reticulated earrings

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just Fitting In

“The Right Fit” Eardrops

Like everyday, she got up, showered up, latte-ed up, dressed up,
and it seemed like all the puzzle pieces were in place.
By the time she got home that night, one had been lost.

“It’s just not the right fit,” was all they could say.

Words can make you breathless, helpless, shapeless.
Exposed and invisible.

The pain of words gave way to the power of anger
and the motivation of individuality.

Thus the hammer hammered and the tumbler tumbled
and the tarnished became shiny and resilient again.
Richer for the working over.
Somehow, more fit.

The process of designing and producing these earrings was again an interesting one. They are made of metal and glass. Simple, you say? Yes, it turns out, after you get past the hard part.

I decided again to work with aluminum, because I wanted to build a pair of easy to wear, larger scale earrings and duh, aluminum is super-lite. I also wanted to make something that moved with the wearer's moves. Lightweight, fluid and with a honkin glass bead. 
Now, here's the challenge: I had barely held a torch in my hand much less gotten it to do any tricks. But there I was with metals in one hand and a fire-breathing torch in another. Could I tame the beast?  Could I fuse this thing together without frying the parts that fry? Could I keep my sweaty cool in these "Cataract Surgery Survivor" looking magnifiers? GINA!!!, bring band-aids and aloe vera!

One issue was how to get the glass bead attached to the chain. Wire wrapping would be the thing, but until this project I had vigorously rejected any thought of wire wrapping beads because I AM A METALSMITH (hear me roar)! But then I saw a few pieces in a magazine that were wrapped in a way as to look a bit disorganized. Not so perfect, the wire was part of the bead, not so neat looking. OK, not so anal retentive. This is a break through! That's the look I want, so I got off my high horse and tried to become one with the wire. Om.......... (I found out you have to be good at wire wrapping to get it that look)
With plan in place, I sawed & filed the metal to smooth perfection, hammered the dickens out of the two metal tear drops (you know you can tear aluminum with too much hammering, damn it ((&^%#$#&^(*)), formed the curve in the metal, drilled two holes in the top - one for the ear wire and one for the chain. I made 8 silver jump rings and soldered them together in 2 short lengths, then soldered them on to the hammered metal, wrapped the beads and attached them to the open ends of the chain, soldered these ends closed and finally hung them on hand forged sterling wires.  

And you know what?  They fit! 



cut aluminum

argentium 930 silver

sterling 925 silver

hand blown glass beads