Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tutotial~Ceramic/Copper Earrings...

by MaryAnn Carroll 

I thought that I would share an earring style that I have been working on lately.  Since the conception of Love My Art Jewelry, I started to, again, challenge myself to move beyond my bead making.  I've been making mostly earrings, since it has been a way to re-introduce myself to jewelry making.  I also like that wire makes a great combo with ceramic beads.

Tools needed: 

beads that have holes in them that are approx. 1/16" (These are my handmade porcelain beads.)
 6" 16 gauge wire
16" 20 gauge wire (4" for ear wire, 12" for stringing through bead (more if you want the wrap thicker)
10" 28 gauge wire
hammering block
round nose pliers
flat nose pliers
file (preferrably one that doesn't look like was filing inside of a paint can)

Cut 2 6" pieces of the 20 gauge wire. Use your round nose pliers and grab the wire in the center. Make a small loop around the pliers.

Squeeze the wire together and slide it through the hole of the bead leaving a small loop on the bottom of the bead.

Using the round nose pliers, grab the wire close to the bead and wrap it behind the 2nd wire which is still straight.  Continue to wrap until a small amount is left.

Hold the wrapped loop with your flat nose pliers (not the round nose like I used!) and wrap the 2nd wire in the same direction that the 1st wire was wrapped.

Once wrapped, you will have a small amount of wire left. Take your flat nose pliers and tuck them so that no edges are sticking out to avoid getting stabbed while wearing :O)  This will also keep the bead from spinning around on the wire.

Cut the 16 gauge wire into two equal parts.  You can hammer them at this point if you prefer.  I like the look of hammered wire, so that is what I usually do.

Now grab that wire in the center and simply wrap it around the round nose pliers to make a loop.  Make sure to sand off the rough edges at this point too.

You now have something that looks like this.....

Or this, if you choose to hammer the wire.  I've also taken the torch to this for a few seconds to patina it.

Grab the loop on the opposite end of the wrapped side and twist it so that it is perpendicular to the loop on the opposite end.  This can be done by holding both ends with flat nose pliers or by using your fingers to hold the opposite end.  20 gauge wire is easy to manipulate.

Slide the piece made through the bottom loop.

Cut the 28 gauge wire into two 5" pieces and wrap it around the center as seen above.  You will probably need to make some adjustments to form the wire the way that you want it to look.

Now, it's time to get them on your ears.  You should have 4" of 20 gauge wire left.  Cut that in half.

Put the pliers on the very end of the wire and wrap the wire around the round nose pliers.  You will want to take the wire around like you will be making another loop.

You then have to decide how wide you want your ear wire.  In this case, I've used one of my brushes that I use when making beads because I like the size loop that it makes.

It will look something like this.

I hammered the wire for strength and appearance.  Take the flat nose pliers and create a slide bend in the ear wire.  You will then slide the earring onto the ear wire and close it up to secure it.  Also....remember to sand the ends of the ear wire so that it slides on the ear easily.

And there you have it.....
Inexpensive, very cool (I think) earrings......

Please keep in mind that the prices of handmade jewelry using all handmade components are often higher than jewelry created with commercial components. 
The cost is reflective of the time that the artist takes for the completion of each step in the process.

~creating handmade with handmade~


Unknown said...

What great earrings! And I am most appreciative of the ending comments about pricing of handmade items. I think some people who are not as familiar with the jewelry making or art bead process automatically assume that handmade means it should be less expensive.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thanks! I agree that it is something that is not always thought about. I even forget myself to take into consideration the electricity that goes into firing my kiln. I'm always on my husband about pricing his wood-fired pottery to REALLY reflect the time that he puts into it....It's quite remarkable! Something I would never want to do myself because it is an EXTENSIVE amount of physical labor, but do LOVE drinking from the awesome mugs that he makes :O)

KayzKreationz said...

Those are really cute. I love the wire at the botton of the bead.

Unknown said...

These are awesome. I see a huge potential for themed ribbon wires for awareness causes.
Thanks for sharing, Mary Ann!

Lela said...

I'm late to the party here, but thank you for the great tutorial. It is much appreciated!

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