Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Make Hammered Copper Earrings from Washers

Before: Copper washers
In looking back through the projects we've made, my daughter and I realized that although we have shared many projects using copper washers, we did not share how to use copper washers to make fashion earrings. That omission did not seem very fair to ears... so today we decided to share an earring project. The question was... which one. There are so many different ways to use copper washers to make earrings. Oh... the choices.

These earrings are very simple to make using basic metalsmith techniques... but they are crowd-pleasers.

4 copper washers
20-gauge half-hard round sterling silver wire

After: Earrings by
Round nose pliers 
Wire cutter
Wire round and cup bur (or flex shaft and cup bur)
Bordering or goldsmith hammer
Steel bench block
Soldering torch & equipment
Annealing pan
Sparex acid pickle
Pickle pot
Wet/dry sandpaper

Step 1
Make the ear wires. Create a loop at the end of 20 gauge sterling silver ear wires. Wrap the wire around a mandrel the size and shape of the ear wires after completing the first loop. Continue to wrap the wire until it wraps all the way around the mandrel. Cut the wire just before the wire intersects the created loop. Use pliers to bend the end of the cut wire so it is parallel to the loop. Use a wire rounder, needle files or a cup bur and a flex shaft to file the ends of the ear wire smooth. Repeat to make second ear wire.

Step 2
Hammer washer to add texture
Put the copper washer on the steel bench block and use your hammer to create texture in the washer. We used the hammer to create parallel lines just as we did in yesterday's hammered pendant, but you can use the hammer to create many different textures. Repeat with the remaining washers.

Step 3
Arrange the washers. Sweat solder the washers. We used a butane torch to sweat solder this project, but any torch will work (from a propane plumber's torch to a sophisticated goldsmith torch with an acetylene and oxygen mix).

Step 4
Attach the soldered washers to the ear wires to create the earrings.

Step 5
Tumble the earrings to harden, burnish and add shine.

Related Tutorials
Make a Hammered Pendant from Washers 
Make a Heart Pendant from a Copper Washer
Cold Enamel a Washer to Make a Pendant
Make a Stamped Pendant from a Washer
Make a Three Strand Bracelet from Copper Washers
Make a Bib Necklace from Washers
How to Make "Fish Hook" Ear Wires 
Thoughts on Soldering Torches & Other Equipment
Soldering for Jewelry Makers
Solve Your Soldering Problems

Further Reading
"Hot Connections Jewelry: The Complete Sourcebook of Soldering Techniques"; Jennifer Chin, 2011.
"Soldering Made Simple: Easy Techniques for the Kitchen-Table Jeweler";  Joe Silvera; 2010.

"Step-by-Step Jewelry Workshop: Simple Techniques for Soldering, Wirework, and Metal Jewelry"; Nicola Hurst; 2008.

Day 95  Month 4. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent to date: 0
Found materials: copper washer, scrap sterling wire
New Jewelry a Day.

No comments:

Post a Comment