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Chandelier earrings and bracelet

Solder wire and form silver balls for the appearance of chandelier crystals

The punchy citrus color and plump pear shape of these carnelian beads made them an irresistible inspiration for the delicate chandelier-frame design of these earrings. The pattern is repeated in a bracelet, with carnelian beads and thin silver wire connecting the elements. The wire frames are shaped and soldered together, and handmade silver balls are precisely placed to add ornate detail to the jewelry set.

Instructions for this project are broken into two segments: One for making the earrings; the other for making a bracelet. To view full instructions for both, download the free project PDF here.

Here are the materials you'll need for this project, and some tips on soldering small elements in your jewelry making.

Materials

  • Sterling-silver wire: 18-gauge, round, dead-soft, 10 3/4 in. (27cm); 20-gauge, round, dead-soft, 25 1/2 in. (65cm); 26-gauge, half-hard, 27 1/2 in. (70cm)
  • Fine-silver wire: 26-gauge, round, dead-soft, 28 3/4 in. (73cm)
  • 24 5.5 x  5.5mm carnelian beads, center drilled

Tools & Supplies

  • Flush cutters
  • Flat file
  • 2 steel blocks (optional)
  • Mandrels: ring, bezel
  • Pliers: chainnose, roundnose
  • Charcoal block
  • Small paintbrush or dropper
  • Liquid flux
  • Torch, small or medium tip
  • Silver solder: hard, medium, easy
  • Soldering pick
  • Paste flux
  • Copper tongs
  • Pickle solution
  • Small scissors
  • Dowels: 1/8-in. (3.2mm), 1/4-in. (6.4mm), 3/16-in. (4.8mm) diameters
  • Third hand
  • Bench vise
  • Tumbler, rotary or vibratory
  • Polishing compounds, rouge and/or Tripoli
  • Buffing wheel
  • Magnifiers (optional) 
Chandelier bracelet
Tips on soldering small elements
  • Use magnifiers so that you can see your work.
  • To get very small solder balls, mill sheet solder to 7/1000 in. before you cut pallions to heat and ball up.
  • Always have a soldering pick in hand when heating small elements.
  • Use a small- or medium-tipped torch, and heat the flux and elements to be soldered slowly and gently – this will keep the flux from rapidly bubbling and popping your elements and solder out of place.
  • Always heat the flux until it is melted BEFORE you place the solder.

 

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