Do you make or buy ear wires?


I personally don’t care for the majority of commercially mass-produced ear wires. Many look flimsy and/or the finish is too bright for my taste and some actually detract from the earrings they hold! I prefer to make my own and while the ear wires I am presently using in my geometric Pentagonal and Triangular drop earrings  designs (inspired by CGB and Jean Power) are not difficult to make, they do require extra time to create. However, they are unique and I love how they enhance my earring designs! So what goes into making these drop ear wires? Well, first I cut lengths of Argentium Sterling Silver wire and hold a torch to one end of each wire to create a smooth ball. I then bend the wires with a jeweler’s round-nose pliers to form the shape I desire…not too large a loop nor too long a stem. The cut ends of the wires are then filed smooth so they enter the ear comfortably. Next, I mix a solution of liver of sulfur and dip jump-rings, lightweight sterling chain, and the ear wires until the desired antique patina is achieved. I cut the length of chain into three equal lengths for each earring and the chains are placed onto the ear wires. Then a jump-ring is attached to the opposite ends of the chains and closed with jeweler’s pliers. A final buff is given with a jewelry polishing pad and voila!…they are now ready to enhance my beaded earrings! It is most definitely a time-consuming process opposed to using mass-produced ear wires, but I think it makes an earring very special and I consider the process well worth the extra effort!

~ by BarbaraBriggsDesigns on March 13, 2014.

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