Sterling Silver Calla Lily Earrings
Jewelry maker Julie Kirby of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, demonstrates how to design sterling silver calla lily earrings.
Materials and Tools:
30-gauge sterling silver sheet
20-gauge sterling silver wire
oxygen and acetylene torch
acid bath pickle
container of water
dark safety glasses
electric polishing tumbler
1. Scribe two 1/2" x 1/2" squares on a piece of 30-gauge sterling silver sheet using a square template.
2. Cut the squares out of the sheet with metal snips.
3. File the edges smooth and round the corners.
4. Heat the silver with the oxygen and acetylene torch to make it pliable.
5. Curl two edges under with a pair of long needle-nose pliers for each earring piece.
6. Form the cone shape of the lilies with a steel mandrel.
7. Cut two 1-1/4 inch lengths of 20-gauge silver wire.
8. Heat one end with the torch until it balls up. This will form the stamen for the lilies.
9. Put the wire through the cone shape and solder it in place.
10. Using a burnishing tool, form the cone shape tighter around the stamen and stem and flare out the form of the lilies. Repeat this process until both lilies match.
11. File the ends of the stems smooth.
12. Bend the ends with flat-nose pliers to form the ear wires.
13. Hammer the wire flat close to the top of the flowers with a planishing hammer on the anvil in order to harden the ear wires.
14. Soak the earrings in an acid solution for a few minutes to remove the fire scale. Rinse with water.
15. Throw the earrings into the polishing tumbler with steel shot and burnishing compound to tumble for eight hours.
16. Remove the calla lily earrings from the tumbler. Rinse with water.