When our hostess for this challenge, Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati, wrote “Earrings are, by their very nature, little kinetic sculptures.” I knew what I wanted to design for this challenge. And then, as seems to keep happening, I lost track of how quickly two weeks can go by.
So, rather than a leisurely design session over the weekend, when I can work using natural light while the sun is out, I ended up squinting over my bead mat in the glare of incandescent bulbs after work the evening before the reveal.
Luckily, the design I had in mind was to revisit a technique I’ve used before. So, there was less trial and error time involved and mostly I just needed to remind myself how I did it. I have terrible spatial skills. I can’t “see” how things will come together without actually trying to put them together. So while this may seem like a very simple straightforward design, I’ll admit to some wasted headpins as I figured out the correct order of assembly.
When I first started making jewelry I came up with what I thought was a totally unique zig-zag arrangement of beads and wires. I made these zig-zag earrings in practically every color scheme for which Swarovski makes a crystal. I usually made them as a color gradient, with three or more shades of the same color.
And then I saw them seemingly everywhere, on Etsy, in catalogs, etc. Did someone copy my original idea? Doubtful. What’s more likely is the idea came to me, and others, from the global consciousness within the jewelry design community.
Anyhoo, the reason I thought of this design for this challenge is that the way the wires and beads are connected allows them to swing in every direction around the z-axis. And because they’re so light weight, they are constantly in motion, always presenting a different perspective.
I typically like to make these earrings with Swarovski crystals because the perfect facets on the beads add even more dimension to these mini sculptures as they reflect and refract light. However, the Czech cracked glass and faceted glass beads I used for this month’s challenge design seem lit from within. From a distance, the thin sterling wires are nearly invisible, which gives an illusion of the sparkling beads suspended in air.
This design can be done with any type of bead from glass to gemstone. You can use any number of headpins to get the length you want. You can vary the numbers and sizes of beads on each headpin, and cut the headpins to show as much or as little space between zigs (or zags) as you like. You can use mixed shapes of beads, or graduated sizes. It’s a simple design with endless possibilities.
My thanks to our hostess for another inspiring theme and fun design challenge. Be sure to visit the Earrings Every Day blog to see what other jewelry designers were inspired to create for this challenge.