Daily Archives: February 21, 2010

Magnet school

My first attempt at designing my own magnetic clasps had mixed results. When it came time to epoxy the magnets in place, there were more failures than successes. But I learned a LOT! I followed the instructions from Hattie Sanderson’s  Maglette kit, and I fully expected that the fired metal clay would shrink to the right size to hold the magnet in place and close the clasp. What I did not think about was the fact that the clay might shrink too much and the magnets would show.  I fired the pieces for 2 hours at 1650º to insure the most strength in the clasps. I now know that there is more shrinkage than I am used to when I fire pieces this way. It might be a good idea to design a little collar, for one side of the clasp to overlap the other. That would insure the magnet coverage, even with the clay shrinkage.

Below, an example of putting one of the magnets in upside down. Duh. The clasp could not close because the two magnets repelled each other.

Below, again with too much shrinkage to accommodate the magnets. (These strong magnets are pretty thin by the way.) These clasps made me think about having mussels or clams for dinner sometime soon.

One that worked:

So, back to the drawing board. Necklaces with a magnetic clasp are one of my best sellers. Especially for people with arthritis. Undaunted, I  will work on improving these designs!


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