In Raleigh, NC there is a charming green building that contains the all the supplies you need to create beautiful and unique jewelry.
At Ornamentea, there are walls of beads, enamel powder, metals, and so much more! One could read get lost in all of it, but luckily they have classes for beginners like me. As part of their "Wire Working and Chain Maille" courses, a friend and I went to Earring Wardrobe class with 2 of our professors as part of a bid we won at the UNC ESOP Senate Auction.
We worked through pre-made kits to create 5 earrings. Each place setting contained everything we needed, very nicely spread.
We learned the roles of each of these for different pliers: round nose, needle nose, flat nose, and cutting nose. Above the pliers are is a metal file, and below is a ruler that we used a few times to measure lengths of wires.
Earring 1: This first set, we learned how to make a wrapped loop, which I felt was the most complicated one. Overall, I think it turned out well :)
Earring 2: These were confetti earrings, not meant to match, which bothered some people. But when put together they make a pretty color palate. These were more simple, with the skill taught of opening and closing loops.
Earring 3: The wrapped loop skills came in handy when we learned how to double wrapped loop through the teardrop bead. This was my favorite color combination!
Earring 4: It was time to learn how to free form wires and make J loops (for when you don't have pinhead wires). This was definitely more difficult to do, but eventually got to the shape I was satisfied with. Key point: don't stop moving through the wire to keep smooth. We hammed the wires a bit afterwards to help keep its shape.
Earring 5: Saved the best for last! This one taught us the fun effect of texture hammering. Using the round end, we hammered the round copper sheets on one side to create the textured part on the other. We used a small metal hole punch once the effect was complete. This was another free formed hook, but this time we used a Sharpie pen to create the loop - much easier!
Overall, it was a lovely experience that I would definitely recommend! It's a quick 3 hours that you can take your mother, daughter, and best friend after dinner and drinks. Thanks to a skilled instructor with clear explanations, I learned some basic skills that I would love to use to create some of my own jewelry. Now I find myself look at earrings I buy and think, "I could make that!".