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Reprise – Flower Tendril Earring Tutorial

February 26, 2015 , In: General, Glass, Jewelry, Metalsmithing, Tutorials
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I don’t know about you but I’ve had enough of winter for this year and I’m eager for spring to arrive. There don’t seem to be many early flowers making an appearance yet – I’ve seen one lonely daffodil but not much else so to brighten things up I thought I’d reprise my tutorial for these flower
tendril earrings…a quick an easy way to get yourself ready for a new season.

To
make these you will need two 8″ lengths of 19/20 gauge wire, 2 flower
beads or similar flat disc beads with reasonably small holes and 1 pair
of ear wires. You’ll also need a hand torch, wire cutters,  round and
needle nose pliers, looping pliers or other round tool and a file.

Please excuse the state of my hands in these photos – much neglected at
the best of times and not helped by my thumb having a mishap with a door
hinge at the weekend!

Step 1
Using
the hand torch ball up the ends of the wires so that they won’t pass
through the holes in the beads. You can find a tutorial for doing this here.
This should also soften the wire and make it easier to bend. I’ve left
the fire stain on the wire but you can clean them up at this point if
you want to.

Step 2
Pass
a wire through the a bead from front to back and with your thumb on the
ball at the front bend the wire up and press gently against the back of
the bead.

Step 3
Where
the wire comes out of the back of the bead bend it into a loop using
looping pliers, mandrel  or a round object like a sharpie marker.

The loop should be visible above the top of the bead.

Step 4
Take
the end of the wire and pass it between the bead and the loop over the
wire where it comes through the bead then gently pull it down to form a
vertical tail. Keeping your thumb pressed at the point where the 2 wires
meet while wrapping will help ensure the wire is snug.

Step 5
Trim the excess wire to 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the bead centre, file the end flat and remove any burrs.

Step 6
Using
round nosed pliers make a turned loop at the bottom of the wire and
then continue winding the wire up the pliers towards the jaws until you
get to the bottom of the bead.

Step 7
Remove
the round nose pliers and you will have a graduated coil. Use the
needle nose pliers to bend the coil down so it sits vertically beneath
the bead and loop.

Step 8
Insert
the needle nose pliers into the loop at the bottom of the coil and grip
the wire. Holding the bead and loop between forefinger and thumb to
avoid stressing the bead, pull firmly but gently on the wire. The coil
may open up nearest the bead at first and which point it may help to
hold the wire there while pulling further on the lower end. Close up the
loops at the bottom of the tendrils and file/polish out any tool marks.

Step 9
Repeat steps 1 to 8 to make the second earring and then use your pliers to gently adjust the coils to roughly match if necessary.

Step 10
Add your ear wires and treat with any desired patina and there you have your finished earrings!

All the beads used in the earrings shown here are from Mermaid Glass.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and feel inspired to try it yourself.

Lesley

The Gossiping Goddess

Lesley Watt

Lesley Watt started making jewellery in 2009 with a handful of hobby store beads but quickly discovered art beads and became completely smitten. Taking courses in metal clay, metal smithing, enamelling and etching she began making her own components in 2011 and has never looked back. Always looking to try new things she has branched out into ceramics, bead embroidery, mixed media and textiles.
  1. Reply

    What a lovely design! The spirals add that extra something special and unique. Thanks for the tutorial, it definitely brightened up this snowy day!

  2. Reply

    I thought this tutorial was great the first time…and love it still!

  3. Reply

    These are way cool Lesley.

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