Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday Tutorial - Earrings, and I Hate to Make Earrings!

This is a quickie post about making something I hate to make----EARRINGS. Making earrings to me is the art equivalent of torture. I am not inspired by, nor do I wear, earrings. I love to look at earrings and am totally jealous of the gorgeous designs I see so many artists creating. I wish I could get that sort of inspiration!

I used to wear earrings. Back in the day I wore HUGE, CHANDELIER shoulder duster earrings that went great with my permed mohawk. GOD BLESS THE 80s! 


I've moved on....

Anyway, occasionally I sit down and force myself to make earrings. Usually with dismal results. The other day I was fooling around with some 20 gauge sterling wire and this happened. AND I LIKED IT. Mostly by accident, I had been making head pins and these red jasper disc-ish beads happened to be laying in front of me. I started messing around and viola! I made earrings I actually like and would possibly even WEAR. 



Now, I DO NOT CLAIM that this is some never before seen design. I'm sure there are tons of these out there. In fact, a friend of mine commented that she had seen this style before. So much for my perceived GENIUS...


But, if you want to make a simple. organic style earring that works really well for flat-stacked and disc designs, this is it.

What you need per pair: A torch (I use a micro torch), four lengths of 6 to 8 inch 20 gauge wire, a chasing hammer, steel bench block, needle nose pliers, flat nose pliers, needle file, a drill or hole punch (Eurotool) with a 1/16th bit, sanding sponge and sandpaper (med/fine), pickle if you want, disc beads and flat-ish accent beads of your choice.

What you do: Ball the ends of all four lengths of wire. Clean how you see fit. Pickle if you want a super shiny wire or hand finish with sandpaper/sanding sponges for a more rustic look. Hammer flat the balled ends of two pieces of balled wire. Punch or dill a hole in the flattened end of each and clean with a needle file. To assemble, thread a small accent bead on to a length of wire with a balled end (here I used a lovely little enamel disc by MaryAnn Carroll). Thread that through the hole in the flattened end of the second wire. Add a disc bead or two (whatever, stay single if you are using a fatter bead, make a stack of flat beads in graduating sizes, etc.).I used a turquoise disc here. The wire with the flat end and hole is the actual ear wire, so orient that up, bend the wire holding the beads flush with the back and do a simple wrap to the ear wire to hold it tight (I like a messy, knot-looking bundle of wire here so I use more). Trim excess wire with snips, tuck the end in with needle nose pliers. Now make the bend in the ear wire any length you like using flat nose pliers. Curve the wire in the back, snip to whatever length you like. File the end nice and smooth. I give the bend a couple whacks with the chasing hammer to stiffen a bit. Repeat for the other earring. THE END.



Since each earring takes two pieces of wire, you can make cool mixed metal earrings too! Copper and silver wire is next on my list...you could even thread a small bead on the ear wire and wrap in in place with the thread wire. Many possibilities here! I could conceivably make a ton of these, but I probably won't because...earrings. So, you GO NUTS! If you do make some, share your pics! 

Oh, and did I mention that I AM GIVING TWO PAIRS OF THESE EARRINGS AWAY??? You're welcome! Simply comment here what your favorite 80s song or group is. If you are too young (Oy) GOOGLE IT. For example--Prince's Purple Rain (the entire album) was my JAM. I played it (cassette, people) until the tape BROKE. LET'S GO CRAZY, LETS GET NUTS!!! 



I will be giving away the turquoise/enamel disc and red jasper pairs you see here--yummy!



Your turn...I will plug your names into a random generator and post the winners here and on our Facebook page Saturday the 27th. Get out your leg warmers and DANCE!

Now GO MAKE SOMETHING AMAZING!

27 comments:

Linde said...

Love those earrings! Favorite 80's group? ABBA!

Ivey said...

I always loved Land of Confusion by Genesis when I was growing up and anything by Depeche Mode. I still love them both!

Shirley Moore said...

Well, I'm with you, earrings are a struggle for me. I really love the clean, cool look of these, so I'm totally tossing my name in the hat!

Claire Lockwood said...

These are fab - I love to win either pair!

Linda Younkman said...

Africa by Toto was one of my favs. Love this earring design and I'm definitely going to give it a try. I always have trouble with those disc type beads and this really seems to fit the style. Thanks for sharing.

