Making a brooch clasp and hinge

Rather than solder on a standard set of brooch/pin findings I would
like to do something myself. Does anyone know a book that might have
pictures of things that have worked ? I like the idea of no moving
parts. I hate those spring loaded catches - what do you do if you
have no nails? I do but some don’t. I have tried my library system
but the selection is thin.

Thanks - Justine

On antique brooches, I have seen a one piece catch with one end
flattened and curled into the “catch” part and the wire continuing
across the brooch then coil the wire around once and make the rest of
the wire to be the pin stem. once soldered on the brooch you would
have to harden it if it is silver. this is similar to the simple pin
in Tim McCreight’s “Complete Metalsmith”.

Good luck


Take a look at the Ganoksin website

as there are many articles on making of clasps, pins, and other
findings. Also Charles Lewton-Brain has a whole book on the subject
too. Hinges and Hinge-Based Catches for Jewelers and Goldsmiths –
Lewton-Brain is just one. Check out his website too

Karen Bahr
Karen’s Artworx

hey there!

there are actually endless things you can do, you just have to be
creative. you have to make sure you have a catch and a joint. both
should work well and be secure. in addition, it should be simple for
your potential buyer to use.

is making your own pin stem, make sure the wire is hardened and of a
sufficient gauge. (18 or 19 gauge) you can use white gold if you
plan on heating the stem at any point so it will retain its
hardness, but if you are using sterling, you can draw the wire down
inorder to harden it. in this case, you cannot heat the pin stem
again, but you must rivet it or otherwise secure it in place.

perhaps you use s imple curved wire for the catch. perhaps you use a
small piece of 10g round wire and cut a small slot in it to receive
the pin stem. perhaps you construct a catch out of sheet metal in
the form of a curve or even a box. saw or carve out an opening for
the pin stem.

for your joint, you just need to make sure the pin stem is able to
move. does it move by spring action of the pin stem itself? does it
move in a hinge way? do you actually make a small hinge? you can
bend the pin stem at the end to make a foot that rests on the actual
pin back and then rivet this in place in between a sheet meetal “u”
of some sort…

the options really are endless, i think you just have to really look
at how the clasp works in its basic form, and then go from there.
experiment! but, as i said before, it is very important that the
clasp is user friendly.

have fun
joanna gollberg

Don Friedlich’s pin design, which uses a double pin and a tube
hinge, is described both in Alan Revere’s The Art Of Jewelry Making
(not currently available through Ganoksin/Amazon) and in a fairly
recent issue of Art Jewelry magazine (my stuff is still in storage,
so I don’t know the date). This design enables you to use the the
pins as a built-in display stand, too. Extremely cool.

For a more archaic look, you could try a fibula–Tim McCreight has
popularized this style and variations are used by several metal clay
people. See one of Tim’s here:

–or a penannular–description and examples here:

Lisa Orlando