This post is a day late – but, I did make the piece of jewellery yesterday (honest!)
This weekend has been a lovely one for me. My cousin, Adelene and her husband came over to stay on Saturday and we had a great afternoon & evening. Still, I am committed (so apt!) to this challenge and disappeared into my workspace (which was freezing at 9pm) to hopefully create something pretty.
Well, we’d opened a bottle of wine at dinner and even though I’d only had one or two (small) glasses, I didn’t want to be soldering or near chemicals after having alcohol. That didn’t leave me much to start with (also because I was feeling rather tired and worn out, I was having trouble thinking of what to do). Everything I picked up and tried to work with was a disaster (things broke or bent in the wrong place or just looked awful) – and I was getting really cold now. Deciding not to freeze by being at my bench for too long, I picked up a silver hoop earring that I’ve had since I was in my twenties. When I had the pair, I used to wear them out clubbing – until I decided that hoops really weren’t the right look for me, especially ones which are about 5cm across (about 2 inches, I think).
I had an idea to make this lone earring back to being useful again, and decided to make it into a brooch. The earring is made up of silver tubing and has a curved pin at the top. One side, the pin was hinged and the other side had the pin going into the open end of the tubing and holding in place with friction only. This wouldn’t do for a brooch, as it comes under more stress and strain than an earring – so I cut a notch in one side of the tubing at the top (that went right through one side of the tubing) and bent the end of the pin slightly so that when it went into the tubing, it would catch there. I also had to sharpen the pin so that it would go through clothing smoothly.
I had an idea to use some dangles (something that hangs from the piece and normally swings freely) and have fine chain looping down between them. This was good in theory, but when I made my dangles (head-pins with black & white crystals and a loop at the top to attach to the earring) they all bunched together at the bottom – not the effect I was going for. This meant that I would need to make sure that the loops round the earring would stay where I wanted them – I could have soldered jump rings round the bottom of the earring and hung the dangles from them, but I wasn’t soldering and so I needed to come up with another solution.
The easiest solution was to drill holes along the bottom of the earring and hook the dangles through. In the end, I went with a combination of most dangles being through drilled holes and a couple just with their top loops round the earring itself.
I added the chain to each dangle as I made it – it would have fiddly and unnecessary work to add it on afterwards. After I had added all the dangles, I put a couple of crystal drops hanging off the chain (which pulled the chain down nicely in a couple of places as well as elongating the design) and I was finished.
Okay, it’s not my most inspiring piece of jewellery; but it was good to do some problem solving and also not being able to fall back on the “I’ll just solder it” solution.