New Earrings Using Patterned Bronze Sheet

In my last blog post I wrote about some patterned bronze sheet I'd made using my rolling mill and that I'd then made some new earrings with the results.

One of the pairs is made with a leaf vein texture. It's really easy to get a mirror image of the leaf vein texture by sandwiching a skeleton leaf between two sheets of metal which is what I did for these earrings. I then trimmed around the outline of the leaf shape and added a curve to the leaves so they looked a bit more like real leaves.

 I used this forming block...

I bought this on ebay a while ago and only recently found out it's designed to be a bangle forming block but it can be used to form curves in lots of different shapes. It always makes me think of a child's toy :D

It added a nice curve to the leaf shape which is what I was after. I then soldered a jump ring to the top of the earrings and pierced out the centre to form the hanging hole for the earwires.

I tidied up the edges of the pierced holes with the help of a file and my flexshaft then decided how to decorate the earrings. I had originally planned to add a cabochon near the bottom then I realized the curve would make that a bit of a fiddle to do. So I kept it simple with two silver balls near the top instead!

I used the bezels and cabs I was going to put on the leaf earrings and added them to these bronze heart earrings instead.

My bezel setting weapons...

I try to avoid using metal bezel rollers/rockers whenever possible after ruining one too many cab settings right at the very end of the whole making process. Instead I use a toothbrush handle and half a wooden clothes peg. Wood and plastic are softer than metal and stone so if you do slip as you're setting your stone you won't end up with a scratched cab or bezel. Sometimes if the bezel is a bit hard to move I will use a metal bezel rocker..... but very carefully! 

These bullet shape bronze earrings used sheet textured using a bought brass texture sheet.

I soldered on the hanging loops the easiest way I could find. Adding the finishing bits - loops, jump rings and earwires is my least favourite type of soldering and normally when I'm likely to make a mess of things!

I formed the loops from sterling silver wire then flowed some solder on the ends on one side. I then sat the earring on top of the loop and put a copper disc on top of the loop towards the top. This pushed the loop up at the ends under the earring and made sure they was good contact between the two so that it would solder properly.

I covered the solder join between the two layers of bronze with a paste made from rouge powder and water. This will stop the solder reflowing and messing up the front of the earring. Then I hit the top of the earring with the flame and watched for the solder to flow at the point where the silver loop emerged from under the earring. Doing it this way mean the weight of the earring stops anything moving {and me swearing}.

 After checking the soldering is good the earrings go into the pickle pot then a soak in super pickle to remove the copper plating that forms when you heat and pickle bronze. Any excess solder was removed and the ends of the wire smoothed down before the earrings were oxidized in LOS.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your process Tracy. The idea to use a jump ring to look like an eyelet is brilliant, I was showing your work (these earrings) to my students in class today and we were wowing it

    1. Thanks Divya! I feel very honoured to think you showed your students my post :D

  2. Your new pieces are amazing! I love how real the texture looks of the leaves. The stone bezel setting is beautiful on the heart.

    1. Thanks Val, I really love using leaf skeletons for texture.

  3. Beautiful earrings! I especially love the leaves :)


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