Post Earrings

Most of us start in metal clay by making a pair of dangling earrings with a texture sheet. Some people prefer post earrings, with a stone setting. It turns out that post earrings are quite easily made. The secret is to use titanium ear posts with silver or bronze clay.

Titanium ear posts are available from most suppliers of jewelry supplies. While stainless steel and sterling will often become brittle after a trip through the kiln, titanium is safe up to 1650 degrees F. That is why you need to restrict yourself to silver and bronze — copper fires at a higher temperature.

The ear posts, out of the package, are as seen below.

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To convert them into earrings, one cuts thin disks of metal clay. I used 1 m20190314_195952m thick, but other thicknesses would work. I placed bezel cups inside the disks. Be sure to match metals on the cups and clay. A silver bezel cup will sinter with silver, and a bronze cup with bronze. Other than that, and undesirable chemical reactions are possible.

When these are dry, turn them upside down. Place the ear post on the back of the disk, and use more clay to affix it in place. It is not crucial that the ear post be straight, although you should make it as straight as you can manage. Minor errors can be fixed with pliers after it is fired.

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After the clay dried, I sanded it to make the backs as flat as possible. They don’t need to be perfect. They just need to be close enough to wear comfortably. After sanding, I fired, brushed, and tumbled, as usual. I set the bezel cups with chalcedony, a stone I really like but, for some reason, rarely use. Since the fine silver bezel cups are soft, it is not hard to bend the edges so they will hold the stones in place.20190318_154935.jpg

The finished product appears above.

If you, or your client, prefer post earrings, there is no reason not to use metal clay. Just be sure to use titanium ear posts!

 

 

 

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