Monday, January 28, 2013

Variation On A Theme...

And what would that theme be....yes. it's earrings of course. While I was making my entries for our AJE challenge last week I got to thinking that If I was going to make a pair of earrings every week for the whole of the year and exhibit them next to those of all the other talented designers; then maybe I need to find ways to change it up a bit and keep things interesting. I was fiddling about with some of my bronze headpins at the time and decided to have a go at adapting the process I use for those to make earring charms with integral ear wires.  

Here you can see the charms at the green ware stage with the wires inserted into the clay. They're still quite fragile at this point so sanding and filing up has to be done very carefully.

After drilling, firing and a good clean-up and tumble this is how they looked - a good tug on the wires with pliers to make sure the pieces are fully fused and then on to the next step.


This was simply a case of forming the wires in the same way as as would usually do (great ear wire tutorial here) - I use looping pliers but a pen or any other round object can be used as a form. I chose kidney shaped wires but wishbone and round wires are just as easy to do.

After trimming the wires to the correct length I hammered them to harden the metal and prevent them from becoming misshapen. I used 22g /.71mm bronze wire which is finer than I would use for silver or copper wires and those I would normally tumble to harden but, bronze wire is harder and more tensile so I find that hammering alone is enough.

After that it was just a case of adding lots of pretties to turn the charms into earrings...

Green patina on charms, enameled flower buds from Gardanne beads,
 copper headpins and seed bead accents.

Periwinkle patina on charms, periwinkle enameled bead caps by SueBeads 
and vintage cultured pearls.

Premium Czech glass beads and Vintaj bead caps

If you like this look but don't use metal clay, the same effect can be achieved by soldering wires to metal charms. I'll be continuing to look for other ways to add a twist to my earring designs so if you have any clever ideas you're willing to share, please do - all inspiration is gratefully received.

The Gossiping Goddess


  1. Very pretty! You are a clever girl. I would like to experiment with the metal clays some time in the future. It looks fun!

  2. These are all gorgeous, but I love how you matched the color on your headpins to the color of the enamel on my bead caps! It's perfect, and so pretty!

    1. And they sold about 10 minutes after posting on Facebook Sue!

  3. Brilliant idea Lesely, love them :0)
    Claire xx

  4. Well, those are just ever so clever. I can see why the ones with Sue sold so quick. I think this is a great idea that will catch on quickly Ms. Leslie!

  5. Great idea! I don't work in metal clay (yet!), but wonder if this technique would work with polymer clay components?
    Not surprised the earrings sold so quickly, too.

  6. These are so stinkin' cute!!! What a clever girl you are! I love them!

  7. Thanks so much, beautiful earrings.

  8. what a great idea! I really like the look of these

  9. Brilliant! So imaginative! Love 'em!

  10. Fantastic idea Lesley! Love them too!

  11. Love that, so simple I can't believe it hasn't been done but I haven't seen it. Way to go Lesley!!

  12. Wow, I am totally intimidated. VERY nice.

  13. These are fab-u-lous, love 'em Lesley.

  14. These earrings are all gorgeous, Lesley! As are the ear wires. Nice work!

  15. Those earring are looking cute and pretty. Those tricks are really very helpful and easy to apply. I will try to make it.

  16. Thank you for sharing your process. The earrings with your metal clay components are lovely.


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