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We call the earrings shown here our "Fish Earrings". We think the reason is obvious, with the mouth of the fish at the top and the tail of the earrings made of beads at the bottom.
We made these earrings in two alternative configurations. The earrings shown near right were made using a pattern on our WigJig Delphi or the square portion of the WigJig Centaur and use only five regular metal pegs. The earrings shown far right were made on our WigJig Cyclops or on the rounded portion of the WigJig Centaur and were made using three regular metal pegs and one 5/16 inch Super Peg. Either pattern could be easily modified to work on any of our WigJig tools.
One can interpret these earrings to be representative of a love of the outdoors and the experience of fishing. One could also interpret these earrings to be a symbol of the Christian faith. Both interpretations are appropriate. Choose the one that best matches your personal preferences.
|Jewelry Making Supplies||Jewelry Tools Required|
Making the Fish Earrings
Step 1: Using your nylon jaw pliers, straighten a segment of 20 gauge wire that is 4 inches long. Soft wire will work better than 1/2 hard wire.
Step 2: Using your flush cutter cut the wire to a length of 4 inches.
Step 3: Using your Fine Step Jaw Pliers, make a partial loop in the sharp end of the wire. This is one of the few times where you make a loop with a gap in it and you use the sharp end of the wire. See the picture below-left. The reason you use the sharp end of the wire and only make a partial loop is that this loop is what we call a sacrificial loop and will be cut off the finished wire component.
Step 4: Select your jig and position three regular pegs and one 5/16 inch Super Peg as shown below below-center (Step 4A) for the WigJig Centaur or Cyclops and below-right (Step 4B) for the square pattern in the WigJig Delphi or the square portion of the Centaur.
Step 5: Place the loop in the 4 inch segment of wire on peg 1 in the pattern, orientated as shown below-left then bend the wire against the Super Peg, peg 2 in the pattern as shown. Push the wire until the wire rests against peg 3 with no pressure applied. You can remove peg 3 to help, by pushing the wire beyond peg 3 and then letting it relax back into the position shown.
Step 6: With the tip of your index finger on your dominant hand, push the wire around peg 3 as shown below-center.
Step 7: At this point, remove your wire from the jig and replace it in the mirror image position as shown below-right. Flipping the wire over will result in the wire alternating between being on top then on the bottom. This helps to hold the two ends together.
Step 8: Bend the wire against peg 2 until it rests against peg 4 with no pressure applied. You can remove peg 4 to allow you to push the wire beyond peg 4 and let it relax back to the place shown in the picture below-left.
Step 9: Wrap the wire around peg 4 as shown below-center.
Step 10: Remove the wire from your jig. At this point the wire should appear as shown below-right.
Step 11: Using your flush cutter cut the excess wire and using your chain nose pliers close the final loop.
Step 12: Using your nylon jaw pliers, squeeze the wire to harden it and set the design. You will want to especially squeeze the wire at the loop made on peg 3.
Step 13: Using about 1 inch of 20 gauge wire make a medium sized jump ring. Once you have completed the jump ring, open it and connect it to the point where the two wires cross, immediately above the beginning and ending loops. See the picture below-left. Please select here for instructions on opening and closing loops.
Step 14: Now our earring body wire component is completed. You are ready to add your ear wire finding to the top of the earring and to add two bead dangles to the bottom of the earring. Please select here for our instructions for making a bead dangle.
Step 15: Above we showed you instructions for making these earrings using a Super Peg as peg 2 in the pattern. Here we will show you how to make this component without any Super Pegs. Please see the pattern at right. The Super Peg, peg 2 has been replaced by two regular pegs as shown. The instructions for making the earrings are identical other than replacing the Super Peg with the two regular pegs.
You can view the difference in the earrings made in the pictures above center and right. The picture above center (Step 14A) was made using the Super Peg and the bend at the Super Peg is more rounded. The picture above right (Step 14B) shows the earrings made with the two regular pegs replacing the Super Peg, using the pattern at right. You can notice that the bend at the regular pegs is less rounded. Both styles work and it is personal preference which approach looks best.
This is a pattern that can be modified in many ways. The design can be made larger by increasing the spacing between pegs. Another interesting alternative would be to eliminate the jump ring and replace it by twisting the "tail" of the fish one time to hold the two wires together. You would accomplish this twist by firmly holding the "body" of the fish with your nylon jaw pliers while you twist the tail wires together. If you decide to employ this twist, we suggest adding a little extra length to the body of the fish by moving the beginning and ending pegs down at least one additional hole each. The additional length made by moving the two pegs away will accommodate for the loss in length due to the twisting of the wires together.
Whether you are a fisherman or fisherwoman and want to honor the great outdoors, or you like the religious symbolism of the fish symbol, we think you will like these earrings. You may just like the earrings because of the geometric interest that this pattern creates, without any symbolism.
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