Each month Erin Prais-Hintz presents a theme, with inspiration photos, and invites jewelry designers to create earrings for the “We’re All Ears” challenge. The earring design challenge theme for March is owls.
I have some assorted metal owl charms in my stash, but of course using them would have been too easy. I’ve made more than a few pairs of earrings using such charms, in styles ranging from steampunk to boho. For this challenge, I wanted to try making my own owls. And so, out came the polymer clay.
The fun thing about owls, real owls, is that while they are wonderfully diverse in size and coloring, they share some commonly “owlish” features. If you include those features, even just one or two, in your design, you can evoke “owl” without having to sculpt a realistic miniature in excruciatingly lifelike detail.
Obviously, owls in nature are not lime green or teal or cobalt blue. Parrots, yes. Owls, not so much. And yet, when you look at the charms on these earrings, you see owls. Right? Because of the large round eyes. And maybe, just a bit, because of the way the wings seem to be wrapped closely around the body?
Some owls have tufts of feathers on their head that give an impression of horns. This feature, along with the large round eyes, evokes “owl” even when sculpted in a rather primitive fashion.
Whether the overall body shape is oblong, pear-shaped, oval, or round, as long as you include some large round eyes, you’re likely to get “owl” rather than a more generic “bird” from your design.
Even when you don’t define the wings, you can still evoke owls with those large eyes, and maybe a little beak. You can make your owls any color your imagination desires. Owls go with everything.
This challenge theme was a great opportunity to experiment with my budding sculpting skills. I hope to make more owls, preferably in more realistic shape and detail, over time. Many thanks to our hostess, Erin, for yet another fabulous theme. Be sure to stop by the Earrings Everyday blog to see how she interpreted this theme, and to visit the links to other participating jewelry artists.