a similar idea and now I know what it looks like.I’ve actually done an S-clasp with 20 gauge wire and I just curled the wire instead of hammering and curling it to make it close.