Convergent Series

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

Another experiment in design (Month of Earrings 10-11-12)

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/03/21

On the plus side, regarding my earring experiments with a spinner / movement design, I am finding that I can bend and twist the wire in such a way that the pieces do seem to hang in a nice position. But what else can I do to improve the construction process, to reduce the risk to the beads while still getting the practical effect I want from them?

For one thing, I can return to using silver disks with a bit of a hollow-dome shape, into which the beads can safely nestle. And I can try using smooth glass beads, such as these with a lovely rose-colored lining:

Movement Earrings #4

The look seems nice, but those particular beads have a rather large hole. Even though I hammered the wires flat, which widened them a bit, the beads do still want to ride up, and off the earwire, when you put the piece down for storage. Now, I usually sell my earrings with a small rubber or plastic “ear nut” that some people like because they feel it reduces the risk of losing an earring. Carefully replacing that will, of course, help to hold the rose-colored bead in place when not being worn. But I prefer construction methods that don’t rely on such trickery later on.

So the next experiment topped a glass bead with a tiny bugle bead, and then a small seed bead. (Those have been in my stash since I lived in Minnesota, where the temptations of Bobby Bead were oh so near my office in Minneapolis.)

Spinner Disk Earrings #2

That approach appears to have a future although, in subsequent designs, I can plan ahead and make silver pieces that are a better fit with it. For an experiment though (using disks made at random during the February clay play day with my local metal clay guild), I’m happy with those.

Digging through the stash, looking for the Japanese bugle beads for that, I came across a handful of small silver-lined glass beads. (Clearly, I’ve been interested in silver since long before I ever started working with silver clays…) They are smaller than the rose-colored ones, above, with smaller holes. They serve their purpose of helping to hold the various bits together while almost disappearing into the design.

Spinner Disk Earrings #3

So, I’m still learning as I go, but seem to be moving in a reasonable direction. Or, at least I hope I am…

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