Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Busy week (with earrings)

What a busy week this turned out to be. So busy, in fact, that I'm posting my item for Year of Jewelry a little late, although the earrings were done almost on time.

We spent several days during the past week watching and/or playing with Yosef and Shalom. I think it's just about my favorite thing. Yosef is big enough now that he wants to help, and I was able to find a way for him to help. With supervision he was able to run the Coiling Gizmo. He just loved that he was helping make necklaces. He has always been very interested in my jewelry, and it was a big treat for him to start being a part of it. When he is a couple years older, you better believe that he will get pliers and learn to make chain.

The first part of the week I made several more string art pendants and earrings. My biggest success was in finding a way to stretch the coil uniformly. I use a plastic card -- actually the Morningside College Alumni luggage tag that my college sent me -- slide it between the coil and turn to open it just exactly the right amount. What a useful gift! Thanks, M'side! I also tried some variations, with different degrees of success. I tried using beads as spacers instead of the coil. Unfortunately, the spacing of even very small beads was too open to make a nice looking weaving and the smaller the bead, the less depth to help hold the thread in place. However, the beaded examples did lead to this week's project, and probably next week's as well.
I'm calling them Widdershins earrings because the trick to getting the beads to set perfectly is to wrap counterclockwise. I suppose they could also be infinity or figure 8's or Kringle -- oh, that would be good. The core wire is 20g sterling, the beads are #10 triangle Miyuki beads in a green AB finish, and the wrapping wire is 28g sterling. The triangle beads align easily and have a hint of faceted sparkle, and I like that. Also, I have a bunch of them in boxes that I'd really like to use, so there you go.

Overall they are about 1 1/4" or 3 cm tall. Once I figured out what I was doing they went really quickly. These are actually the 2nd and 3rd ones I made. The first one was repurposed because by the second one the bead placement had improved so much.

I personally prefer post earrings to earwires because I have attached earlobes and don't like the way that earwires look most of the time on me. This is the 4th post earring design I've come up with this year, and I'm enjoying it very much. It was also nice to get back to working with silver. I have not used sterling for the string art pieces because of the tarnish problem. I know copper tarnishes, too, but it should darken to a nice patina that will be somewhat unobtrusive while the tarnished silver would just look dirty, and would be hard to clean with the thread in place. Or so it seems to me.

I guess I've been babbling, but I hope you like the earrings enough to allow me that. Be sure to check out everybody's new pretties at Year of Jewelry, and feel free to comment, critique, whatever, in the comments either here or there. Thanks for looking and see you soon.

No comments: