Wire-Decorated Earrings

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Making this pair of earrings provides excellent soldering practice because it uses hard, medium and easy solders. For these earrings, 24-gauge (0.5-mm)gold wire was used as decoration, but you could use silver wire instead.
Adapted from "The Complete Jewelry Making Course: Principles, Practice and Techniques: A Beginner's Course for Aspiring Jewelry Makers," by Jinks McGrath, published by Barron's Educational Series.
- 8-gauge (3 mm x 1.5 mm)
- D-section wire
- 24-gauge (0.5-mm) silver or gold round wire
- Flux
- Solder: hard, medium, and easy
- Butterfly and pin earring fittings
- Saw
- Torch
- Side or top cutters
- Files
- Soldering block or firebrick
- Small paintbrush
- Wet and dry papers
- Tweezers
- Fine steel-wool pad and liquid soap (optional)

Source: ,Amazon.com: The Complete Jewelry Making Course: Principles...

Step 1

Anneal the 24-gauge (0.5-mm) wire. (It may not need annealing. Try bending it gently to check.) Hold one end of the wire against the D-section with your fingers. With the other hand, wrap the thinner wire as tightly as possible around the D-section wire. Wrap it around at least eight times and slide it off.

Step 2

Cut two 1-in (25-mm) pieces from the D-section wire. Use the saw to cut the ends at an angle. Cut two 5⁄8-in (15-mm) pieces, with a similar angle at top and bottom.

Step 3

Use a pair of side or top cutters to snip open each piece of thin wire, along the flat side of the profile.

Step 4

Push two pieces of the thin wire onto the longer pieces of the D-section. Push one piece onto each of the shorter pieces. The wires should line up when you solder the D-sections together. Flux around the wire, place paillons of hard solder at each edge, and solder. Try not to solder the wire to the flat bottom.

Step 5

Next, prepare to solder the two pieces of D-section wire together. First, file away the excess wire from the sides that will fit together.

Step 6

Use the side or top cutters to clip away the wire from the flat side of the D-section.

Step 7

File it so that none remains.

Step 8

Place the two different lengths of D-sections together on the soldering block so the decorative wires line up, and run a little flux down the middle. Place tiny paillons of medium solder at each end and one or two in the middle. Solder together. Clean away excess solder with a fine file and use some 400-grit wet and dry paper to clean the back.

Step 9

Place the earring upside down on the soldering block or firebrick. Put a little flux where the pin is to go, and place a paillon of easy solder onto it. Hold the pin in a pair of tweezers with one hand. Heat up the earring using the torch in your other hand, and when the solder starts to run, lower the pin into the puddle of solder. Hold it for a second or two and then remove the flame. Hold the pin for a few seconds more; then lift the whole earring up and place it into the pickle.

Step 10

Repeat steps 3 through 9 for the second earring and then, to achieve a matte finish, use wet and dry papers, and possibly some fine steel wool with liquid soap. Fit the butterfly fittings onto the earring posts.

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  • by karenclarke1956
    User profile

    I wish you had this on video as for someone that's never made jewelry before, watching a video is much easier in understanding what the various materials and techniques are, or at least how to do it. It's harder to understand just seeing the words.

    • by craftfoxes
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      craftfoxes Rate this comment 0 0 | Report

      Hi Karen, that's a great suggestion. We'll see if we can track something down. Would you want to see this specific project or general techniques?

  • User profile

    This is refreshing. We need more advanced projects and this is great. THANK YOU!

    • by craftfoxes
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      craftfoxes Rate this comment 0 0 | Report

      Hi Cathie, Glad you like it. Feel free to email any suggestions for more types of projects you'd like to see at info@craftfoxes.com.