Friday, February 17, 2017

We're All Ears :: February Reveal :: Patchwork

Hello earring peeps!
I hope you found some inspiration in the layers of color and texture that I shared two weeks ago. I think that my whole life is a patchwork of sorts, filled with a random mixture of colors, textures, patterns and shapes.The cool thing about patchwork, mishmash, jumble or potpourri approach is that anything goes!

Usually with these challenges I try to challenge myself. This month I set out to adapt a look that I have been working on for other jewelry pieces into some components for earrings.

Introducing: The HodgePodge Collection

These are made from a variety of canes and blends that I have made myself in my polymer clay work. To make these I have to make larger sheets that are filled with a crazy mish-mash of cane slieces and polymer clay veneers. Then I use these special micro cutters that I found (meant for leather work) to make the shapes. These are just the initial pairs that I have created, but I know that I will make other shapes and color palettes. Lots of possibilities here!

I decided that for the earrings I would select a few of my favorites, but I wanted to keep the focus on the components. Not long ago I spotted a video of Heather Powers for her Bead Table Wednesday where she talked about making your own ear wires. I know I should really get in the habit of making my own as it really ups your game and makes your jewelry really unique, but I admit that I am quite lazy! I would much rather work on the beads and components and by the time I get to making my own findings I am ready to move on. Still, it really is quite simple if you have the right gauge wire...oh and a good wire rounder tool to make sure the wire ends are smooth. I used 20 gauge sterling silver wire for all of these. I experimented with different shapes and added details like some faceted hematite beads and hammered spirals. I like that these ear wires I make can complement the materials and shape of the components.

 I really like the graduated sizes of most of the shapes in the set. I think it will be fun to experiment with drops that are different sizes and adding in other beads and metal for a more layered effect. I think I will have fun making more of these components this spring, and even offering a few for sale. If you are interested, let me know.

Now it is your turn! Let's see what sort of mish-mash, jumbled up, patchwork style you created this month.


  1. Truly great work. The ear wires are so graceful!

  2. Wonderful design! I'm glad you decided to make your ear wires, they totally add that unique touch. Your polymer components are very cool! I love using polymer clay in making earrings because it's so lightweight, it affords us more freedom without having to worry about an earring design that would end up too heavy to wear for some. Great find on those mini cutters too! :)

  3. Beautiful Erin! Your components are so unique and so pretty!

  4. Beautiful! I really love how your polymer clay components turned out...And you inspire me to try making my own earwires, too. As always, lovely work! Thank you so much for letting me play along!

  5. Your fimo components look beautiful! I love the earrings you made!

    I made earrings with handmade fimo components too (but they are not as pretty as yours):

    Greetings, Sofie

  6. Your polymer clay beads are wonderful. Someday, I will conquer polymer clay! The ear wires really add to the design and are well worth the effort.

  7. Just gorgeous Erin! Each set reminds of a different thing -- stained glass (set no. 5), marbled oil paint on water (set no. 1), stratified rocks (6-8). A true hodge-podge, but a stunning one at that!

  8. beautiful earrings as always! Erin, thank you for the challenge! So much fun!

  9. Beautiful components Erin, I am sorry I couldnt participate as I was caught up in another challenge. But I am excited to hop to all participating blogs and look at their work

  10. Truly fascinating mixture of patterns you presented, and you're use of the tools meant for leather shows there's no boundary to what can be used in the craft.

  11. Wonderful earrings. I love the random patterns. The bright colors are lovely but I am especially partial to the brown blends. And you are absolutely right that handmade ear wires take the designs up a notch. Thanks for the inspiration. I was a few days late joining. I had an idea a week ago, but didn't find time to try it until yesterday.