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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Earring Tutorial - Sunny Spiral

Here's a tutorial for my most recent earring.  Enjoy!

Materials needed:
20 gauge or 18 gauge (I used silver plate by Para wire)
A pair of ear wires

I used 20 gauge for the spiral portion of the earring, but in the future I believe I will use 18 gauge to give it a bit more strength.  Al tho, I believe the 20 gauge is perfectly fine.

Tools needed:
Flush cutters
Small round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Tube wringer
Sharpie pen
Steel block

Measure and flush cut a 7" piece of wire.

With your Sharpie pen, measure and make a mark at 1/2" from the end and another mark at 3" from the end. (or 2 1/2 " from your first mark.

The balance of the wire will measure 4"

Get your handy dandy tube-wringer ready.  This tool is usually found in the art paint department of your local hobby store.  Mine has been collecting dust, along with my paint supplies.

Insert your wire at the 1/2" Sharpie mark.  This 1/2" of wire needs to remain straight.  Later this will make the loop for hanging.

Here's where you may need to practice.  The pressure you use to squeeze the tube wringer onto the wire can't be too hard or you will break your wire.  If the pressure is too gentle, you won't get a good crimp.

Turn the crank on the tube wringer and allow the wire to feed between the teeth of the tube wringer.  This will give the wire an even zig zag bend.  Continue to crank up to the 2nd Sharpie mark.   You will then have 2 1/2' of zig zag.

Remove the wire from the tube wringer and use the tip of your small round nose pliers to make a small loop on the straight end.

Your wire will now look like this.  1/2" of straight wire, 2 1/2" of zig zag wire and 4" of straight wire with a small loop on the end.

Starting at the small loop, use your chain nose pliers to make an open spiral up to where the zig zag begins.  I try to space the open spiral so that the space in between each row of wire is about the same as the thickness of the wire.

Now slowly and carefully continue the spiral using the zig zag portion of the wire.  I have the points of the zig zag wire actually touch the prior row of the spiral.  the space in between each zig zag give the same spacing as the previous spiral rows. 

Do not spiral the remaining 1/2" of straight wire.

Use the middle of the mandrel on the small round nose pliers to make the top loop for hanging.  I'm sorry for the blurry picture.  Photography isn't my forte' and it was chilly outside.  I guess you're seeing my shivering.

Now gently hammer the entire spiral.  This will work harden the wire and also flattens the wire for the appearance.

Now add some sort of dangle, a bead, a crystal or a squiggle of wire (I've used 18 gauge wire for the squiggle and then hammered it to give it some weight and balance).

I hope that you've enjoyed this tutorial.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Have a joy filled and creative day!  Linda

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Thank you for your kind words. I'll answer any of your questions very soon. Linda