The Three E’s ~ Easy, Elegant, Texturized Earrings

We all have to start somewhere so why not at the beginning? I made a pair of these earrings for my very first metal project. They are easy, elegant and most importantly FUN to make! Let’s go through step-by-step directions for this project together. First of all, you will need to gather together all of your tools and materials.
You will need:

1 piece 20-gauge copper sheet
permanent marker
jeweler’s saw with 2/0 blades
bench pin
Hand file #2 cut
textured hammer
forming block
dapping set
hammer and center punch
Flex-shaft with polisher and drill bit
burnisher
jewelry pliers
A pair of ear wires
Steps:

1. On your metal, draw or trace a circle. You can make it as large or as small as you like. Remember that each earring is ¼ of this circle. HANDY TIP: Make your circle close to an edge so that you don’t waste any metal.

2. Take your saw and cut out your circle. Copper is a soft metal and is simple to cut out. HANDY HINT: Go slow and be careful when cutting metal. It is easy for it to flex and you will go through a lot of saw blades. On soft metal you can also bend the edges.

3. Now you have your circle. Pick it up and hold on one edge. (be careful sometimes the edges are a little sharp)Take your file and file the edges of your circle. File away from your body using a downward motion. Always file in one direction only. This will smooth your edges and refine the shape of your circle.

4. Use your ruler and marker to draw a cross from edge to edge on your circle.

5. Pick up your saw again and cut along the lines of the cross. You are dividing the disc into 4 pie shaped pieces.

6. Now take your hammer and add whatever texture you like. HANDY HINT: The harder and more you hammer the metal, the more the shape will spread out. Keep this in mind so you keep the design that you want.

7. Take a regular hammer and center punch to start the hole at the top of the triangle piece. Make it close enough to the end so that you can get the jump rings through, but not so close that you weaken the metal causing it to break later.

8. Take your flexshaft and drill through the hole you started. HANDY HINT: Use the completed hole as a template for the other piece. That way your pieces will match.

9. Sand the drill holes and the edges of the pieces with the sandpaper.

10. Now place each one individually in the forming block and hammer it into a domed shape. How much or how little depends on what you like.

11. Take your flexshaft using the polishing wheel, polish the surface to a high shine.

12. Almost there! Pick up your burnisher and burnish the edges, smoothing and shining. HANDY HINT: Use your burnisher rather like a potato peeler, same basic motion.

13. Take your pliers and gently open the jump rings just enough to place through the holes on the top of your earrings and through the loop on your earwires. Carefully re-close the jump rings.

14. You’re done! I coated my copper earring with a clear coat of lacquer to keep them shiny. If you prefer them to patina over time you can skip this.

This very basic pattern can be modified in so many great ways. Patinas, mixed metals, piercing to name a very few. Let your imagination be your guide! All of the items used in this project are available on our website. Enjoy!
-Leah Alden Jaswal

Basic copper earrings
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