Thursday, January 10, 2013

FREE Tutorial: Simple Ear Wires

In this free tutorial, I'm going to demonstrate the simple, elegant ear wire. Start with two 2-inch lengths of round wire, in either 20ga or 22ga (depending on which gauge is most comfortable in your ear) of copper, silver, or gold-filled. Make sure that both ends are flush-cut and that your wire is clean:
Take hold of one of the wires in the middle of the round-nose pliers, with the wire end tucked deeply into the tool:
Bend the wire all the way around until it touches itself:
Place the wire with the loop facing you in either round-nose pliers or large bail-making pliers (shown below), making sure to bring the wire all the way down into the tool as far as it will go until the loop stops it:
Bend the wire all the way around the smallest jaw (6.8mm) of the bail-making pliers, or in the large end of your largest round-nose pliers:
Use chain-nose pliers to bend up a slight tail on the straight end of the wire:
To work-harden the ear wire, hammer it firmly with a resin or rawhide mallet:
Lightly tap it with a chasing hammer or a planishing hammer. Tip: Don't overdo this, or the wire will be too thin:
Open up the loop sideways to attach a bead dangle:
Place a bead dangle on the loop and close it sideways. All finished! Repeat with a second ear wire and bead dangle, and you'll have a pair of elegant earrings in under five minutes.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Many more wire jewelry techniques and projects are found in my instructional DVDs and eBooks, including Arty Jewelry, Arty Jewelry II, Arty Jewelry III, and Arty Jewelry IV. If you would like live instruction on jewelry making techniques, I offer day classes at some jewelry stores in the Southern California area. I also offer Wild Wire Women jewelry making techniques in my mountain home in Idyllwild, California.
Happy wrapping,

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