Skip to main content

Foundations in Metalsmithing: Statement Earrings

Lesson 21 of 21

Taking Your Earring Design to the Next Level


Foundations in Metalsmithing: Statement Earrings

Lesson 21 of 21

Taking Your Earring Design to the Next Level


Lesson Info

Taking Your Earring Design to the Next Level

Just as a reminder you know, this class is really designed to get you guys started really, really simply, and we're gonna you know, go more in depth to soldering for those of you who are like yes, Megan I'm excited about the torch now, let's do it. We're gonna do that in the next class. But now I wanna get back to kind of our final promise of this class which is taking your earring design to the next level. So as I mentioned at the beginning of this class, your earring designs can really just be a jumping off point for an entire jewelry collection. And so, you know, one of the things you can think about is what can you do with the same design to create some variation. So a really good example of that is the earrings that I'm wearing, which if you happen to go to my website someone asked about them earlier - they're the Jardin earrings - you can see I took this one shape and I did a lot of different design ideas. So, I actually took that very same design that I'm wearing and I bent it a...

round to make a pair of hoops, and this is where making your own ear wires comes in really handy right, because I'm able to bend an ear wire to get the shape that I wanted. So I was able to turn these into a hoop and actually using the same design, we were able to do a cuff bracelet. So this is actually what's funny is that when I used to teach at the university, we always would do the cuff bracelet as the first project. It's a really fun place to start too because it you really wanna feel like Wonder Woman, this is the way to go right? So you can make a cuff and this is as simple as literally taking a design and bending it around a mandrel, or if you don't have a mandrel, I like to cheat and bend mine around a piece of PBC pipe - I'm all about like the cheap solutions alright guys? So I'll use PBC pipe and my rawhide mallet - let's see where that guy lives. There's a lot of things happening there. So I can just cut this and bend it around, and think about that. And then of course beyond your earring designs, you can think about turning these things into necklace designs, so I took you know the same earring that I'm wearing and we did a long pendant, and then just for fun - I don't think I held that up long enough. I'll just hold all the things in my hand. And then I decided to orient it the other way right? So I did a bar necklace and so really just thinking about how you can take your shape and apply it to a lot of different pieces. And then sort of applying a little bit of our idea of chain making that we're gonna do in our next class, I thought about making multiple elements here that I strung together to start to make a chain. And then if I wanted to I could do a full chain all the way around. And all of this is literally just held together using the same jump rings, the same idea that I showed you guys in our you know, in our previous segment. So really starting to think about how you can take these ideas and expand them out into a full collection, and all of this was done with no soldering. So a couple things that I usually think about when I'm building out a design into a collection, is thinking about using multiple sizes. Right, so you can see I did a big version, I did a medium version, and then I did an itty bitty guy. Right, so we did three different sizes, and the same thing with the earrings so I've got the big version, I've got a medium version, and I never actually finished them but sitting on my bench at home is a small version, you know and then taking that small version and putting it together. And then, so scales one thing and material choice is another right? So here you can see this I did it in bronze, I did it in silver, so building it out and using a couple different things. You know we talked about what do you do with that your scrap metal and I mentioned I was taking my silver and just making smaller, and smaller leaf shapes (chuckles), using up every little extra corner so when I laid this design out and I had a little corner, that guy fit in there. So it's a really great way to also think about how to be efficient with your materials. I love that as a design challenge right? Oh I have this tiny little corner, what can I cut out of it instead of just throwing that scrap away or sending it back to my refinery. So really you know, thinking about all of these different things, the sky is kind of the limit with this process that we just learned. So you could take this and literally make a completely full jewelry line just from the skills and tools you learned today. Do you guys have any other final questions? This is your perfect time to ask me anything. You know over here, let's see. Yeah this is a great one from Hazel. "The silver solder is quite visible on the back of the brass. Would you clean that off?" Yes. So I would actually file that off so that you don't see it anymore. I was a little lazy in our sample and just didn't, but I would actually go and head in with my needle files and file that off, so that you only saw it just at the post not the whole way across. The other thing is you can also buy solders in other metals, so like if you were soldering to brass, you can brass solder, but it's never a perfect color match. But you wouldn't bother doing that if they were silver, if the main material was silver. I actually still would Oh okay. because silver solder is technically a slightly different color than silver. Yeah so your solder because it's a different alloy, you're always going to be able to see it. Good question, other questions? Think we're good over here. We're pretty much getting to the end Yeah. so I wanna make sure we don't have any final questions, and just a reminder too that there is that bonus PDF where I work through a whole series of questions with you guys on your designs, to help you sort of think through here are the different sizes, here are the different ideas. So if you're thinking like I'm so excited and I wanna run with this and really build this out into a full collection, you know that bonus PDF is really great for that too.

Class Description

Learn the basics of metalsmithing to make stunning statement earrings (and more!) - no torch required!

Getting started in metalsmithing doesn’t have to be scary. In Foundations in Metalsmithing: Statement Earrings, you’ll learn the basic skills you need to start making metal jewelry, as well as the design principles to create your own unique pair of statement earrings, all with less than $100 in tools! (And, you’ll be able to apply those tools and new-found skills to expand your ideas into a full line of jewelry!)

In this class, jewelry designer and metalsmith Megan Auman will show anyone how to get started making one of a kind metal jewelry.

You will learn how to:

  • Choose the right tools and materials for your metal jewelry projects.
  • Design incredible (and comfortable to wear) statement earrings with balance and movement.
  • Saw and pierce to create any shape from sheet metal.
  • File and finish your metal pieces so they look professional.
  • Create your own ear wires to finish off your unique design.

Whether you’re looking to grow your existing jewelry making knowledge or for a new creative outlet that you can proudly wear (and show off!), you’ll leave this class with your own pair of stunning statement earrings - and the skills and design chops to expand your ideas into a complete line of jewelry!  


user 1398976626171314

One of the most special things about Megan, is that though she is a creative, she is extremely good at business. Her organized way of thinking and presenting material, and her genuine joy when empowering her students with the tools needed to be successful, is charming and so much fun. Somehow there is such seamlessness and flow to her class structure and explanations, that I can absorb what she says and easily retain it. I really can start a jewelry line just with this class. She is amazing and LOVE her style!!!


I really enjoyed this class! Megan provides a great foundation for using metal sheets to design/make jewelry and using wire to make unique findings. This was a great class for learning the fundamentals and sparking inspiration for new projects

Vernell Bevelander

I LOVED this class! Megan is such a detailed teacher. She leaves no stone unturned. So much fun! Can't wait for my next class!