I love crop circles -- no, not because of aliens, but rather for the opposite reason. Crop circles are wonderful expressions of the joy and playfulness of humans making art in the most unexpected places and ways. Just think about people sneaking out under cover of darkness with planks and ropes into a field, using stone-age technology to make designs that are intentionally full of all kinds of symbolism, a wonderful combination of art and a prank. You just have to love it. But the best thing about crop circles is that the designs have a sense of geometric beauty that is exactly what I love.
A couple months ago I ran across a photo of a crop circle representing a jellyfish. I saved it for inspiration, intending to work it into a pendant. Earlier this week I decided to do a trial run of the techniques I was planning to use, and these earrings are the result.
Technical details: Core wire is 19g half hard sterling woven with 28g sterling and embellished with 2mm sterling beads. Each earring uses 10 inches of core wire (not including the earwire), about 5 feet of weaving wire and about 37 or 38 beads. The weaving is a herringbone variation that both fills the gap and holds the couched beads in place. By using 3 wraps on the inner ring and one bead plus two wraps on the outer ring, I was able to get the weaving to radiate the way I wanted. The outer circle including beads is just about 1 1/2 inches or 38mm diameter. I mounted them on the latch-back earwires I've been using. They are dramatic, but not heavy either physically or visually.
I know I always seem to be saying I'm happy with my work, but this time, I guess I'd have to say I'm ecstatic. I love these earrings, I love the technique, I loved making them, I love the way they turned out. I will probably make another pair almost right away so I can have some to keep and some to sell, because I think these are definitely salable. I also have ideas for a bunch of variations -- a bead or dangle in place of the inner coil or colored beads or tiny crystals for the edging, perhaps.
Because I'm traveling next week, I'm planning to start next week's Year of Jewelry project a tad early. I do plan to work on jewelry while visiting my sister, weaving wire while she knits, but I'm not pushing myself to finish any big project during that time. We may well decide to sit and drink coffee with idle hands, and that would be wonderful, too. Meanwhile, please do go look at the Year of Jewelry blog. There are really wonderful things being posted all the time.
Before I go this week, I want to give special props to Augie, my wonderful in-house engineer (also beloved husband of many years) who restored my little pink netbook to health after a nasty hard-drive crash. We think that there was some kind of power anomaly overnight that messed up several electronic devices, and I had been lazy enough to leave the computer plugged in to the charger. The next day when I went to turn it on, it couldn't even find Windows. He did the internet research to learn all the little ins and outs of restoring Acer netbooks from crashes, and was able to fix it much more quickly than either of us expected. I lost my data, but all of it was backed up or out in the cloud, so it's just a matter of gathering things up and putting them back in convenient places. Backup is your friend. Also, Augie is awesome, even if there is no extra charge for awesomeness.