Pantone’s Ultra Violet Inspired Earrings

Pantone Ultra Violet colorThe inspiration for the January We’re All Ears earring design challenge is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018: Ultra Violet.  Pantone describes Ultra Violet as a “blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.”  I’m not sure my earring designs for this challenge are consciousness-altering, but I did feel extra creative working with this color.

I have a large assortment of purple beads in my stash, including some natural and dyed gemstones and various shapes of Czech glass.  Naturally, that meant I needed to spend hours creating my own beads and not use any from my stash.  At least I didn’t go on a purple bead buying binge.

I began by making some petal-shaped focals in polymer clay. I colored them with chalk pastels and gave them a faux ceramic glaze finish.  I used fuchsia pinks with the violet purples to give them a little dimension. My purples are not an exact match to Pantone’s color, at least not the color I see on my monitor.  It’s possible to mix a close polymer clay match by converting Pantone’s CMYK color formulas to the corresponding proportions of primary clay colors.  That was more math than I was in the mood for this month.

purple flower petal earring focals

These are the flower petal focals I made to use for this earring design challenge. They are on the large side, but very lightweight because they are polymer clay.

Despite having plenty of gemstone and glass beads in my stash that would have coordinated perfectly well with my polymer clay petals, I absolutely had to make an assortment of polymer clay accent beads.  I’ve been on a bit of a creative hiatus since moving last spring and it seems this challenge really kicked my muse into high gear.  I made at least four times as many accent beads as needed to pair with my petal focals.  That’s how it goes when you aren’t entirely sure how the final design will come together.

polymer clay bead sets

This assortment of accent beads are all made from polymer clay. Some have a glassy finish and others were left matte. I didn’t use them all for this challenge and I wonder how long they will live in my stash before finding their forever designs. Most are round or rondelle shapes, plus two pairs of little birds.

I did end up using a few beads from my purple bead stash, to accent the accent beads. And I added some antiqued copper and brass bead caps and spacers to finish off my statement dangle earring designs.  I’m not great at coming up with poetical names for my jewelry. I’ll just go ahead and show you the earrings, with a description of the components, and let you call them whatever inspires you.

Ultra Violet flower drop earrings

The focals for this pair of earrings are round flower drops with deep purple edges and bright pink centers. They are paired with glass-finish multi-colored rondelles and medium purple rounds in a faux enamel finish. Antiqued copper bead caps and wires finish the look.

I know I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog that one thing I truly love about polymer clay is its ability to mimic the appearance of so many other things.  For today’s earrings, I have used faux ceramic, faux glass, and faux enamel techniques with my polymer clay focals and accent beads.

Long pastel petal drop earrings in Ultra Violet purple and pink

The delicate intricate veining in the petal focals on this pair of earrings remind me a bit of dragonfly wings. They are paired with glittery deep purple round beads. I topped the polymer clay beads with antiqued copper bead caps and Swarovski crystal bicones. They hang on natural copper ear wires.

I used some glittery inclusions in some of the polymer clay accent beads.  Pantone’s imagery and description of Ultra Violet seemed a little “out there” in an outer space kind of way.  Starry beads seemed appropriate for a color that “suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now.”  Don’t you think?

Large folded petal earrings in Ultra Violet purple and vibrant pink

The large petal focals make this pair of earrings undeniably “statement” jewelry. The petals have a faux ceramic finish and are paired with matte round beads that have glittery inclusions in their swirls of purple and pink. The polymer clay beads are accented with antiqued copper bead caps and spacers, and topped with Swarovski crystal bicones.

I initially intended to incorporate at least one of the color palettes Pantone suggested for pairing with Ultra Violet into my designs.  They have some dreamy color combinations like Purple Haze, Kindred Spirits, and Desert Sunset.  I did make a set of swirled accent beads inspired by Purple Haze, which I used in one pair of earrings. But mostly, I got carried away by the vivid purple-pink combo.

Hot pink petal drop earrings

The petal focals on this pair are the same pattern and color palette as the earlier pair of “dragonfly wing” earrings. For this pair, I flipped the petals over to show the inverse texture. I also used a pink colored glaze instead of a clear one. The petals are topped with pink-purple swirly round beads, antiqued copper bead caps, and some Czech glass rondelles. All on copper wire.

I don’t know why I made little bird-shaped beads in addition to the round and rondelle accent beads. I’ve never made bird beads before. But they are surprisingly easy and almost addictively fun.  And they go nicely with the flower theme I have going on here.

Purple bird and flower petal statement earrings

The petal focals on this pair of earrings have a great rippled shape. I hung them with the convex side facing out. They are paired with golden-accented purple rondelles, antiqued brass spacers, and sweet purple birds. All on antiqued copper wire.

I have several hours of photo-processing and description writing ahead of me before I can get these earrings listed for sale online. Be sure to check my etsy shop in a couple days if you’re interested.

And be sure to hop on over to the Earrings Every Day blog to see what our hostess for this challenge, the very talented Erin Prais-Hintz, created and then visit the other participating artists links to see more Ultra Violet inspired earring designs.

9 thoughts on “Pantone’s Ultra Violet Inspired Earrings

  1. Kathy Lindemer

    My favorite pair of earrings are the ones with the intricate veining in the petal focals that look like dragonfly wings. They are beautiful. Your little birds are so sweet. You did a wonderful job making polymer clay beads. Well done!

  2. Barbara Swinton

    Tammy, what a delightful day you’ve started me on. All these beads…and earrings, are such a treat to the eyes. Your creativity really helps inspire… when I look right outside and see flat, dull snow and feel very uninspired. This blast of color is most welcome. Thanks to you and UltraViolet for the jolt. I’d say a great success!!!

  3. Sarajo Wentling

    Wow! Lots of fun designs here… I think that first pair is my favorite though. I had to laugh that you had tons of beads in your stash but you ignored most of them and made a huge collection of new things!


    Don’t you just LOVE purple?! I can’t get enough! I adore your new petal components. So pretty! The details just pop. Please come over the Art Bead Scene as well an add them to our challenge there (artwork I picked out!) that also features purple blossoms! You should enter both your earrings and the components. You should sell them. They are fab! Thanks for playing along with me at Earrings Everyday!
    Enjoy the day!

  5. Mona Arnott

    So nice to see the creative urge kick in again. Everything is so pretty and creative. I am especially fond of the textures on the focal beads

  6. Deborah Schlegel

    What beautiful work! I can’t pick a favorite – they’re all wonderfully purple, my favorite color! I am, however, especially impressed by your work on the dragonfly wings!

  7. CraftyHope

    So glad to hear that your muse is in full force now! And boy, did she whisper in your ear or what? I really love the petals that have the dragonfly feel to them. But, it’s also so cool how you’ve achieved so many faux effects with the clay. Those “glass” ones really do look it! And, even if you did go a little overboard with the bead-making, I’m sure you’ll find some way to use them another time. You were definitely inspired by this month’s inspiration!

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