There are many great, free ear wire tutorials out there...I will link to a few at the end of the post. Today,though, I wanted to share my own take on basic ear wires and show you a technique and some additional options for making them unique and a cohesive part of your design, rather than a stagnant required component that is just added at the end!
I prefer using sterling wire exclusively for earrings that I sell or gift. I realize there are viable and beautiful options, but sterling just seems right for me ;)
20 gauge sterling wire, half hard - 4 inches
Round nose pliers
Bail-making pliers, or sharpie pen
steel block or anvil
26-24 gauge dead soft wire, 2-3 inches (optional)
- Start by cutting 2 2-inch pieces of 20g half-hard wire. File both ends to get rid on any burs.
- Hammer the tip of the wire to flatten and harden.
- Grasp the flattened tip with your round nose pliers and create a loop.
- Position your bail-making pliers or sharpie/pen right against the underside of the loop and rap the wire around. You may have to re-position to go all the way around.
- Make a small bend about a ¼ inch from the end of the remaining tail.
- Hammer the curve gently to work harden.
These are now ready to use...gently open the loop to the side, attach your earring component and close back to position....just like closing jump rings, move it back and forth to work harden and position as close to the back wire as possible.
Now, if you want to take the extra step and make the earwires a cohesive part of your design, you can embellish them in lots of ways.
Use your scraps of 24-26g dead soft wire and wrap the neck of the earwire as shown. I like to use copper, especially if the overall design is copper. Often, I add a small bead then attach the wire on one side of the bead, wrap a few times, then wrap over the bead, and wrap an equal number of times on that side. Always press the ends firmly against the earwire so they don't snag. File to smooth.
One of my favorite sources for other styles of earwires and other lovely unique components is Handcrafted Wire Findings by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson. I used their instructions to create these kidney ear wires.
from Deryn Mentock
from Jewelry Making Daily - make perfectly matched pairs!
from McFarland Designs - these are fun!
from our own Joanne Tinley!
I like to sit down with a bunch of wire and just have an ear wire making session, rather than 1 pair at a time...practice, practice, practice! Now, go on...go make some earwires!
Melismatic Art Jewelry
Art. Life. Love.