We’re All Ears Earring Challenge: Campfires


Campfire. Photo credit : Luke Porter | Unsplash

The theme for this month’s We’re All Ears earring design challenge was campfires. I haven’t been camping in a very long time.  My family took quite a few camping trips when I was growing up. My favorites trips were the ones near alpine lakes and meadows. I love the smell of pine forest covered in morning dew.  Of course, I also love the smell of smoldering mesquite wood, which is what we used to build our fires when camping in riverine canyons.

When I was thinking what kind of earrings to design for this challenge, I focused mostly on colors I associate with campfires:  the blackened wood, the glowing red embers, and the grayish smoke.

I made some red, black, and gray swirl polymer clay beads last year for another project but ended up going in a different direction for it. Lucky for me they were in my stash all baked and ready to go, because it’s been waaaay too hot to fire up the polymer clay studio.

dangle earrings

I used a simple red, black, and gray swirl cane to make the coin-shaped beads for these earrings. They’re accented with opaque black glass and crackled red glass beads on Vintaj Arte Metal wires.

dangle earrings

The round focal beads on these earrings are made from the same polymer clay cane as the coin-shaped beads in the first pair. They’re also accented with opaque black and crackled red glass beads and hang on gunmetal lever back earwires.

In my stash I also had some “molten lava” beads I made last year for the fire element designs in my Elemental Lizards jewelry collection. These polymer clay beads have a veneer that looks very much like molten lava.  At least, it does to me.  I made a pair similar to these last year to coordinate with a necklace from that collection.  Since I had more beads, I made another pair for this challenge.

lava rocks drop earrings

The polymer clay “molten lava” beads on these earrings are paired with actual lava rock beads. I added some opaque black glass spacers and black niobium wires.

Fire is my element. Literally. I am an Aries. You might think that would mean I’m comfortable in hot weather. I’m not. I hate being hot. Hate. It. Maybe that actually makes sense. Maybe being all fiery means I’m better suited to cold weather?

Whatever it means, I do have fun making fire element inspired beads. The focal beads on this last pair of earrings for the challenge were made with scraps of polymer clay left over from making the swirl beads in the first two pair. I added a little bit of white clay to the mix, for a bit more contrast in the thin stripes.

triangle dangle earrings

The alchemy symbol for fire is an upright triangle. The polymer clay triangle beads in this pair of earrings are topped with faceted AB finish smokey gray glass beads. I also added some clear crystal seed beads to the steel wire wraps. I was thinking “sparks” flying from the fire and twinkling in the night.

That’s it for my campfire-inspired earring designs. Many thanks to our challenge hostess, Erin Prais-Hintz, for yet another awesome theme.  I don’t know how she keeps coming up with fresh ideas each month, but I’m glad she does.  Please be sure to hop over to the Earrings Every Day blog to see how Erin interpreted this challenge. And follow the links at the bottom of her post to see more campfire-inspired earring designs by other artists.

20 thoughts on “We’re All Ears Earring Challenge: Campfires

  1. Sarajo Wentling

    Wow! You came up with some great earrings this month! I’m really smitten with the molten lava pair… those beads are really amazing.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Sarajo. I meant to say in my post that I thought the lava beads also looked like charcoal briquettes on a fire. Which is why I thought to use them for this challenge.

  2. Erin Prais-Hintz

    Ooh! I love the idea of the molten lava beads! Those are my favorite! I also like the dancing flames you made with the polymer. Very clever! I really enjoy coming up with challenges for myself, to make my own work more meaningful, so I am delighted that others want to play along. And to tell the truth, I usually come up with the ideas the night before I have to write the inspiration post! But luckily the last minute usually brings out the best in me! You are my ‘something good’ today and I hope you continue to come and play along with me in the We’re All Ears challenge. Enjoy the day! Erin

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so very much, Erin. Your challenges are always so much fun both to interpret myself and to see how you and the others interpret them. Each challenge introduces me to new ways of looking at things, especially looking at your designs.

  3. Beth Petricoin

    Lovely, lovely earrings! I’m particularly loving the molten lava ones and the triangles! I am a fellow Aries who also hates being hot… bring on fall weather, I’m so ready! 😉

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Beth. Fall seems to be slow arriving this year. Or maybe it’s just that I am overly anxious because it’s my favorite season and this has been such a long hot summer.

  4. Cynthia

    wow – wonderful beads! and the earring designs are all little beauties … I do love that molten lava look. And it does indeed look real. We had the opportunity to visit Volcano National Park in Hawaii and I could not believe how hot it is next to molten rock – yowza! but watching the colors stream down as the sun sets is truly a spectacular view.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Cynthia. I had a change to visit that same park. The way it changed the landscape, it was like being on an alien planet.

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