Soulmate Earrings

Are you looking for a unique gift to give someone special?  In The Jewelry Maker’s Design Book: An Alchemy of Objects we learn how to make several different jewelry pieces, like these soulmate earrings.

earrings 1, The Jewelry Maker's Design Book

Tools

metal shears
fine-grit foam sanding block
metal file
center punch
jewelry hammer
bench block and bench pillow
pliers; round-nose, chain-nose, stepped-bailing
1/16″ (2mm) titanium bit, or hand drill
flex-shaft or Dremel tool
awl
rawhide mallet or dead-blow hammer
flush cut wire snips
butane torch

Materials

two gem tintypes
spray acrylic sealer
metal trim or filigree
1/16″ (2mm) short eyelets
sterling silver wire, 22-gauge
rhinestone chain
two 6-8 mm top-drilled briolette beads

Instructions

  1. Spray the tintypes with acrylic sealer three times, allowing the sealer to dry between each coat.
  2. Cut the tintypes to the desired shape using the metal shears. Lightly sand the edges with a sanding block, and spray a final coat of sealer on both sides.
  3. Cut metal trim or filigree to fit the bottom of the tintypes; file and sand the edges.
  4. Drill 1⁄16″ (2 mm) holes on each side of the metal trim, using the center punch to mark for drilling. Fit the trim on the bottom of tintypes, and mark the tintype where holes will be drilled.
  5. Drill holes in the tintypes, and then rivet the metal trim to the tintypes (See A).
  6. Use the center punch to mark the top of each tintype for drilling. Drill the holes and set with eyelets.
  7. Using 22-gauge wire and the small tip of the stepped-bailing pliers, make four coil-crimp ends. Cut two rhine- stone chains, each long enough to hang from the top of the tintype to below the lower edge. Attach a crimp end to each end of the chains.earrings 2, The Jewelry Maker's Design Book
  1. Using 24- or 26-gauge wire, wrap two briolette beads. Attach the wrapped briolettes to the coil crimp at one end of each rhinestone chain.
  2. Using 22-gauge wire, make two wrapped links using the metal beads. Before closing one end, attach one rhinestone chain, one tintype, and one small rhinestone dangle in that order, to each link.
  3. Using 20-gaugewire,maketwoearwires.Balloneend and flatten it before shaping the ear wires. Attach to the earrings and close the ear wires securely.

earrings 3, The Jewelry Maker's Design Book

Design Tips:

A short length of metal chain can be used in place of the rhinestone chain, which would eliminate the need for the wrapped crimp ends.

If you don’t have small rhinestone dangles, improvise by making your own from a small faceted bead and a homemade headpin.

If you would rather not use rivets to connect the metal trim to the tintype, use 1⁄16″ (2 mm) eyelets or micro bolts instead. Escutcheon pins are also a great alternative to rivets. These pins are really tiny nails, with a rounded head, so half the work of rivet making is already done. Make sure to purchase escutcheon pins that are all-brass and not plated.

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The Jewelry makers design book cover page artMake your very own bohemian, rustic, one-of-a-kind, jewelry that integrates found objects or repurposes beautiful charms and elements from your jewelry box. In The Jewelry Maker’s Design Book: An Alchemy of Objects, you will not only learn solid techniques for making several beautiful projects, but also how to plan and conceive your designs using unique objects in mixed media jewelry pieces. This book includes an overview of the tools and materials you’ll need to get started, as well as a reference section that outlines important techniques. Projects within this book use metals, wire, beads, stones and found objects to create unique jewelry that will have everyone talking. Informative sidebars share tips and design notes that discuss the design elements in the piece; colors, shapes, textures, and what works in the piece and why. Find your inspiration, while developing amazing design skills with The Jewelry Maker’s Design Book: An Alchemy of Objects!