With the goal of opening a shop on Etsy, I have begun making the first 10 items to list. Some of them will likely be reproductions of pieces that I wear most frequently myself, but some are new. The “Autumn Silver Birch” earrings are a new design – a rework of a very early attempt at wire-wrapping I did back in 2011 – at a far away time when I was still buying semi-precious stones at Michaels.
This started as an attempt to take the focal Banded Agate rectangles and make them dangly, and to soften their modern-ess. After playing around with shapes (squares, rounds and triangles) and discarding most of the bead combinations due to texture conflict, I really liked the color combination rhodolite and tourmaline offered. It did not detract from the shiny stripes of the agate, and subtly created an autumn/rainy tone – rich dark reds and greens of tree bark or earth.
I’ve also started keeping strict track of the materials and time I spend on a project – partially to figure out pricing for my works, partially so that I can get better at purchasing materials in sufficient quantities. The photo below is my estimate of materials to be used – and a very vague visual representation of the design I was going for.
These took me about 3 hours of work – I tried harder than usual to have clean wire-wrapping connections between the beads and on the headpins. Close to finishing the first earring, I realized that the design wasn’t balanced; the rhodolites on the bottom looked thin, the tourmalines at the top made a too long of a line to the ear-wire. In the end, I used the following materials (these twice exceeded my initial estimate on tourmaline and wire usage):
- Banded Agate (2 focals)
- Rhodolite Garnet Smooth Chips (12 pieces)
- Sterling Silver Chain (1″)
- Tourmaline (14 pieces)
- Sterling Silver Ear-wires (1 pair)
- Sterling Silver 28g Wire (4 ft)
- Bali Silver Star Spacers (8 beads)
The end result – each earring is 3″ in length from the top of the ear-wire, and weights 0.35oz. This would potentially be on the heavy side for some wearers, but feels nice and significant to me – I like to sense that I have earrings on, and to feel their swing with my step.