Variations on a ThemeOf all the items I make, I find round silver stud earrings, set with cabochon gemstones, are the best sellers. It makes sense because you can wear them any time, anywhere — day to night, office to party. Of all the earrings I own (and that's a lot), a pair like these are my go-to favorites.
I recently sold two pairs of this style from my ArtYah shop <https://www.artyah.com/seller/sterlingbydix>. With the holiday shopping season upon us, I decided making a few more might be a good idea. Besides, I enjoy doing them. I stocked up on silver and stones and got to work.
Sunstones Are Well NamedFor the first set, I chose a pair of glowing, peachy-gold sunstones. These stones shimmer and contain almost magic sparkles.
No matter what stone I am working with, I always have to start by cutting flat sterling silver discs of an appropriate diameter.
This pair of stones are rated as 8mm although my caliper is showing 7.9 — even factory cut stones can be slightly uneven. That is why I always make each of a pair of earrings separately — the adjustments can vary. In the photo, you see my length of bezel wire (pure — as opposed to sterling — silver), the calipers, the prepared discs, a special pair of piers for shaping rounds (i.e. bezels) and the sunstone cabochons.
First Stud, Waiting for The FireNext photo, a shot of the back plate and the bezel on a charcoal block, ready for soldering. The two nickels serve to let more heat go under the piece and silver will not stick to them (who would want a pretty earring with a dirty nickel stuck to it???)
Once the bezel is solidly attached to the disc, I have to pickle the piece (give it a bath in a mild acid to remove oxides) and solder on the ear post. Sounds easy but an ear post is a thin piece of wire and all to easy to melt. I used to destroy about 1 in 4. Nowadays, my average is much better. I only melt about 1 in 10. It is, remember, a learning process. It worked.
See these at DixSterling on etsy.