Studio Saturday with Lorelei Eurto

This week we visit the studio of jewelry designer, Lorelei Eurto.

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.This weeks winner is
Mary Jane Dodd! Congratulations!
You have won one a pair of Bead Buttons, from the studio of Tari Sasser.
Send Tari an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.

Welcome to my very first Studio Saturday! I’m glad you stopped in! Lately, I’ve been wondering why I ever called my personal blog, Inside the Studio, because I rarely talk about what’s going on in the studio, so this is a great opportunity for me to actually discuss where the inspiration is coming from, and what exactly it is that I’m working on.

This past week, I was able to work on several new designs that feature clasps at the forefront. After browsing through some of my sold jewelry, I realized that I really implement this design in my work a lot, but never seem to talk about why it is or how I come to this design when I’m in the midst of beading.

There are many reasons why a designer places the clasp at the front. In this case of this first simple charm necklace, I placed the Vintaj Brass swirly hook clasp at the front because it works well with the large 15mm jump ring that that charms dangle on. It also creates a nice flow up and around the back of the necklace, creating a comfortable piece.

Sometimes it’s because the clasp is interesting or a work of art in and of itself! Here, I used a beautiful Shibuichi bronze Bird toggle from Green Girl Studios. This piece has to be in the front of the necklace, because it’s an eye catcher, and you wouldn’t want to hide in the back of the necklace! Although, with this piece, any part of the necklace could be the front, so in reality if the wearer, had her hair up, an eye-catching clasp could be interesting at the back of the neck.

Placing this handmade toggle at the front of this necklace created a more cohesive piece and helped provide a nice flow around the back. The design with these seed beaded links, doesn’t need to be interrupted with a clasp at the back. Using a toggle makes it easy to hang the main pendant or focal from the toggle ring. Here, I’ve used a jump ring and attached it to the hole in the hammered ring. See the detail.

Here, I created a necklace similar to the first charm necklace where the focal dangles from a large 15mm jump ring. Instead of the swirly hook, I used a handmade S clasp that hooks into an additional smaller jump ring that is attached the larger ring. One thing to keep in mind when creating your own clasps and using the clasps at the front, you don’t want to take attention away from the focal, so keep the clasp smaller, will help blend it into the design. I usually gauge it on how wide the necklace is where the clasp is attached and keep the clasp at that same width.

The question this week is,

What is your favorite way to incorporate a clasp as the focal in your designs?

Leave a comment on this post, and you’ll
be entered to win this cool handmade
ceramic clasp from Gaea!

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29 Comment

  1. Mikki
    January 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I think my favorite way is to actually incorporate two clasps. I'll make a bracelet and an extender or just two bracelets and use the clasps to join them together for a necklace. With the clasps being up front on the necklace it's important that they be interesting.

  2. mairedodd
    January 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    so many design decisions each and every time! you did a beautiful job… i guess, like you, it depends upon what the piece asks of me…

  3. Michelle Mach
    January 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Lately I've been placing my clasps on the side of asymmetrical pieces, rather than in the center.

  4. Marie Cramp
    January 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Like you mentioned in your post, sometimes the clasp is a work of art. I love the way you made it the focal piece in your necklace. I have done this as well on several occasions. I feel it makes the back of the necklace more comfortable, it is easier to do up and it adds visual interest. Another favorite is putting in off to the side. So many ideas, so little time… 😉

  5. Alice
    January 30, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Up until the last few months I put the clasp in the typical position for necklaces and bracelets. But lately I've been doing asymmetrical pieces and the clasp goes where ever it feels good to me. My husband can't wrap his head around this and thinks it's just not righ, but these pieces are the first to sell.

    Your creations are just beautiful Lorelei!!!!!

  6. Regina
    January 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Good Morning, love the ceramic bird necklace with the GGS toggle in front, it is a beautiful toggle and needs to be showcased as you have done. Enjoy the weekend!

  7. Sissy and Jack's
    January 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I use the clasp as a focal often to give the person different ways to wear the piece, be it on the side, front or back. You get a different look and it is a great marketing tool.

    Sissy & Jack's

  8. Gardanne
    January 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Great post Lorelei, my favorite is with the toggle in the front and using the ring part of toggle to hang a pendant. I do struggle with clasps especially on bracelets because I don't like the flow of beads to stop.

  9. Spirited Earth
    January 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    necklaces with claps in the front are my preference.
    they seem to incorporate into the design and don't break up the flow quite as much.

  10. Jean Hutter
    January 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I love how Lorelei uses the clasp as part of her design – I have not tried that technique yet as I always use the clasp as just that, a clasp/closure in the back. Seeing her design is food for thought – since there are such beautiful clasps available – truly works of art that should be showcased I just might give this a whirl. I like this idea – making the clasp a part of the overall design and not just an after thought – for a necklace and a bracelet too.

