Sunday, February 15, 2009

Product Review: Choker Forms from Rings & Things



I've been meaning to get a post up on the choker forms sent by Rings & Things for days! I'd like to say, right off, thank you to Dave at Rings & Things for including me, it's fun to see new products, experiment with them and then share my thoughts.

I received a package of 6 choker forms - two black, one with a sliver tone magnetic fastener, one with gold tone; one red and silver tone twist fastener, one turquoise blue with silver tone twist fastener, a steel 16" choker form with magnetic fastener and a open ended steel choker form.

As you may have noted on an earlier post, I almost immediately thought of a way to embellish one of the choker forms with some glass beads that had just a large enough hole to go over one of the clasp ends and a pendant I made with sardonyx, sterling silver and glass spacer beads. I like the way it turned out and have gotten compliments (which gave me a chance to talk about my jewelry design and hand out cards, always a good thing!)

So, what do I think about the choker forms?

Pluses

Assorted Lengths - I have a long and thin neck so I prefer a length where the pendant hangs just at the collarbone. That means anything larger than 16" is too big and gives me a bit of a 'Saturn' look as the choker 'floats' in an orbit well away from my neck. The exception would be if I wanted something that would fit over a bulky turtleneck.

The choker form lengths available go from 15" to 20" on the magnetic clasp selection page, There is a silver plated 16" cable on the base metal choker selection page, the colored ones are 18". Sterling silver comes in 16" & 18" with a variety of fasteners and open ended choices. The unfinished end forms come in 16, 18 and 20 inches - and can be cut down to size with heavy duty flush cutters.

Assorted Colors - love that there is a good selection of colors. While the simple silver or gold tone works most of the time, it's fun to have more choice. Helps with the inspiration when it comes to designing something different or seasonal. Would love to see copper colored ones!

Clasps - also love that there are the screw-type or magnetic clasps. I think I like the magnetic ones best as my fingers are less flexible than they used to be. I also like that you can get unfinished ended ones and add beads with somewhat smaller holes.

Minuses

I'm mostly a 'stringer' - I like to have a lot of detail in my work, using small gemstone or glass beads and metal spacers and bead caps. I don't do much in the way of making pendants and these forms, due to the pre-attached clasps limit the kinds of beads you can get on them, unless you get the unfinished ended ones. Since I've not had a lot of experience in attaching a closure to a jewelry cable, I'm hesitant (for now) to invest in the open ended type and find that I can't get a good tight clasp attached. But that's a very tiny quibble and completely a factor of what I do, and where I'm at, in my current stage of learning.

I'd like to see more colors with magnetic clasps and in more sizes.



I am working on an idea (first pass, shown above - subject to a lot more tweaking) using the open ended choker form I got, which came with a magnetic clasp included. I was able to assemble with small, faceted, AB crystal saucer spacers and cathedral cut glass beads, so the 1mm dimension of the cable wasn't a problem. I needed to glue the one part of (there are assembly instructions and gluing recommendations on the listing details) the magnetic closure (I used Aleene's Jewelry and Metal Glue, which is not recommended at the link previously, but seems to be holding fine).

I would like to do two others, one with a black with a gold tone magnetic clasp (available with a 'white' clasp) and one in gold tone wire (not listed online), since I have some cloisonne and oxidized brass wire ball beads I really want to use, but the cloisonne is primarily black and gold.

All in all, I can easily recommend these choker forms, they got me thinking about new ideas and were fun to use.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

Hi there! I really love this idea! I think it's perfect!Pretty and uniquely interesting, my favorite qualities in handmade jewelry!

February 17, 2009 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Dawn! Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comment. The funny thing is, I think we must be kin, the comment you left is the comment I wanted to leave on your blog!! Funny!! Have a great day, Lisa C.

February 18, 2009 at 3:12 AM  

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