This silver jewelry is handmade by Naomi Pritchard of Clasp Me Tightly.
Naomi creates jewelry which is handmade from fine silver and sterling silver. She describes her work as “tug resistant, heirloom quality, babywearing and feeding necklaces, legacy metal.” She has commissioned custom pieces for both moms and dads, so she calls her work “legacy metal” rather than “mama metal.”
Please see this page for more information about “Mama Metal.”
“Legacy metal is a mix and match style of jewellery. It is also lovingly referred to as “Mama metal”, though I offer unisex designs to be worn by all caregivers, male or female! The chains have a clasp on both ends which can be clipped onto a “Centrepiece” to allow style versatility. They can also be threaded through a pendant or centrepiece, or clipped behind the neck like a regular chain. Clasp Me Tightly Keyring chains can also be doubled up to allow a centrepiece to be worn behind the neck, which is fabulous for those who wear their child on their back. Centrepieces and chains are designed to be strong and durable, safe for young children and babies to play with.
“Legacy metal is a great alternative for parents who like to accessorize but worry about broken necklaces or snapped chains. It is strong and sturdy, resilient to breaking from tugs and pulls, and still looks stylish. Once our little ones have grown, we will have beautiful jewellery to remind us of those precious times. This jewellery can be a legacy to pass down as family heirlooms. It’s the perfect stylish option for caretakers of young children carrying the child in a carrier, or keeping little hands busy while feeding. In these activities, there should not be a worry about jewellery being broken by exploring little hands.”
We asked Naomi if she considers all the items she sells to function as “legacy metal” (meaning sturdy designs intended for use by caregivers of young children) or if some are not suitable for wearing around young children. Naomi answered, at this stage in time, yes. In the future she has plans to include items such as earrings and jewellery accessories, but for now they are all suitable for caregivers.
To view items made by Clasp Me Tightly, visit the artisan’s website!
Facebook business page
Facebook chatter group / fan page
In this post, we feature Whirlwind Centerpiece, Rectangles Centerpiece, Bead Tassel Pendant, Infinity Clasp, and the Sleek Keyring Chain.
Each metalworking artisan has a different flair, even though the basic shapes may be similar. They are finished and polished in different manners, creating an entirely different final appearance.
These shapes by Clasp Me Tightly are highly textured with hammering techniques. They are hammered on all sides, which some artisans only texture one side of the shapes. The pieces are imperfectly shaped, with intention. They have unique, individual contours, not always symmetrical or perfect.
The shapes have a bit of a matte appearance, almost as if they have acquired gentle patina. The sections that are highly hammered reflect light with a lovely sparkle – as the different facets glisten at different angles.
The artisan has several items of information on her site, including how to care for the jewelry.
CONFIGURATIONS AND CHAIN LENGTH
The photos show a variety of ways to configure the centerpieces. We created these configurations by attaching the clasps to different sections of the centerpiece. We also configured some with the chain going through the centerpiece like a normal necklace (the clasps connected to each other in the back). We also experimented with using two chains and two centerpieces worn simultaneously. (Shown above this paragraph).
The whirwind is one continous piece of 12 gauge metal fine silver wire, twisted and looped, with three sterling silver beads moving freely along the final shape.
It is most common for the jewelry we have featured, to be made from 14 gauge fine silver wire, which is thinner than 12 gauge. The 12 gauge wire is heavier, thicker, and gives the piece a more substantial feeling.
The whirlwind is hammered / textured along all sides, in every direction. The beads are smooth, not textured.
Our photos show the whirlwind being worn both vertically and horizontally. We found that when hung horizontally, as the wearer moves, it gradually made its way into a vertical position. Placing the beads a bit “balanced” along the length, helped a little, but it still worked its way into a vertical position over time.
For someone desiring the piece to remain horizontal, a similar centerpiece called “Spiral of Love” is available from Clasp Me Tightly. That piece is very similar to Whirlwind, but has a solid loop at either end, to suspend the shape horizontally when desired.
The Whirlwind is large, compared to other Centerpieces or Pendants we have featured. It looks and feels quite substantial. It is more of a “statement” piece.
SPECIFICATIONS OF WHIRLWIND PENDANT
3 Sterling Silver Rondel beads
7.4mm outside diameter
The rectangles centerpiece is composed of four rectangle shapes, of ascending sizes (moving from smaller to large sizes). The smallest rectangle shape is made from two pieces of wire twisted together like a candy cane. The four rectangles are connected by circle shapes. The circles are roughly all the same size.
All shapes in this centerpiece are made from 12 gauge fine silver wire, It is noticeably heavy, with a substantial look and feel.
All the rectangles and circles are slightly flattened, rather than the original wire remaining rounded. Each shape is highly textured on all sides – including the top and bottom faces, and the inside and outside of the shape. The hammered facets reflect light and glisten. Despite the shimmer from the hammered texture, the pieces have a bit of a matte finish. This contrasts with the high-gloss finish of the chain and clasps on the chain.
They make a gentle clinking sound when the wearer moves, and the shapes move against each other.
The multiple pieces of the rectangles centerpiece give it nearly endless configuration possibilities. We suspended it many different ways, and could have shown it even more ways, by connecting the clasps to different shapes, or threading the chain through different shapes. It was an incredibly versatile piece. With its heavier weight (due to the thicker wire gauge), larger link shapes, and multiple sections, it certain felt like an expensive piece of “real” jewelry, almost in a chunky fashion-jewelry style.
