No matter how long or short a length of time that you have been creating jewelry, there can be common challenges in the design process. I was reminded of this today while creating these earrings.
So often, we see a product that inspires us, and we instantly see in our minds eye what we want to create with it. The picture is clear, and the design seems simple. You might as well sit down right now and quickly whip that project up, right?
So, you sit down and as you start assembling your creation you run into all of the unexpected bumps in the road of the design. First, for this project I wanted the thorn beads to dangle from a jump-ring. Well, none of the jump-rings I had on hand would fit through the thorn bead without breaking it. After breaking 2 beads, I figured out work-around was me wire wrapping them into a drop. This took more time, and it changed how the design had looked in my head.
I was still determined to make these, and have them look gorgeous. I attached the thorn bead drops to the chain with gold jumprings. After almost finishing, I realized gold didn’t seem like the right choice. I really should have used copper, and the jumprings were too large anyway. I need to use smaller ones so as to not distract from the pretty thorn drops! I took it apart and started over with smaller copper jumprings.
I then realized that I needed to let go of my original vision a bit more, and space out the thorn beads more than they were. Again, I take them off the chain, and change the spacing.
As the design continued to look different, I decided to add some crystals!
In the end, my earrings look very different than I originally intended, but I really like them, even more I think than the original picture I had in my mind. They ended up longer and more dramatic looking than I anticipated.
To me, this is a big part of what I enjoy about jewelry making. A novice or someone who doesn’t create jewelry can look at something you made, and think “how lovely, those look really easy to make.” You however, know what has gone into some of the items you have made, and many of these are a series of trial & error, simply just trying to get things to hang just right, or look more balanced. I enjoy this process. This is where the challenge lies, and this is also what brings us the most gratification in designing… when you’ve worked a little extra hard for it to look just right.
Apply this theory to anything in life… often times, having to start over from scratch, and take more time & effort to make something work out right than anticipated gives us a bigger sense of pride, and a lesson or two learned along the way.
Life is art. Art is life.
Sometimes I practice patience & mastery of life through creating jewelry.
- 1 x Earwire Leverback Small Antique Gold (per pair)
- 12 x Jumpring Oval Small 20G Copper
- 30” x Antique Copper 22GA Wire
- 10 x Thorn Beads – Silky Gold
- 20 x 4mm Bicone Light Colorado Topaz Glacier Blue
- 20 x 1″ Headpin 21G Antique Gold
- 5&½” x Floating Circles Chain – Antique Copper
- Cut two lengths of chain 2&¾” each.
- Use a jump ring to attach a length of chain to the lever back ear wire. Repeat for the other one.
- Cut ten lengths of wire approximately 3” long each. String a thorn bead onto each wire, give it a twist, and create a wrapped loop at the top of each one, trimming the excess wire off, creating a drop with each thorn bead.
- Slide a crystal onto a headpin, trim the excess wire, and create a simple loop at the top. Repeat for all, creating twenty crystal drops.
- Use a jump ring to attach one thorn bead drop and one crystal drop to the very last/bottom link of chain.
- Looking at your floating circles chain, you will see that each link of chain has a set of two circles attached to it. I attached the rest of my drops by alternating crystal drops and thorn drops, and by skipping a set of circles in between each drop I attached. I also alternated sides of the chain that I attached them to. I added the last crystal drop to the top of the chain near the earwire. I think the pattern in which you attach them is up to you, play with it a bit. Staggering them creates a fun and whimsical look.
- The Floating Circles Chain comes in a variety of finishes, the Thorn Beads come in a variety of colors, and of course the 4mm Swarovski Bicones come in many colors & finishes. The combinations you could use together are nearly endless. I think these could be a fun project to match with a formal dress for an event, or just make yourself a pair with colors that you wear frequently.
- If you are not a fan of earrings this long, you could easily make a shorter version of these earrings by shortening your length of chain, and spacing the bead drops differently, or simply using less.
Happy creating everyone!