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Seashells by the Seashore

It's a must! Everytime you go on an adventure to the coast, you have to go home with a lil' memory. Using the techniques in Kate's Drilling Stones and Found Objects class, you can turn your collections into great pieces.  

Step-By-Step Instructions
  1. Watch Kate's class, Drilling Stones and Found Objects. This is a must for these projects. You will go over safety information as well as lots of great tips for drilling into a variety of materials. After you complete the class you can begin!

  2. The earring project has shells that are drilled on the top. The natural opening allows you to "feed" the headpin through and out the top drilled hole. Wire wrap on the headpin, creating the loop you will need to attach to the earwires you will be making.

  3. You are now going to make a basic earwire but in an exaggerated size. Take a look at Lisa's Making Your Own Earwires for step by step instructions. Using sterling silver 20g wire, cut two pieces 4 1/2" long. All ends of the wire need to have a flush cut. Create a basic loop on one end of both pieces. They should look like a P.  Next using your Nylon Jaw Bracelet Bending Pliers start to shape the wire to mirror the shape you see in the pic. We did this by starting at the loop, going half way up the wire in one direction, then the flipping the pliers around and working in the opposite direction for the rest of the wire.  

  4. Line up both earwires in your hand and make sure they are the same shape. Now is the time to make any adjustments. Sometimes you need to just use your fingers to manipulate the wire into the exact shape you want. When everything looks good, use your Chasing Hammer to flatten and work harden your earwires. Dont forget to give your loops a little tap too! Your wire is pretty thin already so this step isn't going to take too much work. Follow up with your Plastic Mallet to flatten it out perfectly.

  5. Next, using the Wire Rounder, file down the ends of your earwires to make them more comfortable! Add the shells and try them on.

  6. Abalone shells are pretty thick so take your time drilling your hole. Making sure your bit stays wet and not too hot! We used the Sterling Silver Locking Ring with the abalone. Use a delicate grip with your Chain Nose Pliers and Bent Nose Pliers to manuevor the pin directly below the open hole. Once they are perfectly lined up "lock" the ring by crimping it together with your chain nose pliers. Add your extra bling, like a Swarovski Xilion and a sterling silver shiny blank.

  7. The two white shells are pretty delicate so the drill created a hole SUPER fast. I also broke a few of the thinner shells...so be warned....not all shells will hold up to the drilling. We used Sterling Pinch Bails on these two shells.  Be careful not to smash your shell as you crimp the pin! 


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Related Online Video Classes with Similar Techniques:
Drilling Stones and Found Objects with Kate Richbourg
Making Your Own Earwires with Lisa Niven Kelly
Basic Loops with Lisa Niven Kelly