I am a hard core tool junkie… it’s hard for me to imagine any jewelry making tool that I wouldn’t want to own! Hammers, and pliers, and drill bits, oh my! But a few years ago, I started seeing some new jigs in magazines that were specifically made for creating ear wires, and couldn’t help thinking…. WHY???
Creating ear wires is easy, needs no special tools, and is a skill that anyone making jewelry should be able to do. I have a one page handout that I made for my students, but you don’t need to take a class with me – I’m posting the “how-to” right here!
STEP 1: Cut a piece of 20g wire between 1.5- 2 inches. File both ends of the wire, and make a single loop on one side. You should always make pairs together, one step at a time, so they are consistent.
STEP 2: Using a pen as a mandrel (the “ridged” type pen works very nicely), bend the wire around the pen – keep the loop as shown, don’t let the loop turn to the side. Pull both sides of wire down around the pen barrel, then PUSH the loop under the barrel until ear wire shape is seen. Pushing the loop under the pen gives you a “swoop” in the wire.
STEP 3: For a nice professional touch, use pliers to create slight bend at the end of the wire. Hammer the curves, or tumble to harden.
Have fun, and experiment! You can make larger ear wires by cutting longer wire, and using a pen with a larger barrel than shown. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll bee creating all different wonderful styles to go with your designs.