How to Ball Up the End of a Metal Wire by Heating It

A simple way to make unique ceramic and metal earrings!

metal wire

A few weeks ago, we presented an excerpt from Part 1 of our Ceramic Jewelry Making video, in which Jen Allen made a pair of dangly earrings using a clay bead and a hammered metal wire. The cool thing about those earrings is that they could be made mostly with tools on hand.

Today we have a follow up to that video that turns up the heat a bit to show you a way to make a similar pair of earrings. In this excerpt from Ceramic Jewelry Making Part 2, metalsmith Maia Leppo shows how to use an acetylene torch to ball up the metal at the end of the wire. This wire not only keeps the beads on the wire, but also gives you an alternative to the hammered look of Jen’s earrings. – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

This clip was excerpted from Ceramic Jewelry Making Part 2 with Jen Allen and Maia Leppo, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop. 

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More on Ceramic Jewelry!

If you have been wondering how to make clay jewelry, a lot of ceramic artists use clay slabs, but there are countless methods for making ceramic jewelry. Body adornment is one of the oldest art forms so it is no surprise that clay has been used as a jewelry making material for a very long time. In this project from Joanna Veevers, excerpted from the book Ceramic Jewelry, Joanna shows how to make clay jewelry by scratching into a plaster slab and then pouring and painting on casting slips of different colors.

Plaster press molds are very useful when you are planning to make multiples of a particular form or an embellishment to a form. For Allistair and Sally MacDonell, press molds really came in handy for a series of ceramic jewelry that they wanted to make. In this post, the MacDonells show us how easy it is to make plaster press molds. Plus they explain how they use stamps to texture each slab before molding it into the shape they want.


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