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July 22, 2013

Simple Pearl Earrings with Custom Earwires

Today's project combines two of my favorite things in jewelry.  The simplicity of pearl earrings and unique handmade ear wires.  There are so many options when making your own earring findings - it is an area that I love to explore.  

The ear wire shape is not my own creation (few things are!), but they are a variation of... you guessed it - some earrings on my Pinterest Earring Inspiration board.  The original earrings are from Bloomingdale's and are considerably more refined than my attempt.  No worries though - I wasn't really going for a copy - just an interpretation.

Here's my big 'Oops' on this project.  I made my first pair of ear wires and I thought I had the process down.  Make the loop for the pearl dangle, hammer, and then make the rest of the curve shape of the earring.  So, I made about 5 pairs like that - and tumbled them.  And they were wonky.  The curves of the ear wires weren't smooth and flowing enough and I think that's a key element of the design.  So, I had to go back to square one.

It was much better when I made the main curve of the earring first, and then the loops - even though it was more difficult to hammer in the tighter area of the curve.  The headpins are also handmade - balled ends that I hammered flat to make a small circle.  

The last step is to add some antique patina to these earrings as a finishing touch.

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