Crash Course in Clasps- Part 1: Toggles
Today I’m going to talk about the versatility of different types of clasps. In the first installment we will focus on everyone’s favorite, the toggle clasp. Toggles are sturdy and reliable clasps. They are beautifully simple, easy to use and will ensure a secure closure for most pieces.
What is the best application for a toggle? Toggles are a fantastic choice for necklaces so we will be focusing mainly on this usage. Though you can use a toggle on a bracelet it is a risky proposition. Toggles can jostle free on your wrist causing it to detach and fall off.
We all like something to look good when wearing a piece of jewelry. Looks are an important part of design but functionality is paramount! It is important to pick a toggle that can handle the weight of your necklace. If you are stringing light or delicate items, a small toggle will work beautifully. My favorite “go to” is the simple but classic round toggle clasp with ball ends included below.For chunky pieces with heavy beads or gemstones use a large toggle to help carry the weight of your piece. Look for a toggle in the 18-25mm size range for a nice, solid connection.
Once you figure out the right size range for your toggle it is time to think about design elements. You can select a sleek no-frills toggle and just to keep it simple. Or, you can further augment your design by using a fancy toggle with a texture, an interesting shape or unique design to add a little pizzazz to your piece. For example, using a shape like the leaf toggle included below can elevate the design of your necklace to something more special and dressy. You can also use this special shape to communicate a theme. Perhaps your necklace is inspired by the colors of fall. Using this leaf toggle strengthens the visual connection to that idea.We briefly touched on a toggle’s functionality and how a toggle’s design, shape and texture can add visual value to an overall design. Now let’s look at some creative ways to use toggles. A toggle can be a delightfully unexpected focal piece for a necklace! Simply place a toggle in the front of your necklace instead of a bail. Attach a pendant to rev up the impact of your focal piece. Not only will the pendant tie the piece altogether visually it will also act a counter weight to keep that toggle straight and fastened shut. Our Inspiration project the Owl or Nothing Necklace is a great example of using a toggle as a focal piece.You can use toggles as other findings as well. The round end of a toggle can be a great component to use as a connector or as a central point for a lariat. You can even hang a round toggle ring down a charm and create a darling little earring with it. Toggles are like the little black dress in your wardrobe, versatile, useful and a wonderful staple in any jewelry design.
Happy Tuesday – Rebecca