How to Make Dichroic Glass and Enamel Earrings

Make a playful yet well-crafted pair of earrings using multi-colored dichroic glass, accent beads and gold-filled wire.

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Materials and Tools:

black, brightly colored rippled dichroic glass
fine silver sheet
2 colors washed vitreous (glass) enamel powder
Klyr-Fire temporary gum adhesive
14kt. gold-filled wire: 18- and 20-gauge
small glass accent beads
hammers
wooden dapping forms
jeweler's saw and blades
acetylene torch
pliers
glass bench
cutting board
glass scoring tool cutter
running pliers
glass grinder machine
glass kiln
kiln shelf fire blanket
enamel bench
enamel powders
enamel brushed
sifters
tools
enamel kiln
metal firing rack
enamel kiln fork
pliers

Steps:

1. To make fine silver pod-shaped beads: Saw out the bead pod shapes from fine silver. Hammer them in a curved wooden block into curled-up pod shaped beads.

2. Heat each curled-up pod-shaped bead with the torch until the curled-up pod edges fuse into a bead.

3. To make the kiln-fired glass elements: Set the dichroic glass on the cutting surface. Turn glass sheet over and draw shapes with a marker, then score with the glasscutter.

4. Use running pliers to break the scored dichroic glass shapes. Grind (with the electric glass grinder) the dichroic glass shapes to the same size and shape.

5. Place the dichroic glass pieces in the little glass fusing kiln on a piece of fireproof kiln blanket. Set on the kiln shelf, and fire them to approximately 1650 degrees F. The firing takes about 15 minutes. Check them toward the end of the firing time for the fire-polished look. Turn the kiln off and let them cool (and anneal) slowly for approximately 3 hours.

6. To enamel the sterling silver pod beads: Put the prepared enamel powder either onto a paper sheet or into a small container or small sifter.

7. Place pods on wire and then put the Klyr-Fire temporary gum adhesive on the silver bead pods. Apply enamel powder to bead pods by sifting the enamel powder onto the beads.

8. Put on wire firing rack (let dry on kiln top) and fire in kiln at approximately 1500  degrees F for approximately one minute. Let cool.

9. Remove kiln-fired dichroic glass triangle earring parts from glass kiln.

10. With 20-gauge gold-filled wire coil, wrap wire around kiln-fired dichroic glass triangles. Make a hook and a swirl (with pliers), which will hold the glass.

11. Put silver enameled beads on 20-gauge wire with little glass accent beads at the ends, making hooks on the ends (with pliers) to create the enamel bead element.

12. Use the same wire and small glass accent bead to make the earring wire hooks that will be the top hook element to go through ears.

13. With 18-gauge gold-filled wire, make swirl element by bending it with pliers and hands. Hammer wire swirl elements to give them shape and texture.

14. Assemble all elements by hooking them together using your hands and pliers.

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