The components for this months challenge come in the form of these lovely beaded hoops from the seriously talented seed beader Kristen Stevens. Once again I forgot to photograph my own beads but they were the same as the purple pair in the centre of this picture.
Since they came in a pair I decided pretty quickly to make earrings but I wanted to try and do something a bit different. They're very light and quite flexible so I began by looking for something that might give them a little more rigidity and structure. Whilst rummaging I came across my pot of copper washers and found some that the hoops sat quite nicely inside and I started to think about ways to attached the two elements - a little wire wrapping seemed in order.
I decided I wanted integral ear wires so I began by soldering some copper wire to the washers. I then had a bit of a 'what if' moment and used some solder paste to give the washers a more grungy, industrial look by dotting it around, melting it and then hammering it for a more battered look... I like this look a lot and I wish I'd thought to take process pictures but I always forget when I'm experimenting. I also punched a hole in the washers opposite the ear wire.
Next I had to attach Kristen's hoop and this proved a little tricky. Because they didn't fit snugly to the washer so it was difficult to keep them aligned - I kept wrapping too tightly and pulling the hoops to one side. Eventually I managed to get a more even and relaxed tension which held the hoops centred where I wanted them. Some 'messy' wrapping took care of the excess wire and created a contrasting accent.
For a little flourish I found some crystals that matched the colour of the hoops and added them to the bottom of the washers as dangles. Finally I formed the integral ear wires and here we have the finished product...
Because it took me a few attempts to get the wrapping right I did take a bit of the surface colour of the hoops but in actual fact I really like the effect and I think it works well with the grungy theme.
Many thanks to Kristen for providing up with such great beads to play with. Please use the links below to see what the rest of the team and out guests made for this challenge.
Cindy Martin Shaw