Toni sells jewelry at the group's Copper & Silver Boutique in West Hollywood.
This is your most basic STERLING SILVER earring kit, the Sumerian Steatite Earring Set. Here's what you should have received in your kit, each packaged in its own zip-lock baggie, tagged for quick identification -- check each item off this list to make sure you have everything you're supposed to have in the kit:
The fancy Bali style beads were handmade over a charcoal brick with a blowpipe, and the technique, which Lily Nova and I have used to produce many hundreds of granulation beads, is rapidly being lost in the mire of modern technological junk.
The wires were all cut with one end flush, so you don't have to re-cut the wires, just bend them at the flush-cut end. The other end will be clipped or hammered, so don't worry about cutting both ends; it isn't necessary, and takes off more silver weight than you want to lose.
Always save your sterling silver clippings -- they are worth money, and you will be amazed at how fast the scrap adds up, even when your wires are pre-sized to fit the project requirements.
The tools required for this project are:
Make your Core with your .22 gauge Core Wire.
First we start with the Core Element. Make your Core with the .22 gauge wires provided in the kit. Take your time and make them right. Using your needlenose pliers, gently COAX the wire into the shapes you want them to be, and using your flush-cutters, trim the wire after making the loop and winding the wire back on itself, as shown above.
Holding the .22 gauge wire Core Element straight up and down with the open end up and the loop at the bottom, load TWO of your four Sumerian Steatite beads onto the Core wire as shown. The packet indicates that the .22 gauge is intended to be your Core Wire, and the packet of slightly heavier, slightly thicker .20 gauge wire is meant for ear-wires, so be careful not to mix them up. They don't work backwards, meaning that you shouldn't get them mixed up; this is important.
Make certain that there are no sharp points where you cut and trimmed the wire. Be sure to trim the wire so that the FLUSH side remains and the SHARP side is removed; keep the FLAT side of your flush-cutters to the FINISH or client-side of the wire. Feel the end to determine if you've done it right. If not, you'll have to trim it slightly once again, leaving less silver wire to work with, so be careful the first time.
Don't RUSH through the project; that's a sure way to louse it up. A few seconds won't make any dent in any endeavor.
Load the beads onto the Core Wire as shown above.
First load on one of the four small 3mm round silver beads, then one of the fancy Bali Style silver beads, then TWO Sumerian beads, then a Bali Style fancy silver, then a 3mm small round silver bead, and you're ready to close the top and make the hanging loop.
Make BOTH Core Elements at this time, then proceed to the next stage:
Close the top loop of the Core Element as shown.
Deftly make a nice, generous, roundish loop at the top, about 6mm from the top of the upper Sumerian bead, then wind the wire back down from the loop toward the bead, being careful not to put too much pressure on the steatite beads. Try to maintain a weaving trance-dance state during this maneuver. You can use my CD "Sumerian Project" to get the rhythm of ancient style jewelry manufacture.
You are using the same tools that you used almost 7,000 years ago, except that instead of being made of bronze, they're made of modern steel, so they last longer and don't need to be repaired every few days, as the much softer ancient bronze instruments demanded.
The techniques you are using are the exact same ones used 7,000 years ago, and you'll find that if you perform these tasks at an outdoor event, you will not need electricity to run your tools. Everything is done by hand, with tools that were in common daily use back in 4,500 B.C. and even earlier.
Those steatite beads have lasted 6,500 years and traveled far, just to get into your hands, hopefully not to find destruction there in your care. Steatite is a chalky stone that is easy to drill and easy to carve, like soapstone, but that means it's vulnerable to damage, although it is solid stone, so take it easy on the ancient goods.
Put the ear-wires on first.
Now you're going to form the ear-wires directly onto the Core Element. Thread the .20 gauge wire -- that's the slightly thicker wire -- through the top loop of the Core Element, so that about 40mm, or 1 1/2″, sticks out the other end. Make sure you have the right wire!!!
Make a nice large loop, enough to allow good swing and tilt, and finish the loop by winding the wire back onto itself, as shown below:
Attach the ear-wires directly to the top loop of the Core Elements as shown.
You should now have the ear-wires attached to the tops of the Core Elements on both earrings, and you're ready to to go the next step, where you'll make and attach your paddles, articulated bangle drops on the bottom of your earring elements, as follows:
Make your paddle bangles as indicated.
Open your packet of .22 gauge short wires. There should be 12 of them. You only need 10, five for each earring, so there's a little room here for error. If you get all 12 right, keep two, you may need them another time.
Remember that ALL scraps, all trims and cuts, should be saved, and many of them will be long enough to make something out of it, once you know how, and all the info is available FREE on JewelsOfAncientLands.com. It also appears in book form, if you want it in hard-copy.
Hold the paddle wire this way when you hammer the tip.
Working your way from the sharp tip toward the loop, hammer gently and let the weight of the 2 oz. hammer do all the work for you. Keep the flat of the hammer exactly even with the vise, anvil or steel strike-plate, so the silver doesn't get dinged from the edge of the hammer-head.
As you hammer the very end, you'll note that if you did it right, the sharpness will vanish, and the end will form a perfect tear-drop shape. Following the wire up toward the loop, GENTLY tap it to help it keep its shape. Do NOT flatten the wire except at the bottom, the formerly sharp end, which presumably now has a nice rounded tip with no sharp edges.
Attach the paddles by opening and closing the top loop of the paddle.
Open the loop of the paddle to the SIDE, not outward. Do not make the loop larger by doing this operation. The loop stays the same size, and the end moves a bit to the left as you attach it to the bottom loop of the Core Element.
This is what it looks like when the paddles are attached correctly.
Try to get all the paddles facing the same way, if you can figure out how to do that, but don't worry over it, unless you're a fanatic for neatness. The paddles work either way they're put on, frontward or backward.
You'll put FIVE paddles on each earring, keeping back two for future use. Do not attempt to put six paddles on the bottom loop. It will look overcrowded, and three aren't enough to make a good flashpoint on the earring.
Now check all the places on both earrings where sharp points might still be lurking, and polish them with a Dremel and some Green Jeweler's rouge, or GENTLY and SLOWLY file them down with your EXTRA-FINE or FINE rat-tail or ring file, taking care not to score the metal as you do this cleanup operation.
Now use your Jeweler's Polishing Cloth to get them sparkling, and they're ready to sell.
Congratulations! You have just made a DIRECT contact with your Past Self almost 7,000 years ago! Whether you wear your Sumerian earrings or sell them, you will never forget this life-changing event in your present life.
SUMERIAN PROJECT EARRING KIT PRICE BREAKDOWN:
RETAIL ... $35.00 includes everything needed to make one pair of Sumerian Steatite Earrings in .925 sterling silver or better.
WHOLESALE ... $17.50 for the entire kit as stated above. No further discounts on kits. SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. Extremely limited supply.
You can order as many Sumer Project Kits as you want, at $17.50 per kit, with a 5 kit minimum to get the wholesale price. Plus, think about it -- you're getting a CASH REBATE in the form of .925 sterling silver AND a set of rare exotic ancient beads valued at $10 per bead!!! Not a bad deal, all the way around, and a great Quantum Entanglement with your own ancient past!!!