I couldn't believe the response when I wrote about handcrafted ear wires and other wire findings a few months ago, and I was introduced to so many unique ear wire designs and jewelry designers as a result. Now, it's like when you've learned a new word and you start to see it everywhere–when I look at earrings, I notice the ear wires. When I look at bracelets or necklaces, I notice the clasp. Unique handcrafted findings have taken root in my brain!
As I browse various jewelry-making blogs, Facebook, and Etsy, I see more and more jewelry designers creating their own unique handcrafted wire findings, ear wires in particular. It's getting harder for me to imagine a good argument against making your own ear wires. It adds so much style to the earring design, and even if it's not an elaborate or cutting-edge ear wire design, it's still simple and economical to make your own ear wires and other wire findings.
Another cool thing that happened not long after I wrote about handcrafted findings was this: Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson's book Handcrafted Wire Findings sold out! That was exciting, but even more exciting is the news that this best-selling book is finally back in stock! To celebrate, I'm happy to share a free handcrafted kidney ear wires project from the book.
How-To: Make Kidney Ear Wires
This ear wire design is a simple one, perfect for an elaborate earring or a simple sparkling bead dangle, with a safety loop on the back. Try it yourself to see how quick and easy–as well as economical and convenient–it can be to make your own wire findings.
5-1/2" (14 cm) of 20-gauge sterling silver half-hard wire
file or cup bur
polishing cloth or
rotary tumbler with mixed stainless steel shot
Finished size: 5⁄8" x 1" (1.5 x 2.5 cm)
1. Cut 2-3/4" (7 cm) of wire and flush cut both ends. Make a 90° bend 3/4" (2 cm) from one end of the wire with round-nose pliers.
2. With the tip of the round-nose pliers, grasp the short side of the wire right next to the bend. Bend the short end of the wire over the tip of the pliers until it touches the long wire.
3. Insert the round-nose pliers into the loop and bend the short wire back to a 90° angle.
4. Using the tip of the round-nose pliers, grasp the end of the short wire and bend it back on itself to form a small hook.
5. Place the Sharpie at the middle of the long wire and bend the wire over the marker to form a hook.
6. Use round-nose pliers to bend the end of the wire up slightly. Use the file or cup bur to round and smooth the end of the wire and polish for a high shine.
Repeat Steps 1-6 for the other ear wire.
There are seven more handcrafted ear wire projects in the book, along with dozens of handmade clasps, connectors, and other wire findings, most of which can be completed in about five or seven steps. Don't miss your chance to own the best-selling jewelry-making book Handcrafted Wire Findings before it sells out again!
Do you make your own ear wires or other wire findings? Why or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!