Saturday, July 3, 2010

Studio Saturday with Lynn Davis

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This weeks winner is Cindy Wimmer! Congratulations!

You have won a set of teal birch disk beads from Heather Powers at Humblebeads!
Please send Heather an email with your address so she can ship this package out to you.

This week I'm showing you some of my cast pewter openwork disks, and how I made them into a pair of dangle earrings with a locking back. I don't like it when my earrings slide around, so I made a hook on the back that catches the earwire, to hold them secure.

I cut six inches of gold-filled wire, to create the earwires, but sterling silver would also work well. I made a large loop on my round nose pliers about 1" from the end of the wire, and put the other end through the hole in the center of the disk. This will work with any bead or component that has a hole in the center - it will even work with buttons.
On the front I made a double-look on my round nose pliers, to tightly secure the disk on the wire.

Take the rest of the length and bend it so it's pointed upward perpendicular to the round loop on the back. Bend over the top about 1" from the double loop, to make the earwire hanger.

In the back, bend a crook in the short length that comes from the first large loop, and use it to create the back locking link for the earwire. Trim the excess wire until it's about 3/4" below the hook, and sand or file it smooth. That's the part that goes through your ear so it shouldn't have any snags on it.

If you have a hammer and bench block or anvil, hammer the wire loop gently to flatten and harden it, to put just the right amount of spring in the loop. You can also hammer the hook part, to give it some firmness and work harden it.

It will hang daintily from your ear, and you'll know it's secure because it is locked in back! This method of making an earring wire will work for small or large beads, in glass or any kind of bead with a center hole in it.

If you'd like to win a pair of disks just like this, to create your own earrings or other jewelry piece, here's the question for this week, comment on this post and you might be the winner.

I'm headed out on vacation soon, and I plan to take some small mobile projects to work on while I'm away. Do you take jewelry projects along when you travel? What kind of things do you find work well when you're traveling, and do you have some hints and tips for traveling with beads? Do you like to include beadwork or jewelry shopping as part of your usual vacation or holiday travel plans?

Share your travel and vacation stories - you might be the winner this week!

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