Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ear Wire Tutorial

Finals are over, I feel like I have my LIFE back!! I love college, love learning and discussing and debating things... but I hate finals. I’ve been working on the tutorial and I finally have something I think is worthy of posting. Please, please, try it out and give me comments. Tell me where it’s not clear! Tell me if I’m losing you somewhere. Most of all ENJOY!


Almond Ear Wire Tutorial:
Step 1: Assemble your tools. Here is what you’ll need.
20 ga wire (I’m using copper here, but you can use sterling silver, gold-fill, pure gold, fine silver, platinum… basically any wire you want!)
Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
Flat pliers
Burr cup (to file end of ear wires smooth)
Ball-peen hammer
Plastic, rubber, or rawhide hammer
Round form (I’m using an old prescription bottle)
Steel hammering plate





Step 2: Cut two lengths of wire the same length. The length should be about the same length as your bottle is in diameter. In this example I used about 2 inches. Depending on how long you want your earring to be you will need to cut the wire longer or shorter. Once both pieces are cut and are the same length use the bottle to shape the wire into a circle. It’s ok if the ends don’t meet up.



Step 3: Using the round nose pliers create a loop at one end of the ear wire. Repeat for the second wire. Leave one end flat and one end looped, don’t put loops everywhere! Look at the pic that is how the ear wire should look.





Step 4: Using flat pliers grip the ear wire towards the middle and bend into a more triangular shape. Repeat for other wire. Make sure that you bend each wire in the same spot.



Step 5: Place the ear wire on the steel hammering plate and hammer thoroughly with the rubber hammer. This is to harden the wire, you will not see any change in the wire but it should become more sturdy. Be sure the shape the ear wire as you hammer, the shapes it’s in while you hammer will be the shape it stays. Repeat for other ear wire.



Step 6: Using the ball-peen hammer slightly flatten the long end of the ear wire. Don’t go overboard! Just a little flat. Watch out for your fingers (and don’t mind my chipped nail polish). This is to help maintain the shape. The hammering helps to sort of “freeze” the wire in place. You can see in the comparison photo that the hammered wire looks flatter on the long end and is better shaped. You can skip this step but you would have a very flimsy form. Repeat this for second wire.




Before and after hammering:




Step 7: Using the burr cup file the ends of the ear wire round and smooth. This step is very important and can’t be skipped! When you cut wire you leave jagged little pieces behind. If you don’t file your finished wires then you will create micro-tears in the flesh of your ear when you put the earring on. This can lead to irritation and doesn’t feel good!



Step 8: Hang some beads on your beautiful new ear wires and enjoy! Make different sizes, make the back wire longer or shorter, and experiment. Share your results!

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for this free tutorial.

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  2. Looks pretty good to me, now I just need to go try it out. Thanks.

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  3. Awesome tutorial, I can't wait to give it a go!

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  4. Thanks. I'm going to give this a try later.

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  5. Thanks for this great tutorial. I look forward to trying this out.
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  6. These look so good. One day when I can lay my hands on all the tools I will have a go at them! Thanks for sharing your expertise.

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  7. OMG! I can't believe I've never thought of doing this. I have 3 holes in each ear and I can't ever wear earrings without them causing me to itch so bad even with the metals I know I'm not allergic to. Now to go play with my wire! Thanks for this!

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  8. Beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial...

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