Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tips and Techniques: necklace finishing.

This is something I've been thinking about posting for awhile, and after fixing some older pieces this weekend I figured this would be a good time. While I do use various clasp types this post applies to lobster class. What I like about this method of finishing is that it gives a bit of flexibility to a design, allowing the length to vary some. Very handy to adjust for different outfits.

The chain you use is important. It needs to be lighter weight to stay in back. It also needs to be strong. Soldered links work wonders for this task. When I used to buy necklace extenders locally they didn't have soldered links and some have come apart. Now I have three spools of chain I use for finishing. They are curb chain with soldered links, and the gauge isn't to heavy. The links also have a large enough opening to allow the clasp to clip a link. This is the antiqued copper plated one I use. I have all three spools in with my tool kit so they are ready to go when finishing a necklace.

I also like to add a bead to the end of the chain. That way if the clasp misses a link and goes around the chain it still holds onto the necklace. I put the bead on a headpin, then I attach it to the end of the chain with a wrapped loop. The bead does have to be larger than the inside of the clasp, and I like to choose one that matches the design.

Example of how this looks on a design: The chain is attached to the necklace on one end via a split ring, and has a the bead on the other end. The split ring is large enough so the clasp can be attached there if wanted. I also prefer split rings over jump rings because I've have stringing material slip out of jump rings before.

Closeup of the clasp and extender:

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