Glass fish bead sterling silver earrings (#8) with one cent shipping

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Glass fish bead sterling silver earrings (#8) with one cent shipping

Details

These earrings are created by merging two different techniques; metalsmithing and lampwork glass bead making.

They both require a torch (two different ones) and allow me to use sterling silver wire and glass rods to make something very different from what I start out with.

How these earrings are made:

The fish are made similar to the way a glass bead is made. I heat the glass with a torch until it is molten and the consistency of thick honey. Then it is wrapped around a steel mandrel and shaped. The colors are added to the body using various glass rods and then clear glass is added for the head. The eyes and 'kissy lips' are added next. Once these are completed then the back fin is added and finally the dorsal fin. After completion, the fish bead goes into the kiln to be annealed. Annealing removes internal stress that builds up in the glass during creation.

The ear wires for these earrings are also fabricated by hand. This starts with a piece of 20 gauge wire about 2" to 2 ¼" long. The wire is heated red hot on one end just until a molten ball forms on the end, then it is quenched in water and pickled.

The circle is formed with round nosed pliers and then the shaping of it is done on a mandrel. The end of the wire is smoothed using a cup bur so there are no sharp edges and then the end of the wire is given a small bend.

The silver piece that goes through the fish is fabricated and the top circle soldered closed. This is made out of 18 gauge silver. This is added to the ear wire and soldered together. The earring then goes into the tumbler to be 'work hardened' and shined.

Once this is done, the fish is added then a 5 mm sterling silver bead and the end of the wire is forged so the bead and fish stay on. The whole earring is completely hand made from start to finish.

Inspiration/Story Behind This Product

I was at a gem show and there was a woman there selling Monarch chrysalis beads that she had made. They were just exquisite. I raise Monarchs and I recognized these immediately. I got to talking with her and she showed me how easy it was to melt glass and we discussed the learning curve for glass (steeper) as opposed to working with metal. Long story short, I purchased another torch, some glass rods, a couple of books and have been teaching myself to make things with glass. My goal is to become skilled enough to make Monarch chrysalis beads like hers.

Product Attributes

Primary Material: Sterling silver and glass

Size: Small

Color: Silver

Accepted Payments
  • PayPal Acceptance Mark

Shipping

United States
First Item: $0.01
Additional Items: $0.01

Policies

Payment

I accept payment through Paypal or if you'd like to pay by credit card, you can use PayPal (without creating an account if you don't have one).
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Shipping

I will ship within 3 business days of payment with delivery confirmation, using the US Postal Service.

Currently shipping in the United States only. Please send me email if you are requesting shipping to another country. The buyer is responsible for all duty fees and taxes.

*** California residents will be charged sales tax ***


Returns

I want you to be satisfied with your purchase, however, if you want to return for a refund, you must do so within 7 days of delivery date. Please email me prior to returning your item.

Reviews

SieraC on Apr 17, 2013
5 stars

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