I’ve been meaning to make a beaded wire bangle for ages – you know that lovely silver wire that looks like lots of silver beads – I finally had chance and I though it looked great.
BUT…It felt a little flimsy.
In my rush to get creative I had ordered 2mm beaded wire – 2mm round is fine for bangles – but of course 2mm beaded wire is thinner between the beads.
I tumbled the bangle for 2 days, hammered like mad with a nylon mallet and still it wasn’t hard enough, i even tried hammering with a metal hammer, the bangle looked even better but still too soft.
I am just a little obsessive and can’t let go but finally I had an idea that I thought would work…..
Serendipity – Lucky Mistake ! So here they are, 2 pairs of Serendipity Earrings, one pair all shiny and even, the other matt and more hammered/bigger balls in the middle – They are for sale (just cick on the images) but be quick, I might get the next bangle right 🙂
How – I cut the bangle into 4, evened up the lengths so I had 2 pairs, sanded the ends smooth and hammered one pair in the middle so the bubbles are larger then get smaller. All I had to do then was solder the stud pin on the back and check that the silver was still hard and hadn’t annealed. Voila (as they say constantly here) fabulous, long studs – they do look great on.
Coming to my website soon – Serendipity Bangle – A thicker version that will work !
1 – Start off with a soldered silver ring, smallish piece of sea glass and two pieces of 0.8mm silver wire.
2 – Ball the ends of the wires.
3 – Put the ring on a ring stick and hammer a small section to flatten it a little
4 – File a notch in the flattened section that will take both wires side by side
5 – Bend the wires so they made a cross shape and solder them to the ring (don’t worry if it looks a bit like a weird insect at this stage ;-).
6 – Pickle and polish the ring
7 – Wrap the wires around the glass then twist !
I used pliers to “twink” the wires and tighten the setting.
A Setting A Day – This week I posted a different setting technique each day –
Day 1 A Setting A Day – Day 1 – Cute Prong Set Turquoise Ring Day 2 A Setting A Day – Day 2 – Bezel Set Ring Day 3 A Setting A Day – Day 3 – Sweet & Simple – Pearls on Wires – Step by Step Day 4 – A Setting A Day – Day 4 – Fabulous Tube Setting
Todays setting isn’t really a setting but an easy way of making a pair of pearl earrings.
These earrings are made with a single piece of wire and just slip through your ears so the wire used is 0.8mm thick – too thick for most pearls. This limitation has driven me mad for ages as I love this simple way of making earrings. I have a pearl reamer but don’t really enjoy using it then I came across this simple tip on Barbara Fernalds blog – Use a jewellery saw and slip onto the saw blade the pearls you want to use then simply run the pearl up and down the blade turning them (or the blade) as you go – FAB ! You can read more about this by clicking here and visiting Barbara’s blog
Step By Step – How to make these earrings
1 – Enlarge the holes in your pearls until they fit on 0.8mm wire
2 – Cut about 8cm x 2 of 0.8mm sterling silver wire
3 – Hold the wires together and use chain nose or flat pliers to make zig zags in the last 3cm of the wires (doing this with the wires together means that the zig zags will be similar
4 – Hammer the zigzags and rub down the ends
5 – If you have a tumbler tumble the wires now
6 – Slip a pearl on each wire down to the zigzags
7 – Leave about 2cm above the zigzag straight then curve the rest around a mug, use your chain nose or flat pliers to bend the wires at the start of the curve
8 – Cut the ends of the wires so they are the same length and rub down. Tweak the earrings until you are happy with them
9 – Slip them in and rush out and show your friends !
These earrings started off a couple of years ago when I went to a local vide grenier (literally translates as empty attic) a bit like a car boot sale without the cars. Some vides are all broken Barbie dolls and action figures others very antiquey. This one was in Estaing and included the little school selling off lots of very old school equipment.
Including this old film – Histoire de la Marine Francaise in the cutest box. I had some copper washers…
…which I put through my rolling mill along with leaf skeletons for texture (the colour of the copper is due to annealing them with the torch before rolling).
I drilled holes for the rivets (the double holes on the top one were a mistake caused by rushing that I had to get over later)
Washers ready to be riveted with handmade silver rivets – the film is trapped between the washers.
Riveted ! The film was then cut around the edge using scalpel.
After messing up the top hole on one of the earrings I had the idea of riveting a bail to the top of the earrings to hide my mistake (always have a plan b 😉
The bail has a balled end ear wire threaded through it.
The ear wires were then bent and hammered. My film was of ships but on their sides looked more like designs.
You could use negatives of past memories or colour slides – I’m itching to try this again with pieces of vintage tin boxes. I don’t know how well the film will react to sunlight and you would of course have to be careful with them but aren’t they cute ?
Riveting is a brilliant technique to learn and can be used in lots of ways within jewellery – joining pieces together than maybe can’t be soldered, using them for decoration and texture, making bails for pendants or glass – Have a look at our riveting workshop and FaceBook page for more examples.
Well it turns out that sometimes I just can’t fit in running a workshop, packing orders, making orders and taking Choo Choo for his walks and updating my blog, especially when our lovely students take us out to dinner 😉
So here are a couple of things that I made in the lost days.
Etched Cosmos Earrings – Copper & Silver
The chains hang behind the copper and add lots of movement – One of a Kind Earrings – £24 – Click on the photo to buy
Step by Step
Applying the Resist (the parts that don’t get etched) This is a sheet of stickers for card making.
Using tweezers I applied some of the circles to my piece of copper and packing tape on the back so it doesn’t get etched.
Copper after etching using the salt water etching method
I cut the copper into two pieces and curved them
Handmade components – Tiny handmade silver spiral charms added to pieces of silver chain * balled ear wires ready for pickling
I polished the copper by hand to keep the lovely soft colour and tumbled the chains and ear wires
If you fancy a go at etching email me about our jewellery making workshops !
Here are another pair of earrings I made last week – Twisted Pearl Vines
Tiny leaves cut from silver sheet and textured with real leaf skeletons with stud backs and long twisted wire makes a vine holding a small black/peacock freshwater pearl – long, extremely elegant and the pearl add a flicker of movement. Very Cute ! – £25 – You can click on the photo to buy these.
On Friday we were very sad to say goodbye to Fran & Sue, we’d had a great week of jewellery making and I’ll be posting the photos of their creations this afternoon on FaceBook and on an extra blog posting here so follow my blog for automatic updates.
October Make & Show Challenge – This month I have set myself the challenge to make something and post about it everyday – follow my blog for automatic updates. Some of the jewellery featured is available for sale here – http://www.lavidalerie.com/BlogJewellery.html
Hi, I'm in my 7th year of running fabulous jewellery making holidays in the beautiful Aveyron in SW France with my partner Tim. Workshops from beading to silversmithing, glass fusing to fold forming & lots more.
When I'm not doing this I make artisan silver jewellery and a wide range of handmade findings, charms and ear wires for jewellery makers, oh and manage our army of ginger cats. www.lavidalerie.com