What I made this weekend

105053-982122-thumbnail.jpgEntire months pass when I'm mulling over a design idea that never quite gets onto my schedule. Multiple months. Years even...maybe.

This weekend I planned to get a lot of rest, but also one of these long-delayed designs from my imagination was working its way to the top of the pile. I knew it was time to pay attention because the idea was surrounded by a giddy swirl of activity in my brain. The swirl that lets me know the idea wants to have my full attention.

Although I make a fair amount of beaded earrings, I've never yet successfully made earrings using clay focal points. This has caused me not a little grief, since every time I take my necklaces to a new gallery or boutique, I'm asked about my earrings. And although they're happy with beads or wire designs, I'm inevitably asked about clay, too. Since my necklaces feature one-of-a-kind pendants made with clay. The excuses that tumble out of my mouth during these meetings (when pressed too hard, that is...sometimes "not yet" is sufficient. Many times, however, it's not,) are too numerous and cumbersome to recreate here. Let's just say the process of making pairs of things with clay isn't the same, for me, as making a single design that's never to be duplicated. (Hint: here's another reason I stopped making pottery bowls and cups and turned to designing jewelry. My commitment issues run so deep I struggle to make even two little old things that are enough alike as to be thought of as pairs.

Never mind. This weekend, in spite of the fact that finally some of my little pendant-style pieces are finally glazed and ready to be fired (maybe tonight, even!) and possibly actually be turned into earrings, are ready, I got to try out another of those long overdue designs.

And here's what we have. Three pairs of earrings made using high fired, very rough clay beads that have not been glazed. Intentionally rough. Intentionally not glazed. In addition to the clay bead and swirls and coils of copper wire, these pairs also feature beads:

  1. Turquoise heishe
  2. African glass Christmas beads in yellow and red
  3. Multicolored Millefiori chips

So the verdict after all this waiting around to try the new design idea? Spectacular! Because although my rating system certainly factors in the opinions of others (while limited at this point, two friends saw and liked 'em,) my own simple question: "Would I keep them and wear them myself?" is answered in the affirmative. So even if the galleries and boutiques don't want 'em, I have some cool new accessories in my personal collection. Which means hands-down success as far as I'm concerned!

Now, after I finish the web-related phone call I'm about to get, I'm going to check the dried out clay that's sitting in water.  Time to make more beads. I love these earrings...wanna' make some more. But dried out clay just won't cut it.