I have a small confession to make.
Despite them being the first kind of jewellery I really started to express myself with wearing as an adult, I don't tend to make them very much. Usually if I make a pair it's to “complete” a set. The earrings are there purely to finish off the bracelet or necklace, all the real design has gone into the bigger pieces.
I think it's because they are so small, restrained by the necessity of being light enough not to pull on ears, I feel that larger items offer more scope for design. And yet when it comes to wearing jewellery, they are still my first choice. This is obviously something I needed to address!
So, when a cut short holiday this week gave me a lot more time than I usually get, I decided to give myself a challenge:
Make a stand alone pair of earrings every day
They should not be part of a set and they should show some form of design and expression.
I found it very hard to start with, falling back on just hanging a bead from a hook (although, even that is surprisingly effective with the addition of bead caps and hand made ear wires).
Bone dagger and pumice drop earrings
Purple peanut bead earrings
I needed a little bit of outside inspiration. I got this in the form of a butterfly wing earring designed by Abby Hook. These reminded me of what it is about working with wire that I truly love – the feel of it bending, the way it forms such natural lines. This was the break through I was looking for! The small size of the earring need not be a design restraint, if looked at from another angle it can free you from the need of heavy structural components.
|Butterfly wing earrings|
All the pairs have inspired me to think of other larger pieces I could make to go with them that I just wouldn't have thought of without making the earrings first.
I am very happy with the results of this week, and will definitely be making more stand alone earrings in the future.
Turquoise drop earrings
Coil and crystal earrings
|Pink and black spiral earrings|
|Line up of the eight earring pairs|
One other important thing I learnt from this exercise: Photographing dangling earrings with a standard camera is REALLY hard. Next time I should take advantage of living with a professional photographer and all his kit! To try to do it myself once is learning. To do it twice would be foolish.