Our year-long Earrings Challenge has got me sketching out lots of ideas for new designs! I’ve also been spending perhaps a little too much time browsing Etsy for art beads and components, but it’s been fun discovering new (well, new to me!) bead makers. And yes, a few beads obviously did find their way into my shopping basket. Well, I am a bead addict, after all!
Some of those beads arrived yesterday afternoon, so I thought I’d share with you a new tutorial for a pair of earrings that I’ve made with them, the pair that you can see above. Another reason for sharing this with you is that I wanted to try out my new photographing set up, which you can read more about on my own blog.
You will need:
approx 40cm 0.8mm wire – I used sterling silver but you can use copper if you wish.
beads to hang below the wire shape
round nosed pliers, flat nosed pliers, wire cutters
permanent marker pen and ruler
hammer and bench block
8mm and 10mm mandrels
needle file (or a nail file will do!)
1. Cut two 12cm lengths of 0.8mm wire and mark 4cm from one end of each piece.
2.Holding the pen mark on one of the pieces of wire against the 10mm mandrel, bend the wire to form a teardrop shape. You want the pen mark to be at the middle of the bottom of the teardrop, and the teardrop to measure roughly 2cm in length. Repeat with the second length of wire.
3. Hammer the bottom and sides of each teardrop.
4. Use flat nosed pliers to turn the long wire tail so that it is vertical from the top of the teardrop, and the short tail so that it goes across the long one at a right angle.
5. Twist the short tail around the long tail to close the teardrop as you would a wrapped loop. Try to turn the wraps on the second teardrop in the opposite direction to the first for a more professional finish.
6. Turn a U shape in the wire above the teardrop using the 8mm mandrel to form the ear wire.
7. Flick out the last 5mm or so of the wire to give the ear wire a more professional finish, and file the end of the wire to make it comfortable to pass through your ear.
8. Hammer the front of the bend in the ear wire to strengthen it.
9. Cut two pieces of 0.8mm wire long enough to thread your beads on and form a wrapped loop above them. My pieces were 8cm long. Hammer one end of each to create a hammered headpin. Thread your beads on the headpins and link them onto the teardrops with wrapped loops.
I decided to oxidise my earrings as for me they were too bright with those lovely bright lampwork beads! The gorgeous purple disc beads that I’ve used are by AlishaWhite on Etsy, and the smallest beads are Czech glass. The lovely little green lampwork spacers were made for me by a friend who moved from lampwork to metalwork a few years ago!
If you make a pair of earrings using my tutorial I’d love to see them!