Jan 31, 2012

Simple Silver Studs

I kinda get a kick out of it when people claim something is made out of "recycled" gold or silver.  That sort of implies that other, less eco-aware people would just go ahead and toss their unused precious metals out with the kitchen garbage!  But hey, not me.  I made these recycled silver stud earrings out of commercial jewelry findings I had on hand, but knew I'd never use (because they're mass produced and are ugly and I'm slightly embarrassed that they're even in my studio).  

As much as I love to make big, dramatic, dangling earrings with lots of parts, I can't really wear them most of the time.  I'm way too active, and they just get in the way.  So I'm working on a few simple stud earring designs to add to my Etsy shop.

Too see exactly how I made these earrings, follow the link below.
I've got some commercial toggle style clasps that I'll never use.  I put them in a blue liquid flux that will  help the metal flow when it goes molten.

I have an acetylene torch that I used to melt the silver into a little ball.

I quenched the hot metal directly into an acid pickle solution to remove as much oxidation as possible.

Front and back of repurposed silver pieces.

I sanded the back a bit in preparation for adding solder.  

I cut teensy bits of silver solder from a sheet.

The liquid blue flux will also help the solder flow, so I put all the earring components into it.

I put a chip of solder on the back of the piece I sanded.

There it goes!

I'm going to solder the silver balls to these earring backs.

I pushed the back down into my soldering block.  

May be overkill for me to melt a chip of solder on the earring back as well as the silver ball, but if it ensures that they will adhere to each other, then I'll take the extra measure.  

I placed the silver ball that has solder melted onto the back of it directly on top of the earring back which also has solder melted onto it and hit the pair with my torch.

The earring back soldered to the silver ball.

The surface is rough.

I sanded each of them.

I oxidized them in liver of sulphur.

The oxidized pieces look dull. 

I hit some of them very lightly with a polishing cloth.  I still want them to be black, but shiny instead of dull. 

I want some of them to have a matte silver finish, so I'll hit them with some fine sand paper.

Cute as a teensy silver button.

The finished silver stud earrings in matte brushed silver and shiny oxidized silver. To see them in my Etsy store, go to: simple silver studs in Frankie's Etsy shop