Tuesday, December 2, 2008

sterling silver organic hoop earrings jewelry etsyI've recently learned to solder. While my early attempts were making bezel-set rings, lately I've been going to simpler things: hoops and circles.

Just making simple rings from wire, soldering them to make perfect circles (more or less), then hammering them to the desired shape can be so gratifying.

Especially the hammering.

I've had a number of designs in my head. Not content to go with simple circles, I wanted to make them a bit more...organic. So I was thinking about graceful curves, hammered to bring out a dimensional look.

Plus I wanted them to be substantial. So I decided to be daring and pulled out my 14 gauge sterling wire. It has a lot of heft. Yes, perfect.

I made one large and one smaller circle. Soldered them, formed them freehand and hammered them. Then hung them on handmade links.

You can see them above. Notice I left the tops of the hoops unhammered, but flattened the bottoms to create some dimension.

As with all new designs, I had to wear them - let's call it quality control. Sometimes new pieces have quirks that need to be modified before they can be considered ready to be sold.

sterling silver organic earrings jewelry etsySo I wore them -- to a roller skating rink.

While there, I found that they had an annoying little habit - they didn't want to stay in position! Instead, they tended to flip around to this:

Why did they do that?

I think it's because the flattened areas (which I wanted to hang down) tended to weigh slightly less than the unhammered tops. So when I moved around, gravity made them shift.

Sigh. What to do?

I thought about a number of fixes:
Solder the rings together and solder a jump ring to the top. (But I would lose the movement I wanted in these earrings.)

Tie them up on the top with wire. (I didn't think this would look good.)

Drill a hole at the tops of the hoops and put a jump ring through it. (Maybe. But the hole would have to be pretty small and so would the wire for the jump ring. OR I would have to hammer the tops, which would make them lose the dimensional effect I wanted.)

I spent a couple of weeks thinking about it until I came to a solution.

Tomorrow: the solution.

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  1. Paw and Claw Designs said...
    i kinda like then upside down. ;)
    Ravenswick said...
    They are very pretty. It seems like it takes forever to get things just right and okay to sell doesn't it?
    High Desert Diva said...
    Dang nabbit! I was all set to read about your brilliant solution!

    I really like the look of the earrings (in the first pic)...I can't wait to see what you came up with to get them to stay in place.
    emve said...
    They look really cool!
    CarolynArtist said...
    As Gump said.... 'it happens'

    to all of us!!! :p
    Anonymous said...
    Hahaha, nice way to leave a cliffhanger! I want to know now! Oh well, tomorrow it is.
    Wear Your Wild said...
    Well of course I'll be back tomorrow for the rest of the story!
    Silver Canyons said...
    don't keep me in suspense! I want to know now! heheheh!!
    Andrea said...
    I'm eager to hear.

    I have a necklace that I made that I love. I can get to lie the way I want it to when I wear it, but because you have to gently adjust it when you first put it on, I can't sell it. I haven't yet come up with a good solution that I feel confident would work for someone else.
    Contrariwise said...
    I have a couple of pieces like that too. I wear them and know their little quirks and live with them. But I can't possibly sell them because they're not perfect.
    Baroness Bijoutery said...
    Love the look of the earrings very much, can't wait to see your solution. I have also made certain items that become mine because of the same little problems. Easy to adjust when you put them on but you don't want a customer having to do that.
    Contrariwise said...
    All I'll say right now is that it was an interesting solution.

    You're going to have to wait until tomorrow to decide if you like it.


    (My bad.)
    AngelaMichelle said...
    That's hilarious! Can't wait to see your solution :)
    Leslie said...
    I think they look cool, i like them upside down too.Your doing a great job!
    Blackfeatherfarm said...
    I think when we run into problems, it really makes us think for solutions that sometimes becomes our best work ! I can't solder to save my life, so it made me work to come up with solutions for getting around it. Thus, I found several techiniques and supplies that work wonderfully for the look I wanted to create. Your designs are really nice by the way.
    Jody said...
    OK, I have a question for you. I also wear my jewelry for quality control, but I've been reading a lot lately where people get weirded out by the thought of buying jewelry that has been worn by someone else, even if it has been cleaned. I personally don't feel this way. Would you care to weigh in on this?
    Contrariwise said...

    Great question. If it's a brand new design, I feel that I really need to wear the first one to make sure there's nothing wrong with it. Otherwise, I feel that I'm doing the buyer a disservice.

    For earrings, I have earwires that I keep for my own personal use. After I'm done wearing the earrings , I give them brand new non-worn earwires.

    Lots of times, though, I keep the originals for myself :-)
    Jody said...
    That's a great idea about the earwires, I'd never thought of that. I think I'll start doing that, too. Thanks for the tip!

    I mainly do OOAK stuff, but often I will like something so much I'll make another pair to sell. I also do prototypes in lesser materials (like plated wire) to check out a design and keep that for myself.

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