Rough Gem Wire Wrapped Drop Earrings

Rough Gem Wire Wrapped Drop Earrings

Creating jewellery with rough gems is fast becoming a popular trend. This is a really simple wire wrapped project using undrilled gems to make some drop earrings. You only require a few hand tools to create them and no need to solder. You could also create earrings using some of our other rough gems which are available in stones such as topaz, garnet, turquoise, aquamarine and opal 

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

We've used a 0.5mm sterling silver wire to wrap the gem as it is a nice flexible size for manipulating around the stone and creating fine, neat wire wraps. You will probably only need around 15cm of the silver wire for each earring, but we have included a little extra in the shopping list in case there is a size difference in the gem or how you wish to create your wire wrap. If you leave the wire in a continuous length and only cut when you have completed the first earstud you will not to waste any wire. However if you are new to wire wrapping you may find it easier to cut a shorter length to start with.

To start, use round nose pliers to bend a small loop in the top of the wire, leaving a stem of about 3mm under the loop, leaving a small stem at the end will mean the loop will be secure and the stem will be  hidden by the wraps of wire. This will be the loop that you will connect the rest of the earring to.Wrap the wire once around its stem once to secure, then using the wider section of your round nose pliers start to form a bend in the wire (close to a right angle) this will enable you to place your rough gem in place and use your fingers now to form the wire around the stone, bed it all the way around the bottom of the stone and back up to the top. Then pass it once around the stem and back down to the bottom of the stone (on one side) so that you are forming a cage around the stone, keep the wire running along the edge and back up to the top, keeping it tight against the stone. then wrap the end around the stem (just under the loop) a couple of times to secure with a few neat wraps. Use side cutters to trim the end of the wire and use your snipe nose pliers to squeeze the end so it is tucked very neatly against itself and so will not catch on clothing. Your gem is now captured inside a little wire cage. If you feel it is not as secure as you would like you could always add a tiny drop of Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy Glue to offer some extra security - just choose a place where it will not be obvious. We didn't feel the need to do this on the pair we made. 

Next take one of the eyepins and form a matching sized loop on the straight end, repeat with the second eye pin.

Next we will use a ball pein hammer to flatten and apply a lightly hammered texture to the center of the eye pin. Hammer lightly on either a steel bench block or the anvil on your bench pin. A light polish with a silver cloth or one of the fine polishing papers will ensure the patterned texture sparkles when the light catches it.

Finally complete your earring by twisting open one loop on the eye pin and attaching the wire wrapped gem and on the other end the earwire. Ensure the flat part of the eye pin is facing forwards when worn, if not then slightly adjust so it sits correctly.

SUGGESTED TOOLS FOR THIS PROJECT

Side Cutters - to cut wire, not suitable for memory wire

Snipe nose pliers - for opening and closing jump rings

Round nose pliers- to form loops in wire

Ball pein hammer - to texture and flatten 

Steel bench block - a smooth hard surface to work metal on

Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy Glue - for super-fast, high strength, high quality bonds

BOOKS WHICH MAY INTEREST YOU

The New Encyclopedia Of Jewellery Making Techniques - Jinks McGrath

The Encyclopedia of Wire Jewellery Techniques By Sarah Withers

Your shopping list

You can buy all the products in this collection at once by clicking the button below or add individual products by clicking the button beside each once.

Total price for all items: £11.80

Rough Rhodolite Garnet Crystals (Undrilled)

Quantity: 2
Total price: £3.10
Additional information: roughly matching for wire wrapped earrings