Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings, Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing. It is amazing where jewelry design ideas come from sometimes.

Tropical Leaf Earrings

by Judy Larson
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Sawing, Texturing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
It is amazing where jewelry design ideas come from sometimes. I follow a wonderful Australian design blogger who recently posted a photo series about an easy DIY frame. In one photo, she styled the finished piece with an unusual tropical plant, one I do not remember seeing before. I loved the shape of the leaves so off I went to the internet and found it was a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, a vining plant native to Malaysia and Southern Thailand. I could just see the leaf shapes as earrings and had to start right away.

Materials

24 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-24SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $48.95
  • Gold Club Price: $36.71
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18 gauge round half hard brass wire
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
Sterling Silver Earwires 21mm w/ 1.5mm Bead - Pack of 2
K19-50
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.40
  • Gold Club Price: $1.80
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Tools

Basic Sawing Kit
G15-7
  • G15-7
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $34.95
  • Gold Club Price: $26.21
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Euro Punch Plier 1.50mm
PLR-133.70
  • PLR-133.70
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.23
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7 Piece Mini TruStrike Hammer Set with Stand
HAM-520.70
  • HAM-520.70
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $140.54
  • Gold Club Price: $105.40
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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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Round Nose Wire Pliers
G2-507
  • G2-507
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $32.95
  • Gold Club Price: $24.71
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Flat Nose Wire Pliers
G2-506
  • G2-506
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $32.95
  • Gold Club Price: $24.71
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Round Nose Nylon Tipped Pliers--Small
PLR-827.00
  • PLR-827.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $8.97
  • Gold Club Price: $6.73
Out of Stock
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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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.

After making a mashup of the shapes of different sections of several different leaves, a leaf shape was drawn in the desired size.

It was then scanned and the scanned image reversed. Since you are the designer, make them in any manner and size you wish.

Even though all the leaves grow the same way, right and left facing earrings just seemed the way to go. It was personal preference to round all the leaf points. The leaves have a smooth surface so it was also personal preference to texture the leaves after adding the veining.

The loop at the top of the leaf midrib for hanging the leaf on an earring finding is not necessary and can be done away with.
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Step 2
Use a sticker maker, stick glue, or rubber cement to secure the template to sheet metal.

Cut the designs out with a saw. This is a good project to practice sawing skills because no one leaf is exactly like another. Besides, the leaves will be on different sides of the face so cutting differences will not be as noticeable.

If you REALLY do not want to saw the leaves out, punch holes corresponding to the size of the inner curve between each leaf section using a 7 Holes Metal Punch Kit. Use shears to cut around the leaf shape and into the holes.
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Step 3
Use files and sanding pads to refine the leaf edges
Step 4
Curve a 3" piece of brass or nickel silver to fit the curve of the central leaf midrib as shown on the template. Note: The wire used for this step should be harder than the metal it will be pressed into. 18 gauge steel wire from the hardware store is ideal.

Tape the wire in place on the leaf and the leaf to the rubber block or a bench block. Hammer the wire into the metal. The impression will be lighter using a rubber block and more pronounced using a bench block. Use a new piece of curved wire and the same process to hammer the leaf veins into each of the leaf sections.

The leaves will be beautiful if left without texture by eliminating Step 6.
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Step 5
Use a 1.25mm hole punch to make the holes for hanging the leaves on earring findings.
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Step 6
Use the narrower side of a Mini TruStrike Sharp Designer Hammer to texture the leaves, if desired.
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Step 7
Use a variety of pliers to form the leaves into a more three-dimensional shape.
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Step 8
Patina the leaves. Use sanding sponges to remove the patina from the high spots to reveal the texture.
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings
Step 9
If the satin patina from sanding and refining is not desired, tumble the earrings for 30 minutes to bring up a shine.
Step 10
Attach the leaves to earring findings.
Judy Larson's Tropical Leaf Earrings - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Sawing, Saw, Wire Saw, Texturing, tropical leaf earrings