I’ve had this pair of earrings (left) for years, but never seen anything else quite like them on sale. A friend asked me to make her a pair, so I set about working out how to do it. As usual, it wasn’t quite as straightforward as I thought! So I decided to do my first jewellery tutorial, in the hope that it might help someone else.
I started with six inches of copper wire and tried to use my round-nose pliers to create a spiral in the same way I’d create a closed spiral (here’s a great tutorial on how to do that).
As you can see, this didn’t work so well. I got too many tool-marks and the spirals weren’t smooth.
Next I followed another tutorial on making an open spiral similar to what I was after. This worked a lot better, but I still had too many toolmarks and the spirals weren’t uniform.
In the end, nature provided the perfect mould for my spirals…rather apt for Surfergirl’s Seaglass! I wound the wire (this time 0.8mm silver wire, but I think 1mm would be even better) around a lovely shell, and from there gently shaped the spirals with my fingers. I used round-nosed pliers to get a tight curl on the inner end of the spirals.
Next, I used a cup burr on my Dremel to smooth out the end of the wire, so it is comfortable to push through a piercing. I hammered the spirals gently with a plastic hammer to flatten them and help the silver harden up. I then used my Dremel and some Dialux Rouge on a medium-soft wheel to polish them up. A quick rub with some Town Talk silver polish and they were ready.
I made a smooth pair for my friend, then two more pairs which I hammered, because I love a hammered texture. I intend to make lots more, and have some fun with different spiral arrangements and sizes.
These are super comfortable to wear, and quite striking. If you catch them, the spirals can get bent out of shape, but it’s easy enough to use fingers to fix it. I will be listing some on Surfergirl’s Seaglass Etsy shop soon! You can find them in the Sea & Slate Gallery in Llangrannog too.