Custom Clasps

Course Description

About this course

Investigate the possibilities of clasp design and fabrication in this 5-day workshop focused on designing your own custom clasps for necklaces and bracelets. Students will address challenges related to designing and mechanisms, while learning about various fabrication techniques including key and box clasps, soldering to stainless steel, puzzle solving, precision fitting and function. Participants can expect to lease with 2 clasp samples, one of which will be transformed into a front clasp necklace.

Meet the Instructor

Alison Antelman

Alison B. Antelman exhibits and sells her work from her studio, galleries, online and at craft shows nationally where she has received numerous awards, including 2015 Niche award winner: Silver category, Best of Show at the Sun Valley Center Arts & Crafts Festival in Ketchum, Idaho and the Scottsdale Arts Festival in Scottsdale, AZ. Most recently, she has won the Charles-Lewton Brain Fold-Forming Competition. Her work is published in Showcase 500 Art Necklaces and 500 Gemstone Jewels by Lark Books, Art Jewelry Today 3 by Schiffer publishing, Lapidary Journal's Jewelry Artist magazine and The San Francisco Chronicle. She teaches workshops through art centers, and Guilds nationally. She is often found creating one-of-a-kind jewelry in her well-lit studio, The Sawtooth building in Berkeley, California.

Materials & Tools 

There is a $35 materials fee that is payable to the instructor on the first day of class. The materials kit includes all materials and handouts needed to complete a key and box clasp, with additional materials available for purchase in class.

Students should bring 

Students are responsible for any other materials they wish to incorporate into their projects or make multiple clasps. 


Required items:

  • 1 by 4” sheet of 22 gauge sterling. Please bring a larger amount if you have it, no need to cut it down.
  • Any basic tools you use (hand tools, files (both mini/needle and large, pliers, etc.)
  • Metal: if you have other sterling metal bring some for variety-no need to buy more than the required amount
  • A variety of sheet metal in gauges 20, 22, 24, (specifically one 1” x 4” sheet in 22 gauge), is plenty, but if you have more bring it.
  • A few stones or other objects to set-irregular shapes are encouraged! If you are bringing stones (which are optional), remember to bring bezel wire too.
  • Round wire or tubing if you plan to connect your clasp to the rest of your piece
  • Bring 16, 18 & 20 gauge round wire only if you have it
  • Templates (bring any that you have, optional) or anything with ideas for shapes.
  • Saw/blades (2/0 or 3/0)

*Bring jewelry that you are working on and think about the items that need a clasp. Also bring chains or samples that need terminals. Think about shapes that you may want to incorporate into a functional clasp (for example; a hydraulic pressed form or a shape that mimics the design in your piece) and bring those shapes.


The following items are available for shared use at Metalwerx, but students are encouraged to bring their own if they have them already or wish to have their own:

  • Charcoal Block
  • Tweezers
  • Sharpie
  • Scribe
  • Calipers
  • Large snips/hand held shears/joyce chen shears
  • Safety glasses
  • Small Ruler
  • Tube cutting jig
  • Hole punch/drill starter
  • Drill Bits (a variety including one to fit 10 or 12 gauge round wire)
  • Shears/joyce chen or larger ok



Materials Cost

Payable to instructor in class.


Alison Antelman


July 17 -21, 2019


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


5 days

Basic and above
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