Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mali Clay Earrings

African Tribal Earrings

I am captivated by ethnic beads. So these handmade African black clay beads from Mali were irresistible to me. Their shape and pattern are simple but bold, so I used copper beads and spacers, with a bit of bright red vulcanite to accent the earthy clay focals. The copper and vulcanite are also handmade in different parts of Africa from recyclable materials. I think it is the slight irregularities and imperfections that I find so appealing in the African beads, and I use them frequently in my designs.

My hammered copper dangles seem the perfect shape to blend with the African beads. I hammered a texture onto them and added a darkening patina to get that aged look. When I need heavy copper blanks, I know I can find unique shapes at SupplyDiva on Etsy. The owner, Laura, has set up a workshop in Mexico to train women in metal work but also in other skills that they can use to be independent and productive.

So there you have it! A blend of handmade components from Mali and Mexico assembled in a tribal earring design.

Gloria Ewing

Chrysalis Tribal Jewelry
Chrysalis Too on Etsy


  1. I love these earrings. I like the tribal look.

  2. I love the Mali beads!! The copper you paired them with is perfect, as well as the pop of red! Beautiful creations Gloria!

  3. So great. I love the graphic quality to these and that pop of red is perfect! Enjoy the day! Erin

  4. I love these! Could wear these every day.