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Video:How To Make Twisted Wire Hoop Earrings

with Heidi Dehncke

Wire hoop earrings are essential pieces of jewelery. Learn how to make your own twisted wire hoop earrings.See Transcript

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Transcript:How To Make Twisted Wire Hoop Earrings

Hi. My name is Jeanette Caines. I'm a jewelry instructor here at the Jewelry Arts Institute and I'm here for About.com. The project we're going to be making is twisted wire hoop earrings. This is Valerie Bloom, my apprentice, and she's going to be learning along with you.

Tools Used to Make Wire Hoop Earrings

  • 16 gauge fine silver wire
  • Steel mandrels
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Scissors
  • File
  • Torch
  • Tweezers
  • Soldering block
  • Sterling Silver posts

Twist and Cut the Wire Hoop Earrings

The first step really is to twist your wire. She's taken a piece of 18 gauge fine silver wire and she's doubled it over, end to end. And she's put the two loose ends in the vice and she's going to use a hand drill just to twist it really nice and tight.

To get a nice tight coil it's usually really easier to put it in a vice like this and squish it nice and tight. That way you can pull on it, so your coil is nice and tight. Just loosen it up. And just slide it off.

Okay, the next step after I've made my loops is I'm going to cut. I always line myself up just like this. Now I have to file the ends nice and flush. Then I'll use my flat nose pliers to butt them tightly together. You can go past the seam a few times to create a little bit of tension.

Seam and Clean the Wire Hoop Earrings

Ok, now I'm ready to solder. I'm going to cut a small piece of hard solder. I'm going to position it on my block so that my seam is directly on top of the solder with both sides of the seam touching the solder. I'll put a couple of drops of flux on from the top, light up the torch and heat from above. Solder always follows the most heat. When it gets hot and the most liquid, it's just going to flow straight up from the seam.

I'm going to let it cool for a minute then I'm going to put it in the water. Any time after soldering it going to look kind of black, it's going to look kind of crusty and it's just time to go into the pickle bath. When we make up a fresh batch of pickle, we're going to use a about a quarter cup sodium bisulfate per quart of water. It's extremely important to add the acid to the water, not the water to the acid. You'll know it's done when it looks nice and clean.

Now that we've pickled it's time to stretch it nice and round. She's going to use her leather mallet on it just to tap it – just to get it to the right size. Now she's going to cut her jump ring. You're going to cut it at 12 o‘clock and at three o‘clock, basically taking a quarter of the circle out. All she has to do now is file them a little bit to make them flush.

Attach the Wire Hoop Earring Post

The next step is I'm going to make my granule. I just cut a couple pieces of the fine silver wire. You just melt them with the torch. Don't make the granule so very large that it over hangs quite a bit. It'll be a lot harder for you to balance it on there and solder it.

I'm going to take a small piece of solder and I'm going to dip it into the flux and I'm going to put it right on top of there. I'm going to position my granule right on top of it. Your piece of solder should not be so big that it over hangs. What you want to do though is to heat it gently. And although I'm right handed, I've got my torch in my left hand that way I can just move it back or pick it back up. And the solder flows and my little granule is attached.

So the metal is now kind of black and crusty and so I'm going to pickle it for three to five minutes until it's nice and clean. I have positioned my post. I have a third arm holding my earring. Just going to put my finger there to make sure they're making contact and I keep my heat low. And the second that solder flows, I pull my flame away and it's done. I'm going to let it cool for a minute and then I can just put it in the water and then we're going to go pickle it to clean it off, then it's polishing and enjoying wearing them.

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