Week Nine…Findings and Metalsmithing Basics

Last week I had some extra time after I learned the Modified Soumak Weave, so I wanted to make a clasp that I had seen in a new book I bought.  It was the Decorative S-Clasp from the book Fine Art Wire Weaving by Sarah Thompson.  I did attempt it, but didn’t get very far.  I realized that the hammering and filing was too much of a challenge for my current skill.  I also looked up some videos on hammering metal and realized that my hammer was working against me.  It was a chasing hammer, but it was flat and it left marks on my wire no matter how careful I was.  I purchased a low-dome chasing hammer and I was amazed at the difference.  So the first thing I learned is that the right tools will make the job more fun and less frustrating.

This week I wanted to work on improving my skills in hammering and filing.  I also wanted to make some findings that I can use in finishing out the jewelry I have been making so far in this challenge.  I am pleased with what I completed this week.

I started with making some basic Paddle Headpins.  The tutorial I used was Fine Art Wire Weaving by Sarah Thompson, but it can be found in many places on the internet or in the basics section of most jewelry making books.

I was a little nervous when I began hammering the wire because I was unsure what to expect from my hammer, but I was pleasantly surprised with the over all results.  The first one was a little rough, but I learned quickly and made two nice sets of paddle head pins to make earrings in the future.

Here are the pictures…

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First Paddle Headpin…a little rough, but a good starting point
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Completed Paddle Head Pins
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Another shot of the Completed Paddle Head Pins

In order to practice hammering and filing some more, I made three Hammered S-Hook Clasps and three Oversized Wrapped Simple Hook Clasps.  Both of those tutorials are from the book Handcrafted Wire Findings by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson.

The Hammered S-Hook Clasp is something I have wanted to make for a while, but didn’t think I would be able to.  I really like the flattened loop look that is achieved from making a paddle (like in the head pins pictured above) and then rolling the paddle with round nose pliers.  I think it looks simple and elegant and can really add class to a project without too much embellishment.

Here are pictures of all three clasps…

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Completed Hammered S-Hook Clasps
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Completed Hammered S-Hook Clasps

You can tell that I improved as I went along.  The one in the middle is my first attempt and the one on the right is my final attempt.  My final attempt actually looks like the picture in the book and that made me very happy since that is what I was aiming for.  I think my first two would make nice links for a bracelet, so I may use that as an idea in the future.  The trick I figured out by the final attempt is in making sure that 1/4 inch is fully flattened.  I was reading it as don’t go above 1/4 inch, but that was making the clasps more squatty.

Here are some different angles of the Hammered S-Hook Clasps…

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Hammered S-Hook Clasp
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Hammered S-Hook Clasp
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Hammered S-Hook Clasps linked together…it would make a pretty bracelet
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Final attempt at the Hammered S-Hook Clasp

The Oversized Wrapped Simple Hook Clasp was the other project I made three of.  I noticed a definite improvement with each one of these I made.

Here are pictures showing the progression…

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Completed Oversized Wrapped Simple Hook Clasps
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Completed Oversized Wrapped Simple Hook Clasps

In my first attempt I tried using bail making pliers to make the circle in the clasp, but it didn’t work so well.  I used a sharpie marker in the second and third attempts and was more pleased with the results.  I guess it is really a matter of personal preference on what you want your hook to look like.

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Final attempt at the Oversized Wrapped Simple Hook Clasp

 

I needed a little break from working on hammering and filing, so I threw in the Bell Woven Toggle Clasp Tutorial by Nicole Hanna.  I was unsure about making this clasp because it needs two closed jump rings, and I don’t have any and can’t make any at this time.  I am trying to figure out what I need in order to do the soldering so I can make closed jump rings, but that will be a challenge for another week.

It was a slower and a little challenging to make this toggle clasp with open jump rings because I had to make sure I was getting my weave tight, but not pulling the ring apart.  I think the end result turned out great inspite of the challenges.

Here is the finished clasp…

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Completed Bell Woven Toggle Clasp
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Bell Woven Toggle Clasp put together like it would be when on a bracelet or necklace

My final project for this week is the one that defeated me last week…the Decorative S-Clasp.

Here is how far I got last week…

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Sad beginnings…notice all of the marks on it and my sad attempt at filing.  I didn’t realize I had no clue how to use a file until this project.

Here is the finished piece from this week after improving my filing and hammering skills…

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Completed Decorative S-Clasp
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Completed Decorative S-Clasp

I am so excited to have conquered this!  It turned out really nice and it makes me want to press on.  I know I need to be patient with myself and learn, but most of the time I want to already know how to make something and just do it.  I am not much of a “enjoy the journey” person, but that is something I am trying to change because I am realizing that life is lived in the journey, not in the arriving.  I want to live my journey well and will with the Lord’s help all along the journey.

As a side note I oxidized all of my projects from the past few weeks.  Here are some pictures…

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Oxidized Left Elf Ear Cuff from Week Seven
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Oxidized Right Elf Ear Cuff from Week Seven
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Oxidized Modified Soumak Weave Bangle from Week Eight
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More detailed photo of oxidized Modified Soumak Weave from Week Eight
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3 thoughts on “Week Nine…Findings and Metalsmithing Basics

  1. I really enjoyed your blog. I would like to know what gauge wire you used for the S hooks and wrapped loop clasps. Thanks and I look forward to your furure posts.

    Like

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