Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Glass Hoop Earring tutorial

So you would like to make some of these cool hoop earrings? This tutorial explains how I make them. I would imagine that there is lots of ways to make it, and you can go out and buy some fancy cutting tools, etc. I made them, using standard Lampwork tools that I already had in my studio. Please use this tutorial as a guide, and remember to always put safety first! I wear glasses, but should you have perfect vision, please wear safety glasses. Since you are cold working the glass in water, I do not think that there is danger of inhaling glass powder ...

Let's start, OK?

You need to have at least a 5 mm thick (minimum) disk bead. I used a 16 mm ring mandrel to make my disks. If you need help to make a ring/disk on a ring mandrel, please view my ring tutorial, also in this blog. (http://deesignedbeads.blogspot.com/2008/11/rinig-tutiorial.html)

I am going to cut a 1/4 wedge out of the ring. With my first attempt, I just cut a ring in half. It really did not look good. If you look at most hoop earrings with a stud post, you will see that they are about 3/4 of a circle. I drew a circle on paper and crossed it. This allowed me to mark the cutting lines correctly.


Since I use my normal diamond bit that I normally use to clean beads, it will eat about a mm of glass. For this reason I start cutting the ring a bit inside the 1/4 area that I want to remove from the ring. It will also allow me to clean up the ring after I completed it, and ensure that both rings is the same size.

Start by cutting just a small groove in the glass.

Now cut on both sides of the ring. The reason I do this, is to ensure that if the glass breaks while cutting it, there will not be a chipped edge.

One side grooved.

Repeat the same groove cutting on the other side. Remember that you need to cut inside the line ...

Now it is time to cut through the one side. At this stage it is important not to hold the glass in the 1/4 area that you will eventually remove. That area is your 'Weakest Link'. I allow the diamond tip to eat away at the glass, with minimum pressure on the glass. Move the diamond tip in the groove as you cut.
(Normally I do the cutting under water but for the sake of clear pictures, I have captured images in the air.)

The first cut is complete. You can see a slight butt of glass. That will be smoothed out later.

Repeat the same on the other grooved cutting line. Remember not to hold onto the ring in the wedge area that you are trying to remove. When I cut the second area, I take my time. Just allow the diamond tip to eat at the glass. Do not put a lot of pressure on the glass.

Now it is time to clean up the edges. I gently roll the diamond tip over the surface, Visually eyeballing it to see if the edge is straight.

Change the angle at which you clean the surface, make sure that your surface is flat. Repeat the process on the other edge. Measure the ring on your drawn circle, to make sure that you have removed a 1/4 wedge of glass.

All done. But is it really done? That is a tiny surface to glue a post on, and if you bond your ear post to the 5 - 6 mm area, how secure will it be long term? I think we need to do some more work!

Using my 1 mm diamond tip I start to drill a hole in the centre of the ring. Start slowly, allow the diamond tip to slowly open up a little hole.

Continue to drill a little hole inside the glass. I try to drill at least a 2 - 3 mm hole.


All done!
Now the easy part! Normally I make my own posts.
If you do metal work, it is real easy! I cut a small disk from sheet silver (diameter of the glass surface), drill a hole in the centre, the diameter of the post, insert the post rod in the hole, letting it protrude a bit. Solder, pickle, and polish ...
But, I found some earring posts online that is used for pearl ear studs. Just SO much easier! http://shop.rings-things.com/cart/pc/Cup-Pad-Posts-with-Peg-c960.htm is just one of many online suppliers. My posts-with-peg is on it's way to me!
Use a good quality 2 part bonding agent, and cement the post into the drilled hole in your glass ring. I normally use Areldite, but I have been told that TRIOLYSE Glass Fusing Jewelry Metal Craft Glue is a very good bonding agent. And a little birdy have told me that Malcolm from http://www.artcoinc.com/ might stock it.
Allow the bonding cement to cure, and enjoy your new Hoop earrings!
p.s. If you feel that this tutorial (or any of my other tutorials) will benefit you, and you feel so inclined, please feel free to make a small donation.

9 comments:

Lisa Rippee said...

Awesome, Diana. Thanks so much for sharing.

Vickie Hallmark said...

Very clever! Thanks for sharing!

GlassMigrations said...

Great tutorial.. I have some triolyse and it is a wonderful bonding agent. Delphi is where I got mine and I think it is still available there. I have some of the pearl post sterling silver earrings, so thank you for giving me something different to do with them!! Keep making beautiful beads!! GlassMigrations, Tanya Floyd

georgiebee said...

Brilliant!!..thankyou very much for sharing!..;o)

HJC Editor said...

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Sweetwater Designs said...

I'm putting this on my back burner with the billion other things I would like to try some day but just want to say Thank you Diane for the very generous sharing. Lovely.

sesilia patrick said...

Diamond stud earrings defines a style statement and adds charm and beauty to the personality of a woman. Whenever a lady wear
high-class ornaments, she is praised by everyone and it brings a big smile on her face. In all the jewelry items,
pearl earrings have always fascinated woman of every age group.

Aqeelzam said...

But I am looking for some diamond hoop earrings white gold.. :(

Tradition And Beyond said...

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