The Buddha statue is copper alloy with gilding. It has a rich assortment of textures, shapes, and symbolism to inspire earring designs.
As copper is my favorite metal, I immediately knew I wanted my earrings to be copper. However, as my metal smithing skills are still in their infancy, and I haven’t yet accumulated much in the way of tools, I decided to fake it with polymer clay.
For my first pair of earrings, I textured a sheet of copper-colored polymer clay with a wave pattern similar to that on the Buddha’s robe. I cut out smallish circles and cured them with a domed shape. After curing, I added a real copper metal coating using Swellegant, and then gave them an aged look with a chemical patina. They make a nice simple pair of earrings hanging on natural copper ear wires.
The next pair of earrings also began with some textured copper-colored polymer clay. Since I planned to metal coat them, I could have used any color of clay. But why not use copper when I have it? This time the texture was inspired by the flower at the base of the Buddha statue. After curing the domed discs I applied the same Swellegant copper metal coating and patina. I wanted this pair to be longer so connected them to the dark oxidized copper ear wires with some wire-wrapped Czech glass and copper beads.
There were many inspiring textures and shapes in the Buddha statue but I kept coming back to the wave pattern in the robe. So my final pair of earrings for this design challenge are similar to the first. They have the same wave texture but this time I coated the polymer clay with bronze metal. Using the same chemical patina on bronze gave a darker richer green than on the copper. I added bronzy purple Czech glass beads to connect the discs to the dark oxidized bronze ear wires.
Thanks to our hostess, Erin Prais-Hintz, for another fun inspiration. I always look forward to seeing what she finds for these monthly earring design challenges. Be sure to hop over to the Earrings Every Day blog to see what Erin created for this month’s theme.