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Monday, 7 September 2009

Tutorial - Seaglass Symphony Earrings

Pretentious title? Maybe. But they're pretty and I like classical music, so there :P

Totally Tutorials ( runs a tutorial exchange, where suppliers donate free materials to crafters so they can make something pretty. The only stipulation is that the crafter has to make a tutorial, so other people can make pretty things too :D
This is fine with me, I've made tutorials in the past and have enjoyed it, so I got in touch with the lovely Corrie from who sent me two beautiful pieces of white seaglass.

As I previously said, I don't generally make earrings. Love them, own them, wear them, don't make. Despite this, I decided to make earrings :)
So, have an earring tutorial.

Starting Out
You will need:
* 2 pieces of pretty, pretty top-drilled seaglass.
* 6 beads, with two of each colour. I'm using 4 pearls (seafoam and moss green) and 2 clear bicone crystal beads. I was originally going to use 2 white pearls as well, but later decided not to.
* 2 silver eyepins.
* 6 silver headpins.
* 2 2" lengths of silver wire, roughly 18ga (or premade ear wires, up to you!).
* Pliers! Flat-nosed, round-nosed and some side-cutters.
* small file.

Making Bails
For those of you who don't know, bails are the little bits of metal used to attach a pendant to findings when making jewellery.
I used the 2 eyepins for this. First you need to your flat-nosed pliers and make a right angled bend in one of the headpins. To get the correct length, measure it against your sea glass. You want the eye to be just about the top of the glass when the pin is through the hole in the glass.

Once you've done that, thread the eyepin through the hole in the glass - the eye needs to be at the back! Bend the top of the eyepin around the top of the seaglass to get a nice, neat join.

Now, root out your round-nosed pliers and make a loop in the other end of the wire. The size is up to you, but I'd recommend keeping it fairly small.

The next step is to bend the part of the wire you've just curved and mould it to the front of the glass. Congratulations, the bail is now finished!

As if the glass wasn't pretty enough already, we're going to add some beads and pearls. Take 3 headpins thread one pearl/bead onto each one. Pick up your trusty flat-nosed pliers, one of the pearl/headpin combos and bend the wire at a right angle, just above the pearl. Then switch to the round-nosed pliers, put the bottom jaw of the pliers under the corner you've just made and bend the excess wire around to create a loop.

Hook this through the eyepin you made earlier, cut off the excess wire with the side-cutters and bend so that it's a clean join.

Hopefully the pictures explain it better than I can!

Rinse and repeat.

And again!

Making Earwires
At this point, you can just attach some pre-made earwires if you wish and leave me to fumble with bits of silver wire.
If you fancy making some of your own, go for it. It's easy and won't take you long!
I'm using 18ga sterling silver wire, but anything from 18 to 22 is usually fine :) You can make earwires using a wire jig, alas, I do not have one. So I'm relying on my trusty round-nosed pliers and a mandril!
Ok, to start, make another loop using the round-nosed pliers! Hurrah! To make sure the earwires are similar it's best to mark the point of the pliers your using.

Next, take the mandril and, starting from the loop, bend the wire round 3/4 of the way.

Make sure it's all level, file the ends so you don't cut yourself when wearing them and tadaaah!

Attach them to the bails on the seaglass and you're all done :)

As ever, I really hope this is helpful and has made sense! Please ask if you have any questions :)


Anonymous said...

nicely done eiriel!

Eiriel's Eclectics said...

:D Thanks Maisy!

piparrot said...

just made a pair for myself, thank you for sharing this tutorial xx

Eiriel's Eclectics said...

You're welcome, Piparrot :) I saw the photo you posted on the Handmade Forum, they're really very pretty :)

saltycatco said...

These are very pretty earrings! Great tutorial!

KayzKreationz said...

Nice tutorial and great earrings. I´m still waiting for my sea glass to do something with and try making a tutorial. Love your job.

Flippinpest said...

Fantastic blog and great project/tutorial.I came accross you on link referral..will definitely be following :-)

Eiriel's Eclectics said...

Thank you all! I'm glad you're finding it useful.
Kayz - looking forward to what you come up with!

Flippinpest, I'm glad you like it, hopefully the rest will be just as interesting!

Penelope Designs said...

Looking forward to trying this soon - the only problem is drilling the sea glass!

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