The inspiration for this month’s We’re All Ears earring design challenge was hot air balloons. Our hostess shared photos of brightly colored contraptions against beautiful blue skies. Was my earring design inspired by all that color?
That was Plan A, which didn’t work out. We’ve been in the midst of a heat wave here in the mid-Atlantic and there was simply no way I was going to turn the oven on to cure polymer clay for some custom-made balloon-inspired dangles.
Plan B also didn’t work out. I thought I might use wire to create a balloon-ish frame and wire-wrap colorful beads inside to simulate the bright geometric patterns on the balloons in the inspiration photos. I’ll spare you the sight of all the mangled wire in which that failed attempt resulted.
Plan C was to find some colorful glass beads that could be strung on wire to evoke the idea of a hot air balloon. When I was searching for colorful round-ish beads to be my balloon stand-ins, I found a bag of Thai and Bali silver beads from the last bead show I attended. I completely forgot I had them. But as I picked up the bag to get at the box of beads underneath, I noticed one of them was balloon-shaped. Or probably more technically, pear-shaped.
Did I buy more than one? Yes! Yes I did. When I poured the bag out I discovered I had a pair. And then I remembered I had a strand of sterling silver spacer beads in a shape that was sort of basket-esque. And so, with a little sterling wire to pull it all together, my silver hot air balloon earrings were born.
There’s something that’s simultaneously stately and whimsical about hot air balloons. I’ve seen them in flight overhead, but never taken the opportunity to go up in one. If I ever do, I think I shall have to be in full Steampunk regalia to get the complete experience.
Many thanks to our hostess, Erin Prais-Hintz for the design inspiration. This challenge is also a blog hop so be sure to hop over to the Earrings Every Day blog to see what Erin made for this challenge, and then hop down to the links for the other participating artists.