Sunday, August 2, 2009


There was a time when I wondered why anyone in their right mind would want to make earwires, I understand it now.

Before I go any further, please understand that I am not talking about earwires made from base metal, surgical steel or silver plated brass. I am speaking of sterling silver earwires. For most of the earrings that Jane makes, she uses sterling silver earwires. Sometimes copper, but usually sterling silver.

I now understand that there are at least three reasons why making your own earwires makes good sense.

Sterling silver earwires are not cheap. It doesn't matter what kind of deals you find, they are still not cheap. No matter how good a price you find, it still adds up when you buy 100, 200 or even 300 pairs of earwires.

You need about two inches of silver wire to make an earwire. If you use 20 gauge round silver wire, you can get approximately 57 pairs of earwires from an ounce of silver. 21 gauge will yield about 70 pairs. Even if you have to pay $21 an ounce for 21 gauge wire, your cost for the pair of earwires is still only 30 cents.

When you make it yourself, the quality is not in question. You "know" that they are sterling and that it won't infect someone's ears. You can tumble the earwires to give them a great shine and to harden them.

Earring designs are becoming more creative all the time. The standard fishhook earwires are give way to french style earwires and other designs. In short you can make a pair of earwires that are as unique as the earrings that you make.

With all that being said, I had to try my hand at making some earwires.

The picture below is copper and silver french earwires. The silver wire is 20 gauge. Seems to work very well, but I think that 21 gauge would work well also. The copper earwires are 22 gauge. I would have used 20, but 22 was all that we had. Both have been tumbled for shine and hardness. The 22 gauge copper makes delicate earwires, but the tumbling hardened them enough to make them quite useable.

The earwires below are the standard fishhook design with the addition of Swarovski crystals. I made these while we were at the Italian Farm Market Saturday morning. In between talking with customers and other vendors I made 24 pairs of these in groups of three.

I am sure that there are more to follow. Let us know what you think about making your own earwires.

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