Originally posted: August 2017
I have always loved earrings, and in my youth, I could not even leave the house, without wearing a pair, as I felt naked without them!
Way before I started my jewellery-making career, I was fiddling with beads, headpins and ear hooks, creating my own customised and colourful statement ear decorations to appease my creative soul.
About 8 years ago, I brought out a book packed with earring designs, so if you ever need creative inspiration, this is the perfect instructional handbook for those lobe designs:
Available on Amazon.
Here's a sneak peek at some of my designs:
I just love the speed, whereby a spool of wire, a selection of beads, plus a couple of pliers, can help you to produce such decorative pieces!
I have chosen the 'TEARDROP' EARRING project to share with you, which is very adaptable, versatile and elegant. I do hope you like it too!
For obvious copyright reasons, I can't use the image steps from my book, so I have made a new version. But before you start thinking that you need strong glasses, or that there's something wrong with your eyesight, I have to apologise for the quality of some of the step images - my camera focus was out on some shots and I just didn't have time to 'shoot' the whole project over again!
Begin by cutting 2 x 5" (12.5cm) lengths of 0.8mm wire. Wrap the wires around a circular mandrel to create the 'teardrop' frames.
Using the tips of your chain nosed pliers, straighten one of the extending wires to form the stem and wrap the other wire around to secure it. Cut off any excess and neaten the ends.
Cut 2 x 5" (12.5cm) of 0.8mm wire and thread each one with a bead of your choice. Using your round nosed pliers to initially form a loop at each end, grip the ends in your flat nosed pliers, to create spirals, curling out in opposite directions.
Create 2 x jump rings out of 0.8mm wire.
Cut approximately 3" (7.5cm) of 0.4mm wire and secure the top of the spiral into the centre space and top of the 'teardrop' frame. Then, continue wrapping the wire to incorporate one of the jump rings. Use your flat nosed pliers to flatten the wires down as you bind, so that they don't bunch up. Repeat for the second earring.
(Do not adjust your set! Or, buy new glasses! Apologies for the picture quality!)
What I wanted to show you is that you also need to bind the opposite end of the spiral on each side of the frame.
Speeding fast forward ... Use the tips of your round nosed pliers, to create small links at the end of the 'teardrop' frames. You can suspend beads, or small wire spirals as extra, decorative dangles!
To create the EAR-HOOKS, cut 3.5" (9cm) of 0.8mm wire and form small tight, centralised spirals at each end.
Place the tips of your round nosed pliers just by the spirals and bend the wires back, in the opposite direction.
Using a pen or pencil as a circular mandrel, shape the wire around to create the curved hook of the ear wire.
If the wire ends are slightly too long, or different lengths, just trim with your wire cutters, then curve the ends outwards. If the ends of the wires are rough, use a cup burr attached to a pin vice, to smooth out and finish.
And finally ... you are ready to assemble! Thread the ends of the ear hooks through the top suspension link of your earrings. They are now ready to be publicly aired and admired!
Feel free to experiment with this technique, to come up with more variations and styles.
Happy wire working!