Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another week, another pair of earrings

I came to jewelry-making from a needlework background. In fact, I have several pieces of embroidered jewelry that are very beautiful and involved a lot of work and lovely materials. For some reason, though, they are always seen as novelty pieces, something you would wear to a quilters' meeting, but not "real" jewelry. I never understood that, but the truth is that once I started working in wire and beads or gemstones, my work gets a LOT more respect, regardless that it is using the exact techniques I used with silk or even metallic thread and a threaded needle. Go figure.

In any case, these earrings are, as promised, the next variation on the herringbone stitch earrings from last week. I made the hoop diameter 1/2 inch smaller for a slightly smaller, rounder earring. I also bowed out the sides a bit more, making for a slightly wider earring, at least at the bottom of the hoop.

After the herringbone portion was finished, I added #11 seed beads in a blue iris colorway. The beads are stitched in place using a backstitch. The technique is similar to one that is used in a form of embroidery called hemstitching. In that technique, threads are pulled out of the fabric adjacent to the hem, and various stitches are used to group and embellish the remaining crossthreads, creating a lacy but geometric effect.

Anyway, I'm pleased with this first variation, and have several more in mind, so I'll be working on those. And as long as I have to keep making herringbone base earrings, I'll be taking step-by-step photos so I can publish a tutorial for them. Since you can use the same technique for earrings, a bail for a focal bead, the bail on a wire-wrapped piece, and probably several other things I haven't thought of yet, I figure it might be a nice value if anyone is interested.

Apologies in advance for the photo -- Photoshop dot com wasn't happy about allowing me to upload so I wasn't able to edit it at all. I would have cropped it, at the least.

Thanks for looking. You know I love to hear your comments and critiques, how your day is going, whatever.

This is also posted at CWJ's Year of Jewelry. If you haven't already done so, stop by there to see all the wonderful work. You'll drool, I promise.

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