It's not often that I get this excited about a new clasp, but these incredible magnetic glue-in clasps from York Beads have me re-thinking the way I design and create beaded jewelry.
I first noticed these heavy duty magnetic clasps in the work of Aurelio Castano. Aurelio's sleek, modern bead-weaving designs don't require much for the perfect finish. His designs are simply beautiful in their own right, but the clasps that he chose to use enhanced the overall design without distracting from the beautiful beads and bead-weaving stitches he chose for each piece. After people started asking where they could get their hands on a few of these gorgeously simple clasps, Perry Bookstein at York Beads found a source for them and now offers them in-store and online.
Shelley Nybakke took up the challenge next, using the clasps with some of the lovely new etched farfalles from York with absolutely stunning results. By this time, I decided that it was time for me to play with my beads again, and I snagged a few clasps for myself, eager to see what I could do with them.
Now, these clasps are different from most of the jewelry findings that I've used in the past because they require that the beadwork be glued into the finding. Admittedly, I was a little hesitant, only because I've had trust issues with glue in the past. But gluing my beadwork into these beautiful clasps was easy using E6000 glue, and I'm happy to report that they have held up extremely well.
Here are a few tips for using these glue-in magnetic clasps:
While these clasps definitely have a minimalist look, they work best with big, bold beads. Think aged striped seed beads, etchded farfalles, melon beads, or even Czech fire polished beads in bold colors.
- Size 8 seed beads work best for inserting and gluing into the clasp ends. If you must use size 11 seed beads, wrap a scrap of Ultrasuede around the beads, stitch it to the beadwork, and use that little fabric "tab" to glue the beadwork into the clasp.
- Add the glue to the clasp before you add the beads. You can either use a syringe tip on your tube of glue, or squirt a small amount of glue directly into the clasp and use a toothpick to spread it evenly before inserting the beadwork.
- Give that glue PLENTY of time to dry before you try on your bracelet! It's so very tempting to just pick it up and slap it on your wrist, but until the glue dries completely, the pull of these strong magnetic clasps will yank that beadwork right out of the clasp. So put it down, walk away, and distract yourself for at least an hour before you try to wear your new beaded creation!
If you've been hesitant to experiment with glue and beadwork, these magnetic clasps are the perfect way to get started. Set aside your expectations, keep an open mind, and you'll be surprised at just how functional and beautiful your beadwork can be. Ranging in price from $4 - $6 USD, these clasps are an affordable addition to your stash of jewelry-making findings.
Ready to play? Check out these links for more information and beading patterns from Aurelio and Shelley:
|Beads and clasps from York Beads
What do you think of using glue-in findings for your beadwork? Do they open up new design possibilities for you? Or are you hesitant to start mixing beads with glue? Leave a comment here and share your thoughts with us!