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Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings

Dap and stack graduated sizes of free-form wire flowers, and then embellish them with a bicone crystal for these fun earrings

SUPPLIES

Earrings, 1 in. (25.5 mm)

  • 6 in. (15.2 cm) 19-gauge (0.9 mm) steel wire
  • 6 in. (15.2 cm) 22-gauge (0.6 mm) sterling silver wire
  • 24-gauge (0.5 mm) wire
  • 8 ft. (2.4 m) color A (yellow brass)
  • 4 ft. (1.2 m) color B (antiqued copper)
  • 2 4 mm bicone crystals (Swarovski, jet)
  • Wirework toolbox
  • Dapping block and punches
  • Pen or other cylindrical object

INSTRUCTIONS

Flower layers
Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 1
Step 1
Measure approximately 2 ft. (61 cm) of 24-gauge color A wire, but do not cut the wire from the spool. Using your fingers and roundnose pliers, make small loops and bends 1⁄8–1⁄4 in. (3–6.5 mm) long, forming a circular shape approximately 1 in. (25.5 mm) in diameter. Do not overlap the wire loops.
Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 2
Step 2
Continue making small loops around the outside edge of the flower, alternating between forming a loop behind a loop from step 1 and forming a loop in front of a loop made in step 1. Continue making loops until you have gone all the way around the flower once.
Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 3
Step 3
Bring the working wire to the center, and make several small loops. Cut the wire from the spool. Tuck the end into the flower layer.
Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 4
Step 4
Using your fingers, gently press the flower layer into the 1-in. (25.5 mm) hole in the dapping block, making sure none of the wire extends outside the hole. Hammer the punch no more than eight times to dome the layer.
Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 5
Step 5
Repeat steps 1–4 to create two more flower layers, each slightly smaller than the previous one. For the middle layer, use color B 24-gauge wire, form the flower to measure approximately 7⁄8 in. (22 mm) in diameter, and dap the flower in the hole that is one size smaller than the largest layer. For the top layer, use color A wire again (or a third color of your choice) to form the flower to approximately 3⁄4 in. (19 mm) in diameter. Dap the flower in the hole that is one size smaller than the middle layer.
Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 6
Step 6

Center spiral

Cut a 3-in. (76 mm) piece of 19-gauge wire. Using roundnose pliers, begin making a spiral. For the last three rotations, allow the wire to separate slightly. Make one more rotation around the outside edge, directly below the previous rotation of wire. Trim the wire if necessary.

Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 7
Step 7

Assembly

Cut a 3-in. (76 mm) piece of 22-gauge wire. Using the tip of your roundnose pliers, make a small loop on one end. String a 4 mm bicone crystal.

Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 8
Step 8

String the wire through the center of the spiral and each of the three flower layers from smallest to largest.

Whirlwind wildflower wire earrings 9
Step 9

Weave the wire through a few loops on the back of the largest layer, and bend the wire straight up against the flower. Just above the flower, pull the wire around the barrel of a pen or other cylindrical object. Use chainnose pliers to make a bend about 1⁄4 in. (6.5 mm) from the end. Smooth the end with a file, cup bur, or wire rounder. Place the ear wire on a bench block or anvil, and lightly hammer the ear wire.
 
Repeat steps 1–9 to make the second earring.

B170681
About the author

Training in art, color, theatrical costuming, glass lampworking, metalwork, wirework, beading, and communication have led Laura Andrews to teaching the art of beadwork. Her extensive background in theatrical costume design has provided a great deal of related experience, especially in the area of color selection and tonal relationships. Favorite past productions include Costume Designer for "Cats" and Jewelry Designer for "Evita". Laura has taught throughout the US and in Europe. As a recognized international instructor, she is eager to share her love of color, design and bead, wire, and metal artistry.

Laura is thrilled to be teaching at Bead and Button show again. She has been taking classes and now teaching at the Show for 16 years. This year, she will be teaching two classes.

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