Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings, Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. Have you ever noticed that half the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas song we are so familiar with are birds?!  After the first three bird days were designed, something different was needed so doing a word association chain helped to come up with ideas for the other birds as well as the remaining days.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings

by Judy Larson
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Filing / Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Beginner
Have you ever noticed that half the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas song we are so familiar with are birds?! After the first three bird days were designed, something different was needed so doing a word association chain helped to come up with ideas for the other birds as well as the remaining days. We'll start with the 12th day and work down to #1.

The biggest challenge making these earrings was to use only what was on hand, mostly leftovers from other projects, which is how things were done when this song first became popular. 24 gauge Argentium silver scrap sheet and leftover Argentium wire were used for all the designs except for the jump rings and dots made from gold filled scrap on The Fifth Day of Christmas. 

Rolling mill laser cut texture sheets were used for many of the designs, but metal stamps will also work. If the metal is annealed, texture sheets can be hammered onto the metal to be textured to impart designs. Be aware that the textures will usually not be as sharp as when a rolling mill is used. The shapes are what makes each earring, but texture is always fun to add. Play with texture hammers, stamps, etc. to make your own versions of these earrings.   

Materials

24 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-24SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 6.00 inches
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 6 Inches
  • Price: $223.77
  • Gold Club Price: $167.83
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20 Gauge Round Dead Soft Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-20D
  • Lesson Quantity: 6.00 inches
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $3.22
  • Gold Club Price: $2.41
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Tools

Basic Soldering Kit
G15-4
  • G15-4
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $58.95
  • Gold Club Price: $44.21
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Pickle Pot, 16 Ounces
CLN-584.00
  • CLN-584.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $31.95
  • Gold Club Price: $23.96
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NATURE'S TOUCH CITRIC PICKLE, 2LB PLASTIC JAR
CLN-163.00
  • CLN-163.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $17.95
  • Gold Club Price: $13.46
Out of Stock
Premium Steel Bench Block 2 1/2 X 2 1/2
G17-9
  • G17-9
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.98
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Chasing Hammer - Flat Faced with Polished Wooden Handle - Pack of 1
G3-13
  • G3-13
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $11.97
  • Gold Club Price: $8.98
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Liver of Sulphur Gel, 1 Ounce Bottle
SOL-610.01
  • SOL-610.01
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $9.95
  • Gold Club Price: $7.46
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Silver Solder Paste Medium SS70 - 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.15
  • SOL-822.15
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.21
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Instructions
Step 1
The partridge that live in the woods on our property feast on the little apples on our ornamental crab apple tree every winter and they are so much fun to watch. When looking through some of my used rolling mill textures, one reminded me a bit of some of the rosemaling featured at Scandinavian festivals in the area where I live. I was off to the races with designs, channeling a little Scandinavian to make these little cuties.   

Decide where the texture would work on the bird body and/or wings. Because any texturing will distort the metal design, it is best to texture the 24 gauge Argentium sheet metal before cutting out the design. 
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, 1st day of Christmas earrings
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 2
Glue the templates in place on the metal. Cut the bird bodies and wings out. 
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 3
Use a center punch or small period punch to impress the eye dot. 
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 4
Remove the paper templates from all the metal pieces.
Step 5
Use a small straight design stamp to make tail feathers.
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 6
Use a small straight design stamp to make feathers on the bottom edge of the wing. If the wing is not textured, a small snowflake or floral design stamp is a nice touch on the center of the wing.
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 7
Note: All textured pieces should be annealed and flattened before soldering pieces together. Decide where the wings will be placed on the bird bodies. Place the birds face up on a soldering block. Put a small dot of medium paste solder on the bird body where the largest part of the wing will rest. Press the wings into place. Heat until the solder flows. Do not quench. Allow to cool naturally.  
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 8
Pickle, rinse, and dry the pieces, especially if using mixed metals or sterling silver. 
Step 9
Optional Branches: Fold a 6" (15.2cm) piece of 20 gauge round Argentium wire in half. Twist the pieces together tightly to avoid Step 11.
Pro Tip: Twist a longer length of wire so it is ready to use in other designs. Make a large ball on one end using a butane torch. Cool the piece and then cut the balled and twisted wire end 7/8" (22mm) long. Repeat the process to make the second branch.
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 10
Hammer the balled end of each wire flat. File the flat ball into a leaf shape. File and round the cut end of the twisted wire to make it smooth. 
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 11
If the twisted wires are loose, place them on a soldering block. Sterling silver and copper will need to be soldered. Argentium will fuse together with a bit of heat. Be careful to only heat until the wires go from satin to shiny and immediately remove the heat.  
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 12
Use a small straight design stamp to make leaf lines on the leaf shape.
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 13
Use fingers or a bracelet bending pliers to gently curve each branch.
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, https://rebeccakamen.com/
Step 14
Place the birds face down on a soldering block. Put a bit of medium solder just below the curve in the upper body. Place a closed 20 gauge 4.5mm ID jump ring into the solder. 2/3 of the jump ring should be on the body and 1/3 above the body. Attach Optional Branches: Put a line of medium solder across the bottom of each bird. Press a branch in place in the solder with the leaf facing forward. Do not worry if the branch is not flush with the surface. It can be pressed down and held in place when the solder flows. The leaf can be twisted into place when the piece is cool. 
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Judy Larson's A Partridge in a Pear Tree Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, first day of christmas earrings
Step 15
Heat the birds with a butane torch until the solder flows. Allow the pieces to cool on the solder brick. 
Step 16
Pickle, rinse, and dry the pieces. Tumble the birds for several hours. Patina the birds if desired. The birds shown have a patina added.
Step 17
Add ear wires.