I haven’t made earrings this big, but I do make this form. I call
the forms X-Oids, because they are an X in cross-section. An Orchid
friend from Belgium showed me photos of earrings she made when taught
by Africans (sorry-not sure if they were Fulani, or not) and they
DID, indeed teach her their method of forging it out from one solid
bar. They start by chiseling into the bar, and then, as the "wings"
are forged, they naturally twist, since the edges get the most
I have been fascinated by the way this form occurs throughout world
history. There are bronze and iron Celtic torcs and bracelets, and
Greek and Roman examples in gold, as well as the African versions.
Some cultures make them by attaching sheet to rod, others forge it.
30 years ago, I was taught by Fred Fenster to make this form by
cutting slit half way into two sheets so that they slot together.
Then I soldered and twisted. This works, but sawing the slit for a
16" long neckpiece is not easy, and soldering is tricky, too.
These days, I bend two pieces at right angles, and solder them
together, and then twist. Interestingly, Fred tells me that he has
changed to this method, too! I teach workshops on making this form,
titled, X-Oids: Elegantly Twisted Spirals. I find this form has many
possibilities, and I encourage the workshop participants to
experiment. I have fun with the idea that we are working with a
historical form, in a contemporary way. There are three examples on
my website: http://www.cynthiaeid.com/gallery.html
I hope this is helpful.