Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Crystal bicone beads: both pretty and practical (Month of Earrings #7-8-9)

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/03/18

The domed earrings I entered as my first items for the Month of Earrings challenge are a variation on a project described in Art Jewelry magazine last summer.

In that article, both disks were cut out of a sheet of sterling silver, then hammered, filed, and assembled with a small bead onto hand-shaped sterling silver earwires. Since I’m one of those people who rarely follows a recipe exactly, not even the first time any more, the first ones I made based on that article used one disk of fine silver and one of copper (no sterling for either). I chose to dome both of those, and then used a little flattened spiral of sterling in place of the bead. I did follow the instructions for how to make the earwires … almost! I made a small modification to the back, however, to help hold all the pieces upright at the ear. Problem is, while these pieces do hold together wonderfully while being worn, the components want to slide around on the wire when you take them off and put them into your jewelry box between wearings.

Having made those, it’s (now) clearer to me why the instructions were written the way they were, and which variations affect which aspects of both look and practicality. Ah, let’s hear it for variations! I can use the Month of Earrings challenge to explore some more of those, and see which ones do and do not work reasonably well, which ones may be even more of an improvement on the original!

For now, two tweaks:

  • The bead in front, and the wire that bends around it, help to hold the disks in place when you store the earrings. Though I like the look of my little flat wire spiral, that didn’t have quite enough bulk to serve the same purpose. Let me try some little Swarovski crystal beads instead.
  • The latchback earwires offer one kind of look, and the weight of wire towards the back helps to nudge the earrings into a nice hanging position. Can I get a good position if I turn the earwires into a slightly simpler “french” style? (I consider this in part because several regular customers who saw the first ones asked if I could make some this way instead.)

Here goes…. First, several experiments with crystals. One set in an indigo color (plus, instead of two round disks, one round disk that can spin and one oval one that swings back and forth for a bit of sassy movement):

Movement Earrings #1

And another set in a peridot color (plus, one round disk that can spin if you want, and a little square in front that can swing):

Movement Earrings #2

I discovered a small problem there, probably due to my wire-working skills, but it was very easy to chip a bit of the crystal in the process of trying to neatly bend the wire into position. So, for now, one more trial, this time with small silver-lined clear glass beads surrounding each crystal, to offer a smidgeon of protection:

Movement Earrings #3

That did make the assembly a lot easier, but I do slightly prefer the look of the single crystal bead on each piece. What do you think? (Thanks for any comments … hint, hint!)

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2 Responses to “Crystal bicone beads: both pretty and practical (Month of Earrings #7-8-9)”

  1. Welcome to the challenge! You’re catching up fast!
    A touch of color is always welcome, I think.

  2. C Scheftic said

    Thanks, Vickie By now, I’m swimming in components for this challenge!

    And, as usual, my pre-fire plans for some of those continue to change once I see them fired or, even later, with further finishing (especially when “liver of sulphur” is involved, with its own mind about what color it wants to be each time it’s used…). Which brings out more components, some from the stash plus others then made to order.

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