Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Bubble earrings


This is the tutorial that I was hoping to share with you last week - the earrings themselves don't take very long to make, especially if you have some jump rings already to hand, but writing everything up and editing the photos takes a bit longer! Anyway, I hope that you like it.

I'm making quite a few different designs of stud earrings at the moment. They're very popular both on my website and notonthehighstreet.com and at craft shows, partly I think because they are more every-day wear than my long danglies, and also because as they tend to use less silver I can offer them at a lower price. This design came about because I wanted a longer pair of earrings that were still studs and still nice and light to wear.

To make them you will need:
  • 3 small jumprings (I used 3mm inside diameter rings of 0.8mm wire)
  • 3 larger jumprings (I used 5mm inside diameter rings of 0.8mm wire)
  • 2 stud fittings/pins (I buy mine from Cookson Gold - I prefer these as they have a small head which makes soldering them so much easier! They are one of the few findings that I still buy rather than make myself)
  • 2 butterfly scrolls for the studs
  • meduim solder
  • easy solder
  • usual soldering kit, hammer and whatever you use to polish your work
To start, arrange the jumprings  in a pattern that you like. You can of course use more or fewer rings than I have, and different sizes of rings too. If you don't already know how to make your own jumprings, have a look at my tutorial on that here. Make certain that the two earrings are mirror  images of each other!


Make sure that the rings are tightly closed and move them on to a soldering brick. Put the joins of the rings where the solder will go so that you solder the rings closed and solder them together at the same time. Put a little medium solder on each join. I used solder paste but I'm going to try solder pallions and separate flux next time and see if that's less fiddly.


Solder the rings together, removing the heat as soon as the solder has flown so that you don't risk melting the rings. Quench, pickle and rinse the silver.
 

Hammer the earrings if you wish - I much prefer the hammered look!


Mark on the back of the earrings where you want the pin to go. I used marker pen which gets quickly burnt off, but it stays there long enough to guide me. This step isn't absolutely necessary, but it does help you to make certain that you end up soldering the pins on the right sides!


Hold a pin in tweezers and apply a little easy solder to the end. Melt this onto the pin. I prefer to do this so that the paste doesn't get smeared all over my work if my hand moves while I'm soldering. Solder the pin into place. Repeat with the second earring, and quench, pickle and rinse them both. Polish the earrings, and enjoy!

10 comments:

  1. Brilliant tutorial. Thanks. Can't wait to try this.

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  2. I'm glad you like them Fiona! I'm wearing the earrings now, and they are so comfortable that I forgot I had them in until T walked past and admired them! He's well trained :)

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  3. These are lovely! I shall have to make them and then try plique-a-jour enamel!

    Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Ooh I love these! Thanks so much for another fabulous tute, I'll be linking.

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  5. I'm so glad you all like them - I like wearing them! I'm going to make some more during the week, both for presents and for the shop, and I'll use solid solder this time and let you know which I find easier.
    Kimagine - enamel plique au jour or resin? I assumed enamel as there might not be enough depth for resin. I'd love to see what you do!

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  6. I've made a pair and posted them on my blog www.tizduster.typepad.com and linked to you. They're not quite as neat as yours!

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  7. I love these earrings. Now I just need to find someone to teach me soldering.

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