Step 5: A Little More Information...
If you want to use posts on your earrings, you will want to solder them in place before polishing. Do this by putting a piece of solder where you want the post to go, hold the post in your tweezers, then heat the solder until it slumps and stick the post right on top of it, while continuing to heat the whole piece and post. The solder should flow and attach the post to the metal.
The picture on this page is a pair of copper wire earrings that I soldered together, then blackened to help hide the solder seams. Copper in its natural state will slowly tarnish to a brown color, but if you want to keep it shiny, spray it with a clear lacquer or polyurethane. Silver will also tarnish, but it is much easier to polish back to shiny silver so I usually do not use lacquer on it.
Using a variety of pliers (round nose, needle nose, etc) you can create many interesting shapes that can be soldered together. Soldered jewelry is more sturdy than wire wrapped jewelry as it can not come undone or pulled apart unless it is broken. Use soldering to create interesting chains for bracelets, necklaces, or many types of earrings.
Good luck and let me know how your soldering experiments turn out!