Arte Es Vida


Copper Chandelier Wirework Earrings by arteesvida
December 2, 2006, 3:23 am
Filed under: Beading, Wire Work

 This version of chandelier earrings are made on a wire jig. And while not difficult, it does involve some basic wirework skills.  This is a great project to get acquainted with basic jig work, mandrel work, and making your own eye pins!  When I worked up the samples for this article, I used a wire that was a bit too thin and soft…hence the sample pieces are a little crooked!!

 

Supplies:

Wire 18 gauge (I used 20 gauge copper)

10 matching beads (I used red glass)

2 complimentary beads (I used green trade beads)

 

Tools:

Wire Jig

Mandrel

Wire cutters

Round nosed pliers (for making eye pins)

Needle-nosed pliers (for opening and closing jump rings)

Metal file

A good jig is an investment, but for this project an inexpensive craft store jig will do just fine (as you can see, it is what I used). 

Set upr your jig with six wrapping points in a diamond shape.  You can follow my pattern as illustrated above, or create your own.  The top wrap will attach to your ear wire.  The other five will hold your beaded dangles.

Starting at the top, begin wrapping around each peg in a clockwise motion.  Wrap another complete loop again when you reach the top.  You don’t have to cut your wire from the spool in order to do this, you can cut it when you are done so you don’t have to worry about pre-measureing.

Pull your pieces off the jig and set aside.  Mine are still slightly crooked and need some further straightening since I used 20 gauge wire instead of 18 which holds form a little better.

You may have noticed my ear wires look a little crooked.  I didn’t have the larger peg to wrap the “fish hook” part around, so I improvised by using four pegs together.  You can also do them freehand using a premade wire as a diagram to work by.  If you do it my way, you will probably have to go back in and straighten them with pliers before wearing, as I still have to do!

Wrap around the larger peg to create the fish hook, and a complete circle around the lower peg to make the attachment piece.  You are now officially done with the jig!

Use a mandrel to wrap your wire in to jump rings.  You will need 12 for this project.  After you pull the wire off the mandrel, you can snip off each individual jump ring.  Set aside.

Using your round nosed pliers, make a small loop end on 10 short lengths of wire.  String your beads on to these pieces, and top them off with another loop.

Attach these beaded eye pins with the jump rings to your chandelier blanks.

Use the remaining two jump rings to attach the ear wires to the chandelier blanks, making sure to run the jump ring through both looks at the top so they hold together.

Make sure all your jump rings are tightly closed, and any metal burs in the wire have been filed down.

Ready to wear!  You can do these in any metal since you are making all the components of the earring.  You can use silver, gold, copper, or bronze…or any of the fun colored art metals on the market!  Have fun and experiment!


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