Category Archives: Handmade Clasps

Handmade Toggle GiveAway Draw

I have a passion for handmade findings, I started making my own many years ago because I felt that the commercial ones available let my designs down.

This is my latest – Hammered sterling silver toggle clasp.

Handmade silver toggle clasp artisan

Handmade Sterling Silver Toggle – £11

It starts off as a sheet of silver, I punch out the circles, sand the edges and give it a hammered texture.  The toggle bar is made by balling the end of a piece of silver wire, forming the toggle and giving the ends a gentle curve.

Here’s the toggle on a bracelet of faceted amazonite.artisan toggle clasp sterling silver handmade

GIVEAWAY – I’m running a give away on my website (ends Friday 3rd April 2015), just click on either of the images for details on how to enter the draw.

This is the first of a series of new toggle clasps, follow my blog or like my FB page to be the first to hear about the next one.

Lots of Jewellery Making Workshops & A New Puppy !

June was wonderfully busy with lots of workshops and a new puppy (more of him later 😉

Glass Fusing & Jewellery Making – 30th May to 2nd June 2014

Glass Fusing Workshop

Chris & Annie

It was Chris & Annie’s 3rd visit to La Vidalerie and we had 2 wonderful days of fusing dichroic glass in the mornings and making it into jewellery in the afternoons – the photo shows some of the lovely things they made using riveting and traditional silversmithing stone setting techniques.  We made bails from silver sheet and glued some of the pendants and earrings.

Fold Forming & Riveting – 3rd to 7th June
We keep our class sizes very small to make sure everyone gets lots of 1 to 1 attention.  Iseult and Paula had visited La Vidalerie before but Anne was a new student fitting in some jewellery making whilst on holiday from Australia.

Fold Forming is a fascinating technique for adding texture and creating 3D forms from delicate to chunky (everyone made lovely delicate fold formed silver earrings and a chunky copper cuff).  And as I’m sure you know – I love riveting – it’s great for joining metals (and things) together without worrying about solder bleeding and can be used purely decoratively.  We of course managed to fit in some general jewellery making and some silversmithing.

Fold Forming Riveting and silversmithing workshop jewellery making

Iseult – Riveted Bangles & glass, sea glass & silver pendant, handmade silver toggle & lovely silver & copper flower pendants

Riveted glass pendants workshop class

Paula – Wonderful Fold Formed cuff with silver rivets, riveted dichroic pendant bangles and silver stacker rings

Riveting jewellery workshop

Anne – Lovely silver fold formed earrings & copper cuff, drawn then etched copper key rings & lovely riveted double wrapped bangle.

Oh – and everyone drew then etched a copper keyring – really great fun project.

Special Workshop – 15th to 19th June
Carol & Pat booked a workshop holiday together with the aim of making a ring, bangle & earrings – as you can see they made much much more.

beginners silversmithing workshop holiday

Carol & Pat

We started with a simple soldering project making soldered rings for dangly earrings and moved onto silver studs, a pair of leaf shaped studs (to go with an existing bracelet), bangles, a ring with a domed and textured disk and more (the lovely stripey light blue lampwork beads are by Trudi at Glitteringprize).

Stone Setting Workshop – 23rd to 27th June
It was Jane & Wendy’s 2nd visit, they met by chance at a La Vidalerie Introduction to Silversmithing workshop last year and got on so well that they decided to book again this year and extend their skills into stone setting.

stone setting, bezel setting, class, workshop, holiday

Jane & Wendy

We had a relaxing 3 days and Jane & Wendy managed to make and set a ring and pendant each, make lots of earrings and even a silver spinner ring each !  Making a spinner ring is a great project but lots of work and you have to be very disciplined in annealing the silver – Spinner rings are basically an anticlastic ring with 1 or more rings that are trapped but spin freely (I think the photos make more sense 😉

You can see individual photos of each piece on our FaceBook page under albums – June Students Work –  or click here –
The most recent workshop photos are at the bottom of the page

PUPPY !
We’ve been planning to get a puppy for ages and finally Tim saw (and fell in love with) a little Lhassa Apso.  He took me to see it and we couldn’t walk away. He’s called Choo Choo (long story) and is just so full of fun, inexhaustible, loves water and makes us laugh just looking at him.

Lhassa Apso Puppy going for a swim

ChooChoo discovering the River Lot

Cooling his feet after a long walk

Cooling his feet after a long walk

And for those of you who have met our cats – They are getting on remarkably well and are on their way to accepting this new, funny looking (and smelling) cat 😉

Day 29 – More Etching !

The time between running workshops is great for catching up.

Handmade etched copper carpe diem faith hakuna matata
etchiing2

Etched Copper bracelet bars

Etched Copper

I had promised to make these for Trudi, a great lampwork artist (you can see her work in her Etsy store Glitteringprize).

I draw the designs free hand then photograph them and transfer the images to the computer so I can print them on to special paper (PNP paper) in reverse (this has to be done on a laser printer or photo copier using toner).  The image is transfered onto the copper using a hot iron.  I use the salt water etching method to etch the design into the copper – I like the rustic effect this etching has.  The bars are then filed, sanded, polished and liver of sulphured (to give them this lovely soft aged look).

These are bracelet bars and can be used with beads, silk (simply thread the silk through the holes and wrap around your wrist), chain etc to make a bracelet.

They are also available with a larger hole and toggle bar as a toggle clasp (this shows one made up)handmade etched copper bracelet

Etched copper toggle clasp

Or with just one hole and a jump ring (have a look at the Carpe Diem one in the front of the first photo)

At the moment the designs are:-
Carpe Diem (2 designs)
Faith (2 designs)
Dream
Breathe
Hakuna Matata
No Matter

They will eventually make their way onto my website but please contact me if you would like one sooner.  Due to the making process each one will be unique.

Prices
Bracelet Bars – £7
Toggle Clasps – £8
Pendants – £7

New Handmade Toggle Clasps & Chickens Nests in the Road

New Toggle Clasps

I really prefer using handmade clasps rather than commercially mass produced ones, I know sometimes you can’t avoid but I like to come up with designs for clasps that go with handmade jewellery.handmade copper toggle clasps

 

 

These are my new clasps, they have all been texture using a rolling mill, two with texure plates (I’m calling them Wild Garden & Blossom) and the leaf with a natural leaf skeleton.After texturing I cut them to shape then punch the toggle hole and then dome them.  The toggle bar is simply made from wire and hammered and sanded smooth.

You’ll find them in the New Items section on my website – http://www.lavidalerie.com/NewItems.html or by clicking on the photo above and I can make them in silver too!

I made some connectors to match – just add ear wires and beads if you want extra dangle

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Chickens Nests in the Road

Each year after the snow leaves us a strange sign appears on our road warning of  “Nids de Poule!” or chickens nests !  The first year we saw the sign we drove ever so carefully to avoid the nests only to find it’s just the French sign for pot holes !  It still makes us laugh each year when the signs are put up 😉