Work In Progress: Copper and Sterling Earrings

At top, earrings and rings in progress; below, finished earrings.

At top, earrings and rings in progress; below, finished earrings.

I love earrings, which is probably why I love to make earrings! Here are a few I made last weekend.

First are the copper drops with sterling buttons. I made the sterling buttons first, melting scrap sterling silver ("scrap" is what we call mistakes, second guesses or practice pieces) into balls. Then the balls were cleaned up and hammered into nice round buttons. The copper wires were hammered for texture, and then I soldered on the silver buttons.

For the other earrings, I punched out the small discs then used a centering die to make washers (or hoops). I drilled holes for the ear wire and disc. Each hoop and disc was hammered or hand stamped, then domed in my dapping block.

There are also a couple of rings in the “before” photo — an experiment.

In the "after" photos are all of the earrings with their hand-forged ear wires attached (Look for a post about ear wires soon), finished appropriately in the tumbler or with patina.

You may say that these were not hard for me to make -- and you'd be right. It wasn't hard, because I've made a LOT of earrings and over time, with a lot of trial and error. I figured out the best materials to use and and have accumulated the tools I need to make them efficiently. Add to that my artistic point of view and you have a unique piece of wearable art.

When you buy handcrafted jewelry from the maker, you are benefitting from the time, experience, tools and artistic vision that all come together.

Thank you to all of you who admire and buy our work!

— Tracy