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Earring construction

I’m a novice jewelry maker and have been lurking here for a
while, learning a great deal from the conversations, but having
little to add. Thanks all. Now I’ve got a question.

I’ve occasionally seen earrings with ear wires at the very
topmost point, which look as though they are made out of one
piece of metal. Are they forged, or is this an example of
excellent soldering and finishing? Any suggestions as to how
best to achieve this result?

Phyllis Cohen Santa Clara, California

The top most earing posts are always hold in place with solder.
Cast ones are weak and have not a good finish, you have to twist
them with tweezers to make them harder. Post made with a wire are
more resistant and gives the best finish.

Bye Vincent Guy Audette

Hi Phyllis Cohen, one technique for achieving seamless wires to
earrings is by roller forging. This is usually better for longer
vertical drop designs and is done by a combination of judicious
rolling in flat and wire mills, finishing with a little planishing
with a 4oz hammer and steady. I usually start with 4.5mm wire and
roll a short section of each end progressively down through my
square wire rollers to .9mm square. This leaves me with a piece of
metal heavy in the middle with the two thinner wires extruded from
each end. I cut this in half, then form the thicker parts by rolling
sideways in the flat rollers down to 1mm, then planish, bend,
pierce or whatever else I have to do for the specific design, then
finish with a file to round off the corners on the ear wires.
Whatever else you do is up to your individual creativity and it
leaves you with a nice pair of earrings sans solder joins. - Rex
Merten, Oz

Well, sometimes it is really good soldering, but I did an article
in Lapidary Journal last year where I demonstrated graduated wire
drawing. This thins the wire gradually so you can make ear wire
(or pin stem in my case). It was Sept 96 issue. Hope it helps Joy

We used to have an earring that the post- in this case a
"Shepherds crook" was cast as one. This was OK as we hammered the
crook after it was shaped, then tumbled it. In recent times the
model has been upgraded to accept a pre-fab Shepherds crook that is
soldered on, we’ve had fewer returns since we’ve started doing
this. I was having to repair them all the time, they would come
back looking as if someone had chewed on the ear wire, and lo and
behold, it just happened to break off. Tim Goodwin