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No-solder copper earrings

Transform hardware store materials into a hammered cold connection

Although my background is in pottery, I always knew I wanted to try my hand at jewelry making. It wasn’t until around 2006, when my youngest child began pre-kindergarten, that I took my first jewelry class. On the first day of class, I knew immediately that this is what I wanted to do. There is a special kind of magic that happens when you realize you can transform simple copper sheet and tubing into richly textured and colored jewelry.

Click through the gallery below for step-by-step instructions, or click here for the free project PDF.

Materials

  • Copper sheet: 22 gauge (0.6 mm), 13⁄8 x 3 in (35 x 76 mm)
  • Copper tubing: 1⁄2 in. (13 mm) diameter, approximately 3⁄4 in. (20 mm)
  • Sterling silver wire: 20 gauge (0.8 mm), 3 3⁄16 in. (81 mm)

Additional tools & supplies

  • Permanent marker
  • Split mandrel (optional)
  • Texture hammer or stamps
  • Tube-and-pipe cutter
  • Handheld butane torch
  • Fire-resistant surface: soldering block, charcoal block, or firebrick
  • Cross-locking tweezers
  • Dapping punch (slightly larger than the diameter of the tube)
  • Brass hammer
  • Ammonia: 1⁄4 cup (59 mL)
  • Plastic container with a tight-fitting lid
  • Enameling trivets, 2
  • Salt, 1 Tbsp
  • Fine-tip paintbrush
  • Green patina
  • Renaissance wax or other wax sealant
  • Cup bur, 1.4–1.6 mm (optional)

Suppliers

  • Copper tubing and tube-and-pipe cutter: Local hardware stores
  • Dapping set, sandpaper, center punch: Harbor Freight, www.harborfreight.com
  • Additional tools, patina, and supplies: Rio Grande, www.riogrande.com

Toolboxes

Instructions

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