“Autumn Silver Birch” Earrings

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.


On top left, drawing made with pen and copic markers. Because – any excuse to use copics is a good excuse. 😛

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.


To anyone interested: original materials estimate for wire and tourmaline was 2 ft and 6 beads, respectively.

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.


Photo taken on sunny day, in shade


In direct sunlight


In shade – you can see the faceting on the agates.


I am a sucker for dappled shadows. 🙂


I think these would work great with earthy colors, or subdued fall colors.


As comparison to a caucasian skin tone. Makes me sorely wish my indian and asian friends were in town and willing to model.


Against skin, direct sunlight.


Managed to get my plans to cooperate as props!


I think the banding on the agates, and colors of these earrings overall, are darker on a gloomier day or indoors. The darker they are, the more the shapes stand out – which works nicely, I think, since the agates have strong lines.


This entry was posted in Earrings and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s