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Sassy and bold, these earrings incorporate a little elementary metalsmithing with simple wirework. Any type of pearl will do, but the coin shape lends a definite swingin' '60s attitude.

Designer: Andrea McLester

« Finished Size_

2 rose freshwater pearls, 13 mm coin

2 sterling silver 22-gauge, ball-end head pins, IV2 inches (3.1 cm) long

1 mm x 3 mm rectangular sterling silver wire, 3V4 inches (8.9 cm)

3-inch (7.6 cm) length of 20-gauge, round, sterling silver wire

0 Tools_

Wire cutters

Ball peen hammer

Bench block or other smooth, hard, metal surface

Metal file, emery board, or sandpaper

Fine-point permanent marker

Small finishing nail

Safety glasses

Drill with a 1-mm bit

Drill press (optional)

Chain-nose pliers

Round-nose pliers

V?-inch (1.3 cm) wooden dowel, 4 inches (10.2 cm) long

Silver cream or polishing cloth

1. Cue the rectangular wire into two 1-inch (4.5 cm) pieces. Set aside.

2. (air the 20-gauge wire into two 1 V4-inch (3.1 cm) pieces. Set aside.

3. Place one of the rectangular wire pieces on the block. Use the ball end ot the hammer to strike the wires face repeatedly to create texture. Disperse your hammer blows equally along both sides. You may notice the wire curving sideways because one side of the metal has been hammered more than the other. \o correct this, simply hammer along the inside of the curve and the metal will gradually straighten.

4. Use the metal file, emery board, or sandpaper to file the ends ol the hammered wire. "Hie ends should be smooth and the corners rounded.

5. Mark a small dot on the hammered wire 2 mm from each end. Use the hammer and small finishing nail to make a dimple, or pilot hole, on each dot (figure I).

1 he blow should be hard enough to dent the metal but not so hard as to puncture it.

Techniques____

Simple loop (page 26) Wrapped loop (page 27)

Opening and closing loops (page 25)

6. II you have a drill press available, set the drill into it (the press makes for precision drilling). Put on the safety glasses. Turn on the drill and lower the end ol the bit directly into the pilot hole, keeping the drill perpendicular to the silver wire.

7. File any metal burrs off the back of the wires. Set the w hammered wire aside.

8. Form a simple loop at the end of one of the 20-gauge wire pieces. Use your thumb to hold the loop against the wooden dowel as you wrap the rest of the wire halfway around the dowel

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