Attaching wire to the back of an earring to be enamelled

I want to make some stud earrings, domed, etched and enamelled. I need advice about how I can fix the wire. Would fusing be strong enough? I presume that would have to be fine silver?
Would hard solder withstand the enamelling temperature? I’m loath to try enamelling solder, there’s too high a probability of melting the silver itself!

You might look at the size of the hole in the nuts that you will be using on the post. Then draw wire down to a size that will fit inside the hole in the nut. It should be sterling, not fine, as fine won’t hold its shape. I usually draw 18 gauge to 20 and then secure one end and draw a bit more to straighten it. Make both of your earrings and cut a piece of post stock twice as long as you will need plus a bit and solder an earring to each end. If it won’t show, drill a hole through the earring slightly larger in diameter than the wire you want the post to be made from, ball up the end and pull the post wire through with the ball stopping it at the hole. Solder from inside the earring allowing the solder to flow through the hole. However you solder the wire, by keeping both earrings on the long post wire, you will have more to hang on to while you do whatever polishing you will be doing. Once you are done polishing, hold an earring in each hand and slowly pull them apart twisting them at the same time. This will straighten the wire and test the solder joint. Cut the post to length and using a pair of round pliers, press a couple dimples towards the end of the post. These will act as stops for the nut. I think that Jo has described a better way to add these dimples in a previous post. Finish the end of the post with whatever you have to make it smooth. As for the question of what enameling temperatures will do to a solder joint, others will have to help. I don’t enamel and have no idea. I do use durenamel and it works well. Good luck…Rob


I forgot to mention that twisting will also harden the part of the wire annealed by soldering. Drawing down also hardens the post stock. Finally, if the post still needs hardening, you can heat harden the earrings in a kiln or even a toaster oven at 550 degrees for 60 minutes…Rob

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These sorts of posts should be tagged as VERY USEFUL. can we look into a tagging system @jeffg-moderator ?


Hello Helen,
I like Argentium sterling because it fuses so nicely. If you check with Rio Grande, you will find tech papers about Argentium. I have not tried fusing Argentium to regular sterling - that’s a good tech question for Rio.

FYI, I commonly mix Argentium and regular sterling. Also have switched to using Argentium solders on all varieties of sterling. The color match is very good and Argentium solders don’t seem to tarnish like regular sterling solders.

Hardening the wire by twisting the attached post as described by Rob is easy and also confirms that the post is well attached.

Judy in Kansas, where temps swing from 40s to teens (that’s below freezing!) Spring is trying to settle in.


I’ve done more than my fair share of enameling on hand fabricated silver pieces. Sadly you will have to use IT or Eutectic solder. Enamel does not play well with normal silver solders.
It’s not at all about the firing temp. It’s all about the alloys in the solders. The enamel will want to pop off where there is standard silver solder. The earring surfaces that needs to be enameled should be fine silver, or continuum silver. You can use sterling, but it must be depletion gilded first. The posts can be sterling, but will need to be soldered with the high temp solders. A good work around in these situations is to make the dome. Enamel on both the front and counter enamel on the back. Then make a nice frame with a bezel or prongs and a post all soldered on it. Essentially you are treating the enamel like a gem stone.
Let us know how this project turns out.


My experience is not quite in line with what you are asking as far as the materials but it might be worth trying on a test piece. I do enameling,mostly in copper and I solder sterling posts onto the pieces with reguar hard solder. I then coat the join with yellow ochre and proceed to do the counter enameling. I do torch enameling so I have more control as to keeping the heat away from the post and when I am enameling the front I have the back side facing up on the trivet where I am directing the flame. You probably are using a kiln but perhaps the yellow ochre would still help?
Katherine Bagley


I have done a lot of enameling on fine silver with a sterling bail or ear wire soldered to the back. I use extra hard solder, or eutectic solder. It will hold up to your enameling just fine. Also someone mentioned Argentium Silver. It is very good for enameling I have been told. But fine silver is non reactive and is the best.