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Bell Flower Earrings Tutorial


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Metal work jewelry making tutorial by Judy Larson. For more see

Published in: Education
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Bell Flower Earrings Tutorial

  1. 1. 1 Bell/Fuschia Flower Earrings Judy Larson When our son was little, he was very inquisitive and touched everything. Grandpa Ray caught this photo of him playing with the fuschia in Grandma’s garden. A few months ago I was working on a project needing bells without the “jingle” when I realized after opening them they looked just like those little flowers. I pounded the bell out on my bench block. Then it was just a matter of making a pattern I thought would work. It took a few tries to get something I was happy with and I found that narrow petals worked the best. I was not worried about the petals being exactly the same, but did try. Even so, cutting the blank out of metal did make for less than perfect petals. Since I planned on heavily texturing the petals, I was not worried. Below you see my metal blank placed on a one inch square. You can adjust the size of your pattern to obtain the size bell flower you wish. Materials: 26 gauge sheet metal Note: 28 gague can be used if making smaller flowers 6” of 20 or 18 gauge wire for eye pin-see Step11 Two 8-10mm bead caps-whichever fits the best- see Step 15 Two 5-6mm daisy spacers Two 5mm round beads 6 balled headpins or 6 headpins and six 2-3mm beads Hint: If you make your own balled head pins, use 18 or 20 gauge wire. 18 gauge was used in this tutorial. Pair of ear wires
  2. 2. 2 Tools: French shears Ultra fine point Sharpie Marker Ball pein hammer Rubber or plastic mallet Bench block Dapping punch set and padding-see Step 7 Alcohol and cotton pad Round and chain nose pliers Soft jaw pliers Flush cutter Metal hole punch-see Step 3 Ruler Mini torch and firing block or charcoal block Fine file and possibly a bead reamer Pickle pot and pickling solution Optional: 6 step barrel pliers Optional: Tumbler with shot, Liver of Sulphur, very fine steel wool Directions: Note: Read through all the directions before beginning the project. Only one earring is shown being made. Make both at the same time so both will be the same when completed. Step 1: Make the flower pattern on paper using the above photo as a guide. Cut the pattern out. Hint: Make the pattern larger for a pendant, or smaller for more petite earrings. Step 2: Using an ultra fine point sharpie marker, trace the pattern twice onto the 26 gague metal sheet-one for each earring. Use french shears to cut out each shape. Step 3: Punch the center hole in the flower using the appropriate hole punch. Note: The size of wire you use for the eye pin will determine the size of hole you punch in the center of the flower blank: 20 gauge wire-1.25mm hole punch 18 gauge wire-1.5mm hole punch Step 4: Texture the entire piece using any texture you desire. The ball end of a chasing hammer was used in this tutorial. You will notice that heavy texturing will enlarge and slightly distort the shape of your flower blank. You may want to file the point at this time if it is too sharp.
  3. 3. 3 Step 5: Anneal the work hardened pieces. Step 6: Pickle the pieces to remove the fire scale. If you do not have a tumbler to polish the pieces later, then you should polish them now with a steel wool or a wire brush and burnisher. Step 7: Place your cushioning material in the largest well of your dapping block. Place your flower blank on top, textured side down. Press the blank into the well with a large dap. Do not use a hammer on the dap. Hint: A flexible piece of sueded leather placed in the well of the dapping block makes a good cushion to help preserve the texture on the outside of the flower. Step 8: Place the formed flower onto the dap and press the petals around the dap to make a more rounded shape. Step 9: Repeat Steps 7-8 using the next smallest dapping well. Your flower should be taking shape. Continue down one or two more sizes until you have close to your desired shape.
  4. 4. 4 Step 10: Use round nose and soft jaw pliers to finish forming the shape you desire. Hint: You can continue to form the shape by hand around progressively smaller daps. Step 11: Straighten and cut a 3” piece of 18 or 20 gauge round wire for each eye pin. Note: 18 gauge wire was used in this tutorial, but it can be difficult to make a wire wrapped loop with it so you may wish to use 20 gauge wire. You can use your round nose pliers or step 2 of your 6 step barrel pliers to make the 3.25mm ID eye loop on one end of the wire. Step 12: Each earring has three stamens of different lengths dangling from the inside of the cone. For the earrings seen here, cut balled head pins at the following lengths for each earring: 15/16”, 11/16” and 9/16”. You can change the stamen length to suit your tastes. Make a small eye loop at the top of each head pin, making sure that it will swing freely on the wire you have chosen for the eye pin made above. If you are using head pins with beads, cut the head pins at those lengths, slide the beads on and make the eye loop. Step 13: Open the eye pin loop. Slide each balled head pin on, with the longest in the center. Close the eye pin loop. Step 14: If the eye pin wire does not fit through the hole in the top of the flower, use a bead reamer to clean up the hole and enlarge it a bit. Step 15: Slide the eye pin into the flower and out through the hole in the top. Add the bead cap, daisy spacer and bead.
  5. 5. 5 Step 16: Make a wire wrapped loop. Step 17: Attach ear wires. Step 18: Optional: Tumble the earrings with steel shot to harden and polish them. Step 19: Optional: Patina the earrings, if desired, using a liver of sulphur solution. Polish with very fine steel wool to bring out the design of the earrings. Step 20: Optional: Tumble for 30 minutes or so with steel shot if you want the earrings to have a brighter shine after the patina is applied. This will not affect the patina.