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Northern Copperhead Earrings Tutorial
Created by: Polly Nobbs-LaRue
Unspool approximately 20" of copper wire. Pull it smooth with flat nylon-jaw pliers.
Trim the end neatly (flush) with flush cutters.
Make 6 equal sized coils using ring bending pliers.
Using good flush cutters, snip each coil apart so you have 6 identically-sized links. Carefully trim ends so the ends of the links line up flush. If you have any gaps, your solder join will not look good and will not be secure. (See copper soldering blog part 2 for tips.)
Assemble your links in 2 sets of 3. Double-check that you have 3 matching pairs of links: Sometimes it takes a few tries to get flush ends, so some of your links might be shorter than the others. Since you want this to be a matching pair of earrings, adjust lengths if neccessary with the flush cutters.
Solder the top 2 links of each pair of earrings. Quench in water to cool.
Add a bead to each bottom link. Tear off a small piece of paper towel (about 2" long), get it wet, and wrap it tight around the bead. Pull the existing soldered links and the wet-paper-wrapped bead to the far side of your link.
Solder final link. If the paper starts burning, stop, let everything cool off, re-wet the paper towel and start again, keeping your torch to just the 1/3 of the wire closest to the join.
Quench. To clean, pickle for about 3 minutes, or tumble for about 3 hours.
If desired, texture the links with the rounded side of a chasing hammer or ball pein hammer.