Since it’s officially Fall tomorrow, it’s about time I got some jewelry made for a couple of holiday markets coming way too soon. As I have been a real slacker this summer, I’m trying not to hyperventilate about my lack of new jewelry to show…
Thought I’d start out easy with a session of making sterling silver ear wires. And add one new pair of earrings my skimpy box of jewelry. Love these faceted opalite briolettes I bought on a recent trip up the California coast. Very sad the shop only had these two.
I tried out a bit of a different style of ear wire with these flattened ball headpins I made from 20 gauge round wire. Like them a lot!
Oh, I forgot to add that I’m trying out some new wire for these…I’ve always used 20 gauge dead soft sterling silver. After forming I would light hammer with a rawhide mallet, tumble at least 30 minutes to work harden the ear wires so they would maintain their “springiness” and not become distorted in shape with use.
I recently read a article by a metal smith who stated that contrary to what I’ve always been told that a tumbler does not work harden sterling metal. REALLY??? They highly recommended using half hard wire for ear wires. So I bought a troy ounce from Rio Grande to try this out. Have to say that it’s been great to skip that extra step. The wire is noticeably stiffer to work with and naturally springy. While I would not use the half hard wire for wire wrapping projects, I think it’s a really good choice for ear wires.
On another note…I am wildly excited and nervous about moving forward with a lost wax casting project in my jewelry class this session. I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels for weeks with nothing to show for my efforts. Scrapped several pieces that I just wasn’t happy with. But last night, I completed adding three pieces to the sprues and investing with the plaster. Aren’t you impressed that I can throw around some fancy new terminology? Next Tuesday, I assist the teacher in casting the pieces in silver…and hopefully, I’ll have something to show you very soon!