Saturday, January 29, 2011

Make Wishbone Earrings from Wire

Before: Scrap Metal
Another glum, dark snowy day in Washington, DC. Yes, I know it is winter. It is supposed to be cold... but DC is south of the Mason Dixon line so we are NOT supposed to have THIS much snow.

And, to make matter worse, the snow is not fun snow. It is not cross country down the avenue on a weekend snow. It is not good sledding snow. It is not snow ball snow. The snow is a wet, icy, yucky mess. Even the kids are sick of starting the day shoveling snow. OK, enough complaining.

Luckily the power is back on and it is nice and warm in our studio... where we spent the morning making a pair of simple elegant earrings from scrap wire.

19-gauge round gold filled wire
(or sterling silver, brass or copper)

Nylon jaw pliers
Mandrel or  Wrap n' Tap pliers 
After: Earrings by
Wire cutters
Needle file, wire rounder or flex shaft and 18-gauge cup burr
Tumbler or rawhide mallet and steel bench block or anvil

Step 1
Use nylon jaw pliers to smooth out the wire and remove kinks.

Step 2
Cut about 4 inches of wire of 19-gauge round gold filled or other wire.

Step 3
File the ends smooth.

Step 4
Place the wire on a steel bench block or anvil and hammer about 1-1/2 to 2 inches of the wire until flat.

Bend wire
Step 5
Bend the wire until the hammered front is about 2-1/8 inches (5.4 cm) long and the back is about 1-1/4 inches (3.2 cm). The front should have only the lower portion hammered.

Take care that the wire that fits through the ear (including the arc) is not hammered. Adjust the wire as needed to shape.

Adjust wire
Step 6
Tumble the earrings to harden the wire and add shine.

Related Tutorials
How to Straighten Wire
How to Use a File for Jewelry Making
How to Smooth Sharp Edges on Copper Brass and Sterling Wire
How to Make a Paddle Head Pin
How to Make an Eye Pin
How to Make A Simple Head Pin
How to Decide Wire Gauge for Wire Wrapped Jewelry
How to Use a Flex Shaft to Make Jewelry
How to Make a Ball Head Pin
How to Twist Wire
How to Clean Gold Filled Jewelry

Further Reading 
"Make Your Own Great Earrings: Beads, Wire, Polymer Clay, Fabric, Found Objects"; Jane LaFerla; 1999.
"101 Wire Earrings: Step-by-Step Projects and Techniques"; Denise Peck; 2009.
"The Earring Style Book: Making Designer Earrings, Capturing Celebrity Style, and Getting the Look for Less"; Stephanie A. Wells; 2010.

Day 70.  Month 3. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent to date: 0
Found materials: scrap wire
New Jewelry a Day.

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