Judy Larson's Lacy Washers, Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. Bali style components and twisted wire rings turned plain washers into a stunning and unique jewelry set.

Lacy Washers

by Judy Larson
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
Bali style components and twisted wire rings turned plain washers into a stunning and unique jewelry set. And the best part, all the embellishments could be made with scrap wire!

Materials

22 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-22H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $1.76
  • Gold Club Price: $1.32
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18 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-18H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $4.68
  • Gold Club Price: $3.51
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20 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-20H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $3.22
  • Gold Club Price: $2.41
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24 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-24SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $37.29
  • Gold Club Price: $27.97
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Tools

Steel and Rubber Bench Block 4x4 Inches
G17-44
  • G17-44
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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SANDING SPONGES ASST- 5PC- 1EA GRIT 100-400
ABR-600.90
  • ABR-600.90
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $9.95
  • Gold Club Price: $7.46
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10 Piece Diamond Needle Files - 140mm X 3mm
G14-8
  • G14-8
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $13.57
  • Gold Club Price: $10.18
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5/8 Inch Double Rubber/Nylon Head Hammer - Pack of 1
G3-26
  • G3-26
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $4.97
  • Gold Club Price: $3.73
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steel round bezel mandrel
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
Xuron Sheer - Non Serrated
SHR-691.81
  • SHR-691.81
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $24.95
  • Gold Club Price: $18.71
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6 Step Barrel Plier - Pack of 1
G2-503
  • G2-503
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.95
  • Gold Club Price: $11.21
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Blazer Big Buddy Turbo Torch, Black
TRCH-8010
  • TRCH-8010
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $40.00
  • Gold Club Price: $30.00
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Fire Brick
SOL-485.00
  • SOL-485.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.95
  • Gold Club Price: $11.96
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Instructions
Step 1
Read through the tutorial before starting the project. Follow all safety precautions pertaining to the tools and supplies being used and the space you are working in.

For this project I used scrap twisted wire ends-20 gauge for the pendant and 22 gauge for the earrings. If scrap twisted wire is not available, tightly twist two pieces of 20 gauge wire together to make a 2" long usable piece. Tightly twist two pieces of 22 gauge wire together to make a 3" long usable piece, cut into two 1½"pieces.

Flush cut and file both ends of each twisted wire. The finished 20 gauge twisted wire piece should be 2" long. The finished 22 gauge twisted wire pieces should be 1-3/8" long.

Bring the ends of each ring together, matching the wire twists as well as possible. Place each ring on a soldering surface and put a small amount of medium paste solder under each seam. Heat with a micro torch until the solder flows. Let the pieces cool naturally before continuing to the next step.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 2
Pickle, rinse and dry the rings.
Step 3
The two shorter pieces of twisted scrap wire are not the same length. After soldering the ends together, the smaller ring was stretched out to match the larger of the two rings.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, lacy washers
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 4
Cut two earring washers and one pendant washer from 24 or 26 gauge sheet metal:

Size Inner Diameter Outer Diameter

Pendant 3/8 1"

Earrings 1/4" 3/4"
Step 5
Use a rubber or nylon mallet to flatten each washer on a bench block. Refine the outer edges of each washer using files and sanding sponges.
Step 6
Place small amounts of medium paste solder around the bottom edge of each twisted wire ring. Center each ring on the appropriate washer, solder side down. Check from all angles to make sure the rings are centered.

Place the washers with the rings on a soldering surface. Heat with a butane torch head on a butane canister until the solder flows. Let the pieces cool naturally before continuing to the next step.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 7
Pickle, rinse, and dry the pieces.
Step 8
For the pendant, fourteen ½" pieces of 22 gauge wire with both ends flush cut are needed.

For the earrings, twenty ½" pieces of 22 gauge wire with both ends flush cut are needed.

Cut a few extra because they sometimes go flying and are hard to find.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 9
Using the small tips of the round nose pliers, make a loop on both ends of each half inch wire. The loops for the pendant wire hearts are very tiny. The loops are a hair larger on the wire hearts for the earrings.

Grasp the wire between the loops with the tips of the round nose pliers. Use your fingers to bend the loops together as shown.

If needed, use a rubber or nylon mallet to flatten the hearts on a bench block.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 10
Cut and ball 18 gauge wire as follows:

Pendant: Fourteen pieces 3/16" long

Earrings: Twenty pieces 1/8" long
Step 11
Make sure that the hearts will fit around the washer outside the twisted wire ring. Make adjustments in the number and/or the size of the hearts and as needed.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 12
Smear a layer of medium paste solder on each washer outside the twisted wire ring. Press the hearts in place on each piece as shown.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 13
It may be necessary to put a small bit of medium past solder on the outer edge of each washer between the hearts for the balls to solder securely in place. Optional: Leave one ball off each washer in the area where there is the largest space between the hearts. Holes can be drilled or punched in those spots to add a jump ring for a necklace chain or attach ear wires.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 14
Place the embellished washers on a soldering surface. Heat with a butane torch head on a butane canister until the solder flows. Let the pieces cool naturally.
Step 15
Pickle, rinse, and dry the pieces.
Step 16
Use easy paste solder to attach 20 gauge 3.5mm jump rings to the back of each earring, centering the rings between two balls on the front of the washer. Heat with a butane torch head on a butane canister until the solder flows. Allow the pieces to cool naturally.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 17
There are always scraps of sheet metal in my scrap box large enough to make a hidden bail. Cut a 3/16" wide scrap and curve it using 6 step barrel pliers. Keep cutting, sanding, and curving and shaping the bail until it fits the back of the pendant washer and will accommodate the desired chain.

Use easy paste solder to secure the hidden bail in place on the back of the pendant. Heat with a butane torch head on a butane canister until the solder flows. Allow the piece to cool naturally
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers
Step 18
Pickle, rinse, and dry the pieces.

Tumble the pieces for several hours to bring up a shine. Rinse and dry the pieces before continuing.

Step 19
Patina adds a richness and depth to the after buffing with 0000 steel wool to remove patina from the raised areas. Since buffing with the steel wool leaves a satin finish on metal, tumble again for 20 to 30 minutes if more of a shine is desired.
Step 20
Attach ear wires.
Judy Larson's Lacy Washers - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Lacy washers