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3-D wire earrings

SUPPLIES

Earrings 4 in. (10.2 cm)

  • 14-gauge (1.6 mm) silver-plated tarnish-resistant Artistic Wire 
  • Pair of ear wires
  • 2 pairs of chainnose, flatnose, and/or bentnose pliers
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Flush cutters strong enough to cut 14-gauge (1.6 mm) wire, or memory wire cutters
  • Wire jig with 3⁄4-in. (19 mm), 1⁄2-in. (13 mm), and 1⁄4-in. (6.5 mm) pegs.
  • Steel bench block or anvil
  • Utility hammer

INSTRUCTIONS

Tip!
Do not straighten any of the wire for the earrings. Instead, allow the wire to keep the natural shape of the packaged coil.
3D wire earrings Photo A
Photo A
1. Flush-cut a piece of 14-gauge wire from the coil so that the ends overlap about 1 1⁄2 in. (38 mm) (PHOTO A). Flush-cut a second piece of wire in the same manner. These will be your A wires.
3D wire earrings Photo B
Photo B
2. Flush-cut a piece of 14-gauge wire from the coil so that there is a 3⁄8-in. (9.5 mm) gap between the ends (PHOTO B). Flush-cut a second piece of wire in the same manner. These will be your B wires.
3D wire earrings Photo C
Photo C
3. Arrange two 3⁄4-in. (19 mm) pegs, one 1⁄2-in. (13 mm) peg, and one 1⁄4-in. (6.5 mm) peg on the Now That’s a Jig! as shown (PHOTO C). From the outer edge of one 3⁄4-in. (19 mm) peg to the outer edge of the other should measure approximately 3 in. (76 mm). Still referring to (PHOTO C), center the B wires around the 1⁄2-in. (13 mm) peg, and bring the ends around the 3⁄4-in. (19 mm) pegs. Center the A wires around the 1⁄4-in. (6.5 mm) peg, and bring the ends around the 3⁄4-in. (19 mm) pegs.
3D wire earrings Photo D
Photo D
4. Remove the A wires from the jig bed (PHOTO D).
3D wire earrings Photo E
Photo E
Working with both A wires together, grasp one end with roundnose pliers, and pull inward, creating a more pronounced curl (PHOTO E).
3D wire earrings Photo F
Photo F
Repeat with the other end of the A wires (PHOTO F).
3D wire earrings Photo G
Photo G
5. Repeat step 4 with the B wires (PHOTO G).
3D wire earrings Figure
Figure 1
6. Working with one B wire at a time, grasp the wire with your hand so that the top curl is exposed. Using any hand movement that is comfortable for you, twist the top curl so that it is facing opposite the bottom curl (FIGURE 1).
3D wire earrings Photo H
Photo H
This B wire should now look like the bottom wire in (PHOTO H). Turn the wire, and repeat this step with the other curled end. Both curls should be facing the same direction, and there should be a slight “bump” at the center of the wire, as in the top wire in (PHOTO H).
3D wire earrings Photo I
Photo I

7. Repeat step 6 with the other B wire. Make sure that both B wires have the same shape.

8. Working with both B wires together, press the “bumps” against a 3⁄4-in. (19 mm) peg on the jig to create a stylized S-shape (PHOTO I).

Tip!
Push the wire little by little around the peg to get a smooth shape.
3D wire earrings Photo J
Photo J
9. Repeat step 6 with the A wires, making sure the A wires are longer than the B wires (PHOTO J).
3D wire earrings Photo K
Photo K
10. Slide the top and bottom of a B wire through the curls of an A wire, and make sure that the B wire hangs freely when the A wire is suspended. Adjust the wires as needed. Repeat with the other set of A and B wires (PHOTO K).
11. Disassemble the pieces, place each A and B wire on a bench block, and hammer to flatten and work-harden the pieces. Reassemble both sets of A and B wires. 

12. Open the loop of an ear wire, attach it to the top of an A wire, and close the loop. Repeat for the other earring, creating a mirror image of the first earring. Make sure that the ear wires can’t slide off the ends of the A wires. If they do, flair the ends of the A wires some more with the hammer.
 
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