On a whim tonight - listening to the BBC radio adaptation of Lord of the Rings, which is fantastic if you've never heard it! - I decided to try my hand at making some plugs. I recently was able to start wearing wood plugs in my 0g (about 8mm) ear stretches, so I wanted to make some that I could woodburn J. R. R. Tolkien's signature symbol into.
I cut a rough 1" long dowel from some scrap in our shop and started sanding it down to a circle. To make the flares (each earring has a smaller middle part and slightly wider outside, called a flare) I wrapped sandpaper around a pencil and sanded the middle of them. After sanding down to smooth, I heated my tapered wood burning tip up to as high as it would go so that I barely had to touch the surface and therefore didn't have a chance to burn something super deep. After practicing a couple times, I ended up free handing the symbol as it worked too fast to even follow pencil lines. I then finished them with jojoba oil and tried them on! The oil will eventually turn them a bit darker, but I like where they are right now, too.
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