I recently made my own stud earrings by recycling bits and pieces of sterling silver scraps. Over time you cut and trim a lot of ends, and it can add up to a valueable amount of silver. I never throw any bit out.
I gathered all the ends with unuseable shapes, separated in groups and weighted. You would want a pair of earrings with equal amount of silver on each. Then the fun began.
Pickled and fluxed the silver pieces as usual, and placed them together on a charcoal block, then start heating up.
As the silver started to reach its melting point (1640°F) , it "shrank" and rolled into a ball. It could reach up to 1850°F as the color turned to orange-red. At this point, you can easily reshape it but I let it cool off a bit before crunching it into water, in order to get the half dome shape for the earrings.
The melted silver balls are not perfectly round, as I didn't melt them on a smooth surface. I prefer this way. They looked more like cultured fresh water pearl but in silver form. So I sanded and polished the dome surface, and made a flat back for each ball, than attached the posts and the little discs with my hallmark on.
More sanding and polishing as needed to finish. Voilà!
Instead of giving it a high gloss finish, I went for a matte look. I evenly weighted out 2 grams of silver for each ball. In terms of size, they are not your typical itty bitty stud earrings. That's why I mentioned earlier that they are more like cultured fresh water pearls.
In the morning when I have to rush out of the door, I put these on and they go with anything. I'm surprised how much I like them because I usually like my earrings big, bold, long and dangle. What about you?
These stud earrings are now available in my etsy shop.
Thanks for reading.
Lamazonian Handcrafted Jewelry © 2005-2011. Photo: Vema.