This week's theme was to "hammer it." I use a hammer to texture most of my designs because it adds dimension to the piece and also work hardens the metal. :) Most of my earring designs are understated, but adding a small hoop looks great on women with longer hair and balances the face without being trashy.
Whereas the narrow, dangly earrings elongate your neck, hoop earrings (or anything that is heavier at the bottom) draws the eye to the bottom of your face and gives a more youthful appearance. (Think about it... the facial features of children and cute animals are all concentrated at the lower part of the face.)
So while you may not want to wear hoops to a corporate meeting, they are great for wine tasting with the bff's or a day at the ball park.
It took me a few a while to get through Week 2's project. Week 3's theme was "Try a Tutorial." There are tons of jewelry making tutorials on the web. I get a lot of "brain pickers" at art shows- people who are either "competitors" (their perspective, not mine) or do-it-yourselfers. For some things, I gladly refer them to You Tube or various websites. When it comes to metal work, however, I highly encourage people to pay for live instruction. You really should have experienced supervision when starting out with torches and power tools.
Ok, so now that I've advised caution to anyone who might be a complete newbie, here's the tutorial I selected for this week's project: Inside Out Pearl Ring (Part I and Part II) by Soham Harrison. Mr. Harrison has dozens of terrific video tutorials on his You Tube Channel that don't require really expensive, high end equipment. (I suppose "expensive" is a relative term. Traditional jewelers like you'd find in a store typically have access to things like laser welders, high end computerized engravers, etc. Handmade jewelry artists can still easily spend thousands of dollars on hammers, saws, punches, pliers, mandrels, etc.)
This particular piece was made using half round sterling wire, sterling sheet and a freshwater pearl. I didn't follow the exact directions, but love the result! It reminds me of a lotus seed pod. I love lotus blossoms for a number of reasons, but mostly because they start out in mud, then grow their way to the surface, where they bloom magnificently!
What's your favorite flower and why?