We’re All Ears Earring Challenge: Hot Air Balloons

silver earrings

Earrings inspired by hot air balloons.

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.

silver dangle earrings

I don’t often name my jewelry, but I’m calling these Silver Dirigibles. The “balloons” are pear-shaped Thai silver beads with a geometric texture and the “baskets” are sterling silver polyhedron bead dangles..

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.

14 thoughts on “We’re All Ears Earring Challenge: Hot Air Balloons

  1. Deborah Kelly

    Spectacular! Good job…really evokes the ‘balloon’ feeling ^_^ Love your work!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Patricia. And yes, I do. It’s like finding money in the pocket of pants you haven’t worn in ages.

  2. Sarajo Wentling

    Don’t you love it when you are looking for one thing and find another totally perfect item instead? I love your silver balloons!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Sarajo. I do love finding buried treasures in my stash. What would also be great is if I could keep track of what I have when I need it. LOL.

  3. Erin Prais-Hintz

    This is a pretty pair of ballooning earrings that would go with everything. I also like that while the shape defines the balloon they are more neutral with the metal tones and so less referential, but more suggestive. And I am like you in that I have a lot of fails before I find the one that works! Thank you for joining in the fun of the We’re All Ears challenge. Join me on August 5th for our next inspiration! Enjoy the day! Erin

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Erin. It’s a struggle for me to not be so literal with my design challenges. If I hadn’t found these beads in my stash I probably would have spent hours trying make miniature balloon replicas.

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