Today we are so excited to share with you a guest tutorial, brought to you by Kirsty from Little Black Cat Jewellery!
In this project you will combine a range of techniques including forming metal, sawing, soldering, polishing and wire wrapping.
This is a great design to try if you want to dip your toes into the wonderful world of metalsmithing.
Or perhaps you've always focused on metalsmithing, so now could be the time to add some beads into the mix - as you can see the results can be beautiful!
This project is perfect for experimenting with various wire, textures and beads - get creative!
Use your wire looping pliers to wrap the sterling silver round wire to create a double wrap of silver, which should look like the one pictured above!
Apply solder paste to the joins and use a gas torch to heat the rings until the solder flows, then quench in water.
Pickle the circles to clean the use your favourite polishing method to give them a shiny finish - we personally love using polishing papers! Kirsty uses wire wool and then pops the circles into a barrelling machine to polish hers.
Thread your bead onto the headpin so that it sits on the head. Create a loop with the headpin by wrapping it around the tip of round nose pliers. Before wire wrapping to secure, add the loop to your soldered circle and use snipe nose pliers or flat nose pliers to hold the loop flat whilst you wrap the remaining headpin wire around on its self and down towards the bead. You can use round nose pliers or your hands to wrap the wire. Wrap the headpin until there is no excess remaining - if you can not do this before the bead starts you can trim it off with side cutters. For a neat finish use snipe nose pliers to squeeze the end of headpin close into the coil. Repeat for the other earring.
The final step is to hook your soldered circles onto the earwires with ball and pinching closed to secure. Your beautiful handmade earrings are now ready to be worn!
We invited Kirsty to take part in our video series, where jewellers share with us a day in their life. Watch below as Kirsty gives us a tour of her garden shed studio, meet her adorable cats and watch as she makes some incredible designs.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team who will be more than happy to give you advice over email or on the phone.
You can learn more and find inspiration by visiting our Jewellery Making Tutorials, Jewellery Making Kits and YouTube Channel. Don't forget to follow us on social media and tag us in your designs on Instagram & Facebook, we would love to see!