  11. Boot ~C
    January 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I have experimented w/ the clasp on the side in a few of my latest pieces.I have to admit, I've been inspired by Loreli, I really like the way she mixes chains, links & stringing.

  12. EmandaJ
    January 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm


    Great look into your "studio" and creative process.

    I use small silver toggles in my Anglican Rosary Bracelets; the circle part near the cross and the bar at the half-way point. They hold everything together, but when the bracelet is being used as a rosary, the sort of dissolve.

    Check out my blog for a view of a rosary bracelet to see what I mean.


  13. Pearl and Pebble
    January 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Great post Lorelei! I still use alot of "traditional" clasps, but more and more, I find myself drawn to connectors that make for interesting closures. I'll still use a simple hook, but the connector takes the place of a jump ring or chain.

  14. kiwiken
    January 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I don't usually use clasps as focals in necklacesl, although I like to see it in the designs of others… I still struggle with anything asymmetric. The only exception are lariats – I love the style with a large, decorative toggle ring in front.

    I also like to use decorative clasps in bracelets, because then it doesn't matter much if they turn around – they are interesting from all sides. I don't really create many bracelets, though, I find necklaces much easier.

  15. Stacy
    January 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    There are so many beautiful toggle clasps out there I hate to hide them in the back. If I use one I put the clasp in the front and use it to hang the focal piece.

  16. abeadlady
    January 30, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I love the look of distinctive clasps. My favorite necklace has a matching bracelet that I sometimes use to extend the length of the necklace. Makes it much more useable with different necklines.

  17. jeanniesbeads
    January 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Great ideas Lorelei – I usually use toggle clasps – but now want to incorporate a clasp that will be in the front of a necklace and make it easy to interchange the focal bead. Any hints on how to do this and have the connectors be part of the design would be appreciated.

  18. kinetic angel
    January 30, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I'm really new to jewelry making but I've been putting the clasp on the side or in the front. I think it's very pleasing to the eye, pulling you around the necklace. I'm having lots of fun experimenting. :))

  19. Mari
    January 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I always make my claps of seed beads and incorporate it as part of the jewelry piece as a focal.

  20. Gail W.
    January 30, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Only if the clasp is interesting will I make it the focal point,why hide the clasp otherwise?You make your jewelry so interesting that sometimes it seems as if you have 2 focals.And it's all so beautiful.

  21. Farm Girl Cat
    January 31, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Using a clasp in the front or on the side of a necklace is my favorite. Some clasps, like those from Vintaj are just to pretty to hide in the back


  22. Cindy
    January 31, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Beautiful pieces, Lorelei! Your First Studio Saturday includes a great topic! I like to incorporate the clasp in the front when creating heavy-gauge wire bangles. The wirework clasp is often a decorative focal piece – and why not put it in center stage!

  23. TesoriTrovati
    January 31, 2010 at 2:46 am

    I love using the clasp as the focal! I think it is an unexpected twist for most people who buy jewelry. They think of clasps as merely utilitarian. When I use a clasp that is less of an art piece, like my favorite Vintaj large hook, I always embellish it with beads and wire to make it more special, more hand crafted. I like to use the swirl clasp as a charm, or as an earring swirl in and of itself. What a great post to start off your Studio Saturday, Lorelei! Enjoy the day!

  24. Sue
    January 31, 2010 at 3:48 am

    I like to use the clasp in front when the necklace is different on each side. Primarily with chain.

  25. Ingrid
    January 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Last night I put on a lovely little necklace my husband gave me and thought I'd have to not wear it because I had a heck of a time getting the clasp hooked. So, OK, I'm getting older but this is silly to get so frustrated! Why not put the lovely clasps that are available…or easy to create…in the front where it's easier to do? And pretty, too?? Our population is getting older…let's give them style AND ease of clasping?

  26. Summer
    February 1, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I have a hard time imagining fun ways to incorporate lovely clasps because I love symmetry:) Therefore, I tend to use them as focals, or just as old fashioned clasps with a suggestion to wear your hair up:D

  27. Sabine
    February 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Since I have really short hair I usually put the clasp in back, but make it work if it is turned around. It took a long time to start to work asymmetrically, but the pieces are more dynamic.

  28. Valerie C. At clinejewels.etsy.com
    February 2, 2010 at 1:12 am

    I love the clasp on the side. It gives the necklace a little extra style. I have even use the clasp as the pendant.

  29. Janet
    February 6, 2010 at 5:02 am

    An excellent Post! Lorelei I just love especially the Gaea buttercream heart necklace! You are ever brimming with ideas. That ceramic clasp is wonderful Id like to have that!

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