Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings, Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing. Well, who knew smashed and hammered wire could turn into such beautiful earrings!   <br />
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Here's a hint before you start: Argentium silver is much whiter than sterling and polishes beautifully.
Smashing Drop Earrings
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Oxidizing / Antiquing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
Well, who knew smashed and hammered wire could turn into such beautiful earrings!

Here's a hint before you start: Argentium silver is much whiter than sterling and polishes beautifully. Balled Argentium wire is smooth and not pitted like sterling. By not applying patina to the earrings, they have just the right amount of "bling" without being too flashy. Applying patina to the earrings gives them a more earthy bohemian look.

Materials

19 Gauge Round Dead Soft Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-19D
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 feet
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 5FT
  • Price: $18.24
  • Gold Club Price: $13.68
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Silver Filled Jump Rings Open (.025) 22ga (OD) 3mm (ID) 1.98mm - Pack of 25
S11-12
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $1.68
  • Gold Club Price: $1.26
Out of Stock
Sterling Silver Earwires 21mm w/ 1.5mm Bead - Pack of 2
K19-50
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.52
  • Gold Club Price: $1.89
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Tools

Chain Nose Wire Plier
G2-508
  • G2-508
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $32.95
  • Gold Club Price: $24.71
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6.5 Inch Long Flat Nose Pliers - Pack of 1
G2-74
  • G2-74
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $9.87
  • Gold Club Price: $7.40
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C.H.P Milano Italian Flush Cutter, 5 1/2 Inches
PLR-487.00
  • PLR-487.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.23
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14mm Barrel Wrap N Tap Looping Pliers for Pattern Wire, Etc.
G2-79
  • G2-79
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $24.97
  • Gold Club Price: $18.73
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Steel Block--Deluxe Hardened Steel
DAP-525.50
  • DAP-525.50
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.97
  • Gold Club Price: $14.23
Out of Stock
Flat Face Chasing Hammer with Wood Handle - Economy
G3-14
  • G3-14
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $11.57
  • Gold Club Price: $8.68
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000 knitting needle or small bamboo skewer
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
Silver Solder Paste Soft SS65- 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.10
  • SOL-822.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $16.95
  • Gold Club Price: $12.71
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Blazer GB2001 Self-Igniting Butane Micro-Torch
TRCH-2001
  • TRCH-2001
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $84.95
  • Gold Club Price: $63.71
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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: $12.95
  • Gold Club Price: $9.71
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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: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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Instructions
Step 1
Please ead through the directions before beginning the project.

The amount of hammering done on the wrapped rings will determine the outer diameter. The finished rings will be approximately: Small-3/4"; Medium-15/16"; Large-1-1/8" Working from a spool of wire is the easiest way to go about making the components. About 23" of wire will make one large hammered ring. If the wire used is half or full hard, the coils will "spring out" and be larger, thus requiring a longer piece of wire. The finished rings will also be larger.

The three sections on the Wrap N Tap pliers will make either a small, medium or large hammered ring. Working from the wire spool, wrap the wire around the appropriate Wrap N Tap section 4½ times. Leave a 9" wire tail for the large hammered ring, an 8" wire tail for the medium hammered ring and a 7" wire tail for the small hammered ring.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 2
Wrap the wire from the beginning of the coil several times around the core wire coil. Pinch the wire end in with chain nose pliers.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 3
Wrap the long wire tail tightly several times around the wire coil. You do not need to be neat and even with this step. No two finished rings will be exactly alike. Hint: If it is difficult to pull the wrap wire tightly against the core wire coil, use pliers to pull the wrap wire. As the wrapping continues, the wire will become work hardened. It may need to be annealed to make the wrapping easier.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 4
After wrapping several times, Place a skewer or knitting needle against the core wire coil. Wrap the wire tightly around the skewer or knitting needle (shown here) and then around the core wires twice. Twist the skewer or knitting needle to the side to set the loop so it lies flat and parallel with the core wire coil.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 5
Continue wrapping around the core wire coil. If a second loop is desired for connecting to another loop, make the loop opposite the first loop. There may or may not be a short tail of wire remaining. Trim the wire tails off close to the wire core.
Pro Tip: When loops are made on either side of a smashed ring they make great connectors that can be used in a bracelet or necklace. Carol Erickson made a necklace with the smashed drops. Notice where the connecting loops were placed on the center loop to make the necklace hang in a "V" shape.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 6
Tuck the wire end in with the tips of a chain nose pliers.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 7
Now for the fun part: Place the wrapped wire coil on the bench block and hammer it flat. Put some muscle into it-this is a great way to get rid of frustrations! Just make sure that both rings are evenly flattened.
Note: You may have to trim off the ends of the wrapped wire if they stick out after hammering. The wire ends could also be lightly filed to smooth them.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 8
Connect hammered circles with an 18 gauge 2.5mm ID jump ring. Hint: If making a bracelet or necklace, using two jump rings to connect the links would be advisable.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 9
Attach earring findings.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 10
Optional: The hammered rings are beautiful as is but I am not one to leave something alone if I can add embellishments!

Other materials needed: Variety of balled wire (or other embellishments)

Step 10: Pull out your box of balled wire. Test out various sized balls around each smashed ring until satisfied with the look. Remove each ball separately, place easy paste solder on the back of the ball and then press the ball back in place on the hammered ring.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 11
Solder the embellishments in place. Be careful and watch for the solder to flash. Immediately remove the torch. Too much heat can melt the wire connecting loops. Allow the soldered piece to cool naturally. Argentium can become brittle and break, especially the connecting loops, if it is immediately quenched.
Step 12
Flatten the balled embellishments slightly with a hammer.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Step 13
Pickle, rinse and dry.
Step 14
Leave bright silver or patina if desired. Buff patinated pieces with 0000 steel wool to bring out dimension. Buffing with steel wool creates a satin finish on the metal. If desired, tumble the pieces for 30 minutes to an hour to bring up a shine. Tumbling will not affect the patina.
Pro Tip: This earring is not heavy, but since it will swing around, it could pull on the piercing. When there is concern about the weight of an earring and/or stretched out piercings, stud earrings are a good choice. Small earnuts still allow for some stretching out of a piercing but using larger earnuts can help with this and also keep a ball stud from drooping. WireJewelry carries both gold filled and sterling Jumbo Earnuts.
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings
Judy Larson's Smashing Drop Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, smashing drop earrings