Tool Time Tuesday – Matched Ear Wires

Well, once again it is Monday. However, my flight to Tucson leaves at 5:45 am tomorrow, so I will not be around to make my post. Again, better one day early than not at all.

This week is going to be a lot of fun for me. I am very excited as I am flying to Tucson to hang out with Kevin Potter in his shop. I am going to learn everything I can about the hydraulic press and Stakes. I will even have the opportunity to make a few of my own tools. I am so excited! I am also going to be staying with some good friends of ours from grad school. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the hot weather. I enjoy summer as much as the next guy, but I am ready for it to be done. Fall is my very favorite season and it always has been. I am so glad that I get to be here in Ohio to enjoy just one more.

The other night the topic of creating ear wires came up on one of my email groups. The person was looking at buying a jig to create them. Now, I am very grateful to jigs. They do come in handy every now and then and it is also how I got started with wire and jewelry in the first place. I recall talking with one lady at a show that had helped to write a book on making jewelry with the jig and she had said she NEVER used one any more as she could do all the same things with her pliers. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do that. Sure enough, slowly but surely I began to do more and more with just my round nose pliers. I pretty much never use my jig any more. It has been years since I have even looked at the thing. At any rate, I told about my own situation and that I thought that there were better places for her to spend her money. The conversation continued with several of us and the concern about making her ear wires match came up. What a great opportunity to create a video. YAY!

Now the video(s) here were filmed around midnight and posted that night (I went to bed at 3:00am.) So I did notice one big oversight, I forgot to tel how to finish the ends. So watch the videos and come back here so I can tell a little more about that.

I am either extremely slow, or very chatty. Either way, the video was too long for YouTube. Therefore, there are two parts. Enjoy!

Part 1:

Part 2:


Okay, to finish the ends I do any number of things. You can take a file and lightly file the edges and round out the end that way. It takes a little more time. The next thing I use is called a Wire Rounder. They are about $10 – $12 (I think?) and you just put it on the end of your ear wire and twist your wrist. It is basically a cup bur  mounted to a handle. The last thing I do is take a cup bur put it in my flex shaft, push the petal and ZIP, it is all done.


New Pieces

I have done a little in the studio, but not a whole lot this past week. I had a full day set aside on Friday. I even took my baby, but we ended up having a showing of our house. So I spent the day cleaning and then took a nap instead.

I made more bracelets, because really, can you ever have enough? Someone had mentioned that they would like one in Sterling. So I made one. I have since oxidized this one and it really brings out the details of all the folds. DANG, silver is much more difficult to fold and unfold. But it sure is pretty!


This next one is a different take on a Mother’s Bracelet. I made it for the friend that I will be staying with in Tucson. I don’t know if she wears jewelry or not, so it might just sit in her jewelry chest or on top of her dresser, but it sure was fun to make at any rate. I also made little pendants for her little girls.


Riley is in the studio

My 11-year-old has been bitten by the piercing bug. She LOVES it and is always asking me if she can go in the studio to do some more. Just wait till you see the piece she is working on now. It is not simple and quite elaborate for a beginner. I am really proud of her. She is learning a lot, but enjoying it. Santa may have to bring her a saw for Christmas.

This is a shape that she drew free-hand and then pierced out. She showed one of the Recess Aides at school and was then commissioned to make another for the aide. I have also now had a talk with Riley about the value of her work. LOL. She did get a pair of earrings in exchange and is happy with the transaction.

Riley Hedgehog Cutout

Riley is filing the rough points on her little hedge hog. It makes my heart so full to look at pictures of her working in the studio. *PROUD MAMA HERE*


Here are some other pieces that she has done. The two at the top are the original and the commissioned piece.

The three at the bottom (from left to right) are a cat, dog and mouse. All drawn freehand and then cut out.


Class Changes

Classes in my Norton Studio:
Tuesday, September 20, 6-9pm – Fold formed and pressed bracelet (like those above.) $65, all materials included. Students will make one bracelet.

Saturday, September 24, Hydraulic Press and Pierced Pendant 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. $75, all materials included. Students will make one
pendant. This one will be rescheduled at a later date.

Classes at Beadtini Boutique in Copley

Wednesday, August 31
– 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Creative Findings. This is a combination soldering
and wire class. You will learn to create soldered embellishments
including toggle clasps, head pins, links, creative ear wires and other

Wednesday, September 14 – 6:00 – 9:00 pm:
Spinner Rings. You will learn techniques to size and make a wide band
ring with spinning rings. This class is a great introduction to working
with a torch.

****Date Change!*****
Saturday, September 17 – 10:30 am – 2:30pm:
Bezel Set Pendant. Students will work with both copper and fine silver
to bezel set a small cabochon on a copper back plate. Prior soldering
experience is required to take this class. NEW DATE ***** Saturday, September 24*****

See you all next week when I return. I should have a lot of REALLY good stuff to share.

4 thoughts on “Tool Time Tuesday – Matched Ear Wires

  1. M.Summers

    On your ear wire tutorial you used a hammer I would like to buy one where
    can I purchase one? Your tutorials are
    the best really good solid information.
    I thank you for sharing!

  2. Cindy Palance

    Somehow I missed this post. I want tocomment on Riley’s work. I only wish I could draw as well as she does. And the piercing is great. Tell her she is an inspiration to people like me that has been to. afraid to try something as elaborate as the pieces she is doing. Tell her to keep up the great work. I think she is a natural.

  3. Melissa Muir

    Thank you! She really is a natural and blows me away. I can’t draw either and she broke far fewer blades than I did when I was getting started. She has a piece that is pretty intricate, but she can’t find it just now. But when she does, I will take a picture and post it. She really is pretty cool.

    I will certainly pass on the information to her. Thank you for posting. I know it will make her happy!



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