Making Earrings in the Build Zone

Right on the heels of the Of Towers and Turrets workshop I took online, I decided to sign up for Deryn Mentock’s The Build Zone workshop. I like Deryn’s down-to-earth teaching style and since I’ve been resurrecting my wireworking skills lately, I thought it would be a great refresher experience for me.

Just as its name implies, this class is all about building skills so you can create a fabulous piece of jewelry. Some of the skills I’ve learned in this class are making a balled headpin using a torch (now I have 2 torches!), making S-links with wire (see above) and making twisted wire jumprings (see below), to name a few.

My ultimate goal is to bring together all of the skills I’ve learned in this workshop and create a necklace. Since I have very limited studio time these days, all I’ve managed to do so far is to collect some beads and a focal piece. I originally thought that I’d create a polymer clay focal but I happened to be out bead shopping one day and this whimsical, winged fairy pendant sort of jumped out at me. She’s so sweet that I decided to bring her home so she could be the focal of a mystical, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”-y piece. Hey, maybe I can get my necklace done by midsummer…

I love these earrings. They’re very long but quite lightweight for their size. Whenever I wear them, I have this compulsion to keep turning my head back and forth because I love the feel of them swinging against my neck!

After a long, hard New England winter, I’ve felt a burst of spring’s energy lately that has inspired me to dig out the numerous bead-y UFOs strewn about my studio, some I started a couple of years ago. It feels great to line them all up on my table and dream about where I was when I started them and where I would like to go to finish each piece.

Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

9 comments on “Making Earrings in the Build Zone

  1. jen says:

    Really wonderful new stuff, Karen. You are putting your new skills to good use.

  2. jen says:

    oops, that seems to be Richard’s picture on that account…

  3. Judy Shea says:

    Ok, so it’s American Idol night, so I’m in the mood to be one of the judges….. THESE ARE FANTASTIC!!! Is there anything you make that is not amazing? God, woman.. these are breathtaking. and that’s how I really feel. I want to be you when I grow up.

  4. artandtea says:

    You are so kind, Judy, my dear friend! Thank you for your encouragement and support and fabulous feedback!

  5. Amy Crawley says:

    Lovely earrings Karen. The long dangles are my favorite too. I think you’ve found your niche with the copper.

  6. artandtea says:

    Thanks so much, Amy! I do love working in copper – it’s such a warm color and there’s something about it that’s so yummy.

  7. Bobbie says:

    Karen, your earrings are spectacular!! I love the twisted wire jumpring. I never used wire twisting gadget I bought from Michael’s but this is giving me the incentive to unwrap it and use it.

    Earrings are my passion. I have more than I can count. The long dangling ones are my favorite.

    Are you coming to the guild Sat? If you are, can you bring your creations with you?


  8. artandtea says:

    Thanks Bobbie for your kind words! I can certainly relate to your earring passion. 🙂 I’m hoping to come to the meeting in April as my grandkids are in town right now.

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