After the last week with no inspiration, or more accurately, flawed inspiration, this week's project fell into place very nicely. I've been thinking about earrings a lot as they seem to be something people are interested in buying. And I needed to do something that was not a new skill to be learned in just a few days.
I've made many pendants using a herringbone bail, and have refined the technique to the point that it looks good and I can create it without too much drama. I have also made several post/hoop style earrings in the past several weeks. These earrings combine the two techniques to create a very simple classic earring, one that I would wear on a daily basis. They are woven in herringbone weave with three wraps between crossings using 28g sterling wire on a 20g sterling core. They have a straight post that hooks into a loop. This creates an earring that sits close to the ear rather than hanging from a wire, and is my all-time favorite type of earring. I wove them flat and then shaped them around a wine cork, making a loop with about a 7/8 inch or 22mm diameter. I find this a nice size to wear -- large enough not to disappear but not so big as to be considered gaudy or inappropriate for work.
This particular pair of earrings is very plain, which I find elegant. My next project will involve experimenting with ways to ornament this pattern. I'm pretty sure I can find some nice ways to incorporate or add crystals or beads to zing them up a bit, for those who prefer a fancier earring.
In case you're interested, the weaving took about 45 minutes per earring and used about 5 feet or 1.5 meters of the fine wire. Because I wanted a seamless finish, I worked with the entire length from the beginning. Yes, it was substantially work hardened by the end of the weaving, thanks for asking. I think it was worth it, though, and I've done enough herringbone to have some tricks to minimize the handling of all but the part of the wire closest to the actual work at any given point. Each earring took 7 inches of the core wire. So the total for the project was 14" of 20g sterling, 10' of 28g sterling, and 2 small silver beads to cover the endings. Total time was just over 2 hours, including shaping the frames, weaving, preparing the posts and smoothing the posts and their ends for comfort.
Because of the computer problems we had -- Augie's computer attacked by evil malware and not yet repaired -- the photo was edited on my little pink computer usingPhotoshop.com. I'm very pleased with the service so far. I haven't had the time or opportunity to use more than their basic tools, but it looks like there is a lot of functionality there in a friendly format. If I have any complaints, it would be about the speed of working online. On Saturday it was so slow that it was hardly usable, while today -- midday Sunday -- it was quite quick and worked really well.
Thanks for looking at my work. I appreciate any comments or critique you might have.