Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings, Holiday Designs. Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. Swans and their babies swim on the river flowing by our back yard during the summer.
Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Holiday Designs
  • Technique(s): Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
Swans and their babies swim on the river flowing by our back yard during the summer. That got me thinking of the human powered (no motors) Swan Boats on Lake Nakomis in the Twin Cities of Minnesota as well as Swan Boats on a pond in the Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. River debris the swimming swans would see on the river banks from the summer flooding this year was corralled inside a wonky wheel. 

Materials

24 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-24SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $41.83
  • Gold Club Price: $31.37
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16 Gauge Square Half Hard Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-16SQH
  • Lesson Quantity: 3.50 inches
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $11.40
  • Gold Club Price: $8.55
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Sterling Silver Jump Ring Open (.051) 16ga. 8mm Heavy - Pack of 10
K11-35
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $8.62
  • Gold Club Price: $6.47
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2mm 18gauge sterling jump ring
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 2.00 each
20 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-20H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $3.62
  • Gold Club Price: $2.71
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Tools

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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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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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 Bench Block 4x4 Inch - Pack of 1
G17-10
  • G17-10
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 2.00 each
  • Price: $21.95
  • Gold Club Price: $16.46
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Brass Hammer - 1 Pound
HAM-456.10
  • HAM-456.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $24.97
  • Gold Club Price: $18.73
Out of Stock
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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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
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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Instructions
Step 1
Template Designs 

The first template, 2½" x 6", contains the designs that are to be cut out and assembled. The second template, also 2½" x 6",  contains size and shape approximations for those designs requiring a backing, except for number 4, which is a charm disc that could be cut out and number 3, an alternate French Hens design. The numbers on the designs in both templates refer to the day in the song and in the tutorials. 
Cut two 2¾" pieces (appx. 70mm) of 16 gauge square Argentium wire. File both ends flat so a flush seam can be made.   
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, templates
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, templates
Step 2
Shape each ring into an oval or a "D" shape, with the filed ends flush against each other. Place on a soldering block with a dot of medium paste solder under the seam. Heat around the rings with a butane torch until the solder flows up through and to the outside of the seam. Cool the rings on the solder brick. 
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Step 3
Use a rubber/nylon or rawhide mallet to round each ring on a hoop mandrel. 
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Step 4
Center a ring on a large bench block. Center another bench block on top of the ring. Strike a blow once or twice in the center of the top bench block with a brass mallet. This should flatten the ring and "square up" the square wire. 
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Step 5
Because any texturing/stamping will distort metal, it is best to texture the 24 gauge Argentium sheet metal before using it. A Mini TruStrike Designer/Texture Hammer will impart a background texture with the same feeling as turbulent water as does this texture sheet. Note: The textured pieces should be annealed and flattened before soldering anything to them. 
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Step 6
Place medium paste solder on the back of the wire shapes. Press them into place on the backings. Add a dot of medium paste solder to the textured backings outside the wire shapes, as well as on the outer edge of the wire shapes where each hanging ring will be placed. Push a closed 18 gauge 2mm ID jump ring into the paste solder, making sure it touches both the backing and the wire shape, on each assembly. Place medium paste solder around the back of a closed 16 gauge 8mm ID jump ring and press into place inside the square ring just below the small jump ring on each assembly.
Pro Tip: It is not necessary, but it may be easier to solder the rings in place, pickle and dry the pieces before going on to the next step. 
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Step 7
Smear medium paste solder around the crescent shaped backing inside each "wheel". 
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Step 8
Save 20 gauge wire trimmings as well as 18 gauge wire trimmings, separated, as they sometimes make it into designs. Use tweezers to place as many trimmings as you would like into the paste solder.   
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Judy Larson's Seven Swans a Swimming Earrings - , Holiday Designs, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, seven swans a swimming earrings
Step 9
When all the embellishments are in place, heat the assemblies with a butane torch until the solder flows. 
Step 10
Trim excess backing away around the square wire wheel frames and the jump rings. Use files and sanding pads to clean, refine, and soften the edges of the shapes. Use a 1.5mm hole punch to make a hole inside the small jump ring. 
Step 11
Pickle, rinse, and dry the "wheels". Tumble the assemblies for several hours. Patina the pieces if desired. The wheels shown have patina added. 
Add ear wires.