Molly S. said...

Lovely tutorial! I'm going to have to play with this technique soon.

My favorite 80s song is hard to choose. For now, I'll go with "Land Down Under" by Men At Work. Such a fun song!

Patricia Quinn said...

I love wearing earrings. In fact I love it so much I have multiple piercings. I think that was born in the 80's. My favorite band from the 80's comes from a completely different genre of music. Queensryche is it. I really like those pretty red jasper stones. Beautiful. My least favorite thing to make is necklaces, but I love making jewelry so occasionally a necklace is made.

Neena Shilvock said...

I hate making earrings too - especially with wire - the b**ta#d things refuse to come out alike even if I use a jig - love your earrings btw - the ones from the 80s especially. I remember the quiff days too, but not with pleasure :)

Terri Del Signore said...

That is a great design!!! That's a tough one but I'm going to have to say guns n roses - sweet child O'mine! I just love the sound of electric guitar!!!
I'm inspired to try these earrings with some african beads I have!!

Maria Rosa Sharrow said...

Both pairs are simple, beautiful and the styles are something you can wear everyday or even for a night out. Your work is truly amazing!
Thanks for offering the giveaway!

Nancy Taylor said...

Eye of the Tiger, Survivor. Enjoy your posts.

lakesuperiorwaves said...

Once Bitten Twice Shy by Great White (89)

Kiersten Kern said...

I loved this post. I also struggle with making earrings. They are the last thing I make but always sell for me. Go figure. I really love this design especially the color combo of the turquoise and enameled ones!
Oh the 80's..... It was really one of my favorite musical decades, there are too many of my favorite songs from that time, but one of my all time favorites is "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler.

Jen_in_PA said...

Your earrings are so fine. They're so fine they blow my mind. But I would most likely be groovin' to Dire Straits.

Simon Potter said...

Sorry I couldn't think of any song from the 80s. How about Celine Dion Power of Love from early 90s. that's sort of close. Thanks for the tutorial. Beautiful earrings. Will copper wire ball with a torch?
Thanks, Jay (Simon Potter)

Karen McGovern said...

Hi Simon! Celine will do just fine. 20-22 gauge copper wire will ball easily in a torch. Copper softens quite a bit after it's heated. You will have to give these wires a few good wacks with your chasing hammer to stiffen them for earrings. But they work great!

Kristine said...

Love these earrings! My favorite song is "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake...or "Under a Pressure" by Queen..,

Bri said...

The earrings are GORGEOUS! ❤ Thanks for the chance to win.

I was born in '80 and grew up singing Cyndi Lauper songs into my hairbrush, but I love so much 80s music that it's impossible to choose an absolute favorite.

Wendi Reamy said...

These are gorgeous! My favorite 80's band was Whitesnake, though for the life of me, I can't understand why when I listen to their music now. Lol!

Bryn Yates said...

My favorite what I consider 80's group though most people remember them best from the 90's is REM. Hands down! Fave songs of theirs from the 80's Radio Free Europe, Gardening at Night, Disturbance at the Heron House, of course Stand and Orange Crush and The End of the World As We Know It (so many, such a great band!)

R Cates said...

I could probably "Walk Like An Egyptian" if I had earrings like these to wear. Very bohemian. I like!

Susan Hohman said...

I love love love those earrings, the contrast and the simplicity - w/o being too simple! I am such an 80's girl. I still am gaga over Foreigner, I love every song, if I had to pick one, I guess Photograph. I could name a 100 80s bands I still listen to!

windbent said...

Duran Duran...really all of them. I was a little obsessed. My mom said I was too young to go see them live so I didn't get to go with my friends and I still haven't fully recovered. These might help me get over the trauma.

Doreen said...

Anything by Hall and Oats...anything. I think the earrings are lovely!

Donna Raterman said...

I love your jewelry!! My favorite group was the Eagles and ALL their songs!

Karen McGovern said...

Hello!! Congratulations, you won one of the sets of earrings!!! I Will close my eyes and pick...it will be a surprise! Please email me with your address so I can get these out to you ASAP. Thanks so much for commenting and following the blog. And thanks for the tune inspiration!!! Just hit the contact button on our main page for our email address. THANKS AGAIN!!

Linde said...

Who won?

face
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