“One-a-Day” Recycling Challenge: Day Four (Trouble in Paradise)

For today’s scrap I found some 0.4mm thick silver sheet pieces hanging around, acting all tough at the bottom of the scrap pot.  I knew if I didn’t find a use for them today, then they would get their sharp little edges in all sorts of trouble later on.  And what better for sharp little tough guys than to be turned into smooth and shiny heart earrings.

I’ve been inspired by a few examples of jewellery using highly polished surfaces to reflect the colour of gems/crystals.  These reflection pieces look stunning, and I wondered if I could make something as nice myself.

Well, as it turns out, the answer is: “sort of”.

The small pieces of silver sheet were cut out by saw into two small heart shapes.  These were then shaped using the doming block.  Looking back (isn’t hindsight always 20:20, *sigh*!) it probably would have been better to have made the shapes circles rather than hearts because it would have been half a sphere and would have reflected better than the heart; which although curved well, didn’t reflect all the way round all at once.  Oh well, we live and learn (at least I did today, anyway).

The concave hearts were then polished to within an inch of their tiny silver lives – making them very polished and shiny indeed. Now came the part with all the trouble …

… The video instructions I had seen for making something similar (albeit with circles rather than hearts) said to drill a hole in the middle and then thread a head-pin through with a coloured glass bead between the head of the pin and the silver.  Okay, that bit was easy.  The bit that was difficult to understand was that they next said to solder the back of the pin to the silver and take away the excess.  Well, even though I knew that the silver would firescale, I gave it a go … and yes, it did blacken; even after using extra easy solder and a very soft flame.  Oh well, back to polishing up that piece of silver then.

So, how to attach the crystal to the silver? I tried lots of cold-connection ideas and spent a good while trying to sort out this problem – and I am pleased to say that I know when to give up!  I decided to leave that problem for another day and a trip to the internet!

What I decided to do in the end was to use some lilac CZ gems pre-drilled with a hole at one edge, that I had laying around and hadn’t known what to do with.  I had wanted a deep colour but beggars can’t be choosers and the CZ also gave off such beautiful and subtle reflections, that I decided to favour sparkle over the wow factor that a deeper colour would have given.

I drilled a small hole just under the “v” of each heart and threaded through a very thin wire jump-ring with the CZ attached.  Another small jump-ring joined the heart to the ear-wire, and the earrings were complete.

I think if/when I make these again, I will try using a half-sphere (maybe soldered onto a heart shape) and solder a jump-ring on the back before I polish them up.  The headpin that goes through the crystal and attaches to the silver may have to be done a different way – maybe trying to splay out the end of the headpin like a rivet?  I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Anyway, here are my Day Four earrings:

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