Ear Wires Galore: 9 Awesome Ear-Wire Designs to Make Any Design a Star

Once I realized how easy and cost-effective it is to make my own earring findings, I stopped buying manufactured ear wires in favor of making my own. The possibilities truly are endless; ear wires can be just about any shape or style, as long as they go through the ear easily, hang properly and balanced, and don't fall out. That allowed my creativity to soar, thinking of new ways to make earring findings that are as unique as the baubles I hang on them.

Creating your own ear wires makes each earring you make truly your own and truly handmade, from tip to tip. It's so easy that it's ideal for beginners, but it's also an extra special touch that will elevate even an accomplished jewelry maker's earring designs. Here are some of my favorite takes on unique ear-wire designs, created by jewelry-making experts who also extend their creativity all the way to the findings.

These first three are ones I've made myself, just simple or swirled extra-long ear wires inspired by the longer ones on the market recently.

Jewelry Making Daily's Facebook friends, Catherine Chamberlin and Jason Caryl of Simply-Catherine.com, inspire me with the unique ear wires in their earring designs. Here's a sampling:

Earring designs by Simply-Catherine.com

Flipping through a copy of Handmade Wire Findings, these three unusual ear-wire designs caught my eye:

The fiddlehead ear wires are perfect for long, contemporary earring styles with simple embellishments. Kidney ear wires provide a bit more security than standard French ear wires to help prevent earring loss. The circle post ear wires show that handmade earring findings aren't just for dangle earrings.

When creating wire jewelry designs, every little detail adds up to a successful and beautiful piece of jewelry. From utilitarian ear wires to unique finishes and patinas or even the addition of fibers or other unexpected elements, every little part of a wire jewelry design comes together to create a standout piece without the need of stones. A master at creating meaningful, stunning wire jewelry is Kerry Bogert, and her new book Rustic Wrappings is full of great ways to add special details to your wire jewelry. In her introduction, Kerry says, "Carefree and fanciful; organic and natural; timeless and possible; passionate and sensible-evoking a romantic rendezvous set against a backdrop of a western sunset . . . in this book we will be exploring a more settled, earthly, organic, and wistful style of design that takes inspiration from life, love, nature and the elements, times gone by, and the hope of things to come." That's a lot to expect from some wire and metal! But Kerry shows you how through:

  • how to be "a studio color scientist" with Kerry's patina recipes–both traditional ones and some new unique ones, using purchased solutions or everyday household items 
  • wire embroidery techniques for creating a running stitch, backstitch, chain stitch, blanket stitch, and whipstitch with wire on metal sheet
  • a great primer on wire and sheet metal, metal gauges, hardness, malleability, and annealing
  • a comparative look at various metals, including copper, silver, brass, and steel
  • tutorials for exploring rustic new color palettes and exactly what "rustic" means in that sense
  • visual step-by-step tutorials for making basic wire findings and elements such as wrapped loops, wire spirals and coils, a variety of wire head pins, wire clasps, and more–even ear wires

You can order or instantly download Rustic Wrappings from the Jewelry Making Daily Shop!

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