Friday, April 17, 2015

I got bees. But the good news is- I want bees!

Etched Copper Honeybee Earrings with Honey Opal

It's been a LONG time since I've posted anything here, so I decided to write a little process post about the earrings I just completed!  I'm really in love with them, but unfortunately I don't have pierced ears anymore (ironic, I know).  Hopefully they'll go to a great home.

Please note, this is not a DIY tutorial of any sort- it's just a visual of the steps involved in creating my pieces:

The first step, after a quick bee sketch, is to draw a pair of bees in sharpie directly on my copper sheet metal.  This involves hoping and praying that I don't mess up on making them as even as possible and have to start all over again!  After this, the etching process begins.  This takes a good couple hours of waiting for the etchant to nibble away at all of the copper not protected by the sharpie.

At last, they come out of their chemical bath and are neutralized and thoroughly cleaned.

Here they are after being cut out with a jeweler's saw.

Little holes are drilled for the lever back earrings to attach to.  The opal cabochons are ready to have settings created for them!

After soldering the settings and polishing by hand, they take an hour in the tumbler to clean and polish up a bit more.

The lever backs are attached, then they are oxidized, polished again, and set with the honey opals!  Finally they are ready for their photo shoot.

Are you interested in these earrings?  They are for sale in my shop: Lithic Design!  

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