The Rectangles Centerpiece is a custom design, rather than a piece regularly available for purchase on the artisan’s website. To purchase this piece, a custom design request would be submitted by contacting the artisan. The other items discussed here, are available for sale on the artisan’s site, as of the publication of this post.
SPECIFICATIONS OF RECTANGLE CENTERPIECE
Fine silver 12 gauge rectangles and circles
Total Length 4″
Smallest Rectangle 5/8″ x 3/8″
Second Smallest Rectangle 6/8″ x 4/8″
Second Largest Rectangle 7/8″ x 4/8″
Largest Rectangle 1″ x 6/8″
Circles 3/8″ diameter
BEAD TASSEL PENDANT
The tassel pendant is composed of four elements – a 14 gauge fine silver circle, a sterling silver rondel bead (the same beads used on the whirlwind), multiple pieces of chain, all held together in the center by argentium silver wire.
The circle at the top is hammered on all sides, with a flattened shape, similar to the rectangle pieces. The sterling bead has a slight matte appearance as well. The chain pieces are shiny with a polished appearance. They are cut with very slight variation in length, for visual interest and movement.
It sparkles and reflects light, and is especially pretty when photographed.
The tassel is simple and elegant. It makes a pretty stand-alone pendant. It can also be combined with other shapes and centerpieces, to add interest. We used the Clasp Me Tightly infinity connector, to attach it to the rectangles piece, in some of our photos.
Unlike link-style shapes which make a light sound, the tassel is silent when the chain moves.
The tassel has been one of my toddler’s favorite pieces to finger when I’m holding or nursing him. On my link-style shapes (circles, rectangles, etc.), he tends to grab and pull. With the tassel, he lightly plays with the chain dangling down.
SPECIFICATIONS OF BEAD TASSEL
Circle shape Fine silver 14 gauge
Sterling silver rondel bead measures 7.4mm exterior diameter and 4mm tall
Argentium silver wire connecting circle and chain pieces .7mm thick
Sterling silver chain segments, 18 pieces of chain
Entire tassel a little over 2 inches in length from top of circle to bottom of chain
INFINITY CLASP / CONNECTOR
The infinity clasp / connector is a figure eight shape that is not closed. The center of the figure eight is open on both sides, a bit like a paperclip or keyring.
It can be used in many ways. Its primary use would be to connect multiple centerpieces together. We show it being used to connect the tassel to the rectangles centerpiece. We also used it in another photo with just the tassel, to double up one of the chains. We wanted the length of the necklace to fall in a certain spot on the model. One chain alone was too short. Two chains together was too long. One chain at full length, and the second doubled up in the infinity clasp, was the perfect length.
The infinity connector is made from 12 gauge fine silver. It is hammered on all sides, and the tips are stamped with a star shape. It has a matte appearance with a bit of sheen, as the fine silver centerpieces.
The 12 gauge wire is thick, and made it a little challenging to use the clasp. To use it, we lifted up the open end slightly, while also tugging the item we wanted to connect, through the gap. Once in place, the connected items could not possibly fall off, and would be quite secure. It took a bit of strength, tugging, and patience, to attach pieces into the connector.
Clasp Me Tightly has recently released a thinner infinity clasp that is 1.6mm (roughly 16 gauge). The artisan considers it easier to use while remaining strong.
SPECIFICATIONS OF INFINITY CLASP
12 gauge Fine silver
2.7mm opening on one side (to allow another piece to attach to the clasp)
1.4mm opening on one side (to allow another piece to attach to the clasp)
SLEEK KEYRING CHAIN
The chain is titled “Sleek Keyring Chain” by the artisan. It is sterling silver. The type of chain may also be called curved link chain. The individual links are similar to cable chain, but with a little twist that gives them a unique curved shape.
The links are closed, without a gap or opening in the individual links. This gives the chain strength and durability. The facets of the twisted curves reflect light. This is especially noticeable with the shimmers of the layered chain within the tassel pendant.
The chain is overall slender and a bit delicate looking. When left in a lump on a counter, it tangled easier than thicker chains I have.
The chain is attached to the lobster clasps using sterling silver split rings. Split rings are the same type of shape and function as a key ring used to hold car or house keys. The lobster clasps are large enough to accommodate the thick 12 gauge wire of the centerpieces.
Both ends of the chain are finished with a lobster clasp. This “dual clasp” construction allows the chain to be worn either as a traditional necklace (strung through the pendant) or with the clasps attached to the pendant. The chain is versatile as it can be removed from any pendant, and used with a different one. Each of the dual clasps may be clipped to different parts of the centerpiece, creating a variety of configurations. It can also be worn as a traditional necklace, with the chain strung through the pendant, and the clasps connected to each other behind the neck.
In a few of our configurations, we used two chains at the same time.
SPECIFICATIONS OF CHAIN
Split ring attachment of clasp to chain (looks like a mini keyring)
Chain Links – sterling silver
Curved link style chain
0.5mm wire thickness (between 23 and 24 gauge)
1.8mm individual link width
4mm individual link length
Dual Lobster Clasps – sterling silver
Split Ring – sterling silver
Attaches lobster clasp to chain (looks like a mini keyring)
The items arrived packaged in silver tissue paper inside a shimmery, rainbow-colored, sheer fabric, drawstring bag. The chains were tied with string to keep them from tangling during shipment. The whirlwind was inside a plastic tube with soft cotton, to protect its unique shape during shipping. There was also a heart-shaped piece of chocolate (which my 4 year old stole from me!).
I am in the United States, and it took about three weeks for the items to ship to me from Naomi in Australia. This is typical for items I’ve received before from Australia.