I don’t know why but lately I have been really into making earrings. I think it’s probably because they are quicker to make and I am less afraid to use colour in smaller pieces than I in bigger pieces. To be honest I am not sure. I was never much of an earring wearer to begin with. I am more of a bracelet and ring person but I am not sure if a bead-embroidered ring would work.
When I was putting together pieces that I could use in earrings I came across these wonderful faceted square Swarovski crystals that my mom had sent me. The good thing about them was that they didn’t have any holes for sewing through in them, bad thing about them was that they had a faceted back and I was bit iffy about using them.
So the challenge for this piece was gluing the faceted piece to the backing. I had read in the dimensional embroidery book that the way to use these types of stones was to use some sort of air-dry clay under them to make some sort of a setting. I was a little apprehensive to be honest about how to actually do it but after doing more research and finding no other method I decided to just give it a try.
The book says to use air-dry clay and the only type that I found on the day that I went to Michaels was the Martha Stewart’s crafter clay, which is very puffy and kind of reminds me of marshmallows. I made small balls and put the stone on top of the clay ball and pushed it down onto a flat surface to make the setting that the gem would sit in and trimmed the excess clay. Once the clay was dry I checked to see if it was actually stuck to the gem and I found that I could easily peel it back. the thing is that once the bezel was done , the gem would have been completely encased in the beads and would not have fallen out but just to be on the safe side I decided to glue the stone to the setting and then sanded them a little so that the setting would be as thin as possible and then glued it on to my backing.
Once that whole section was done then it was off to doing the bezel work and the beadwork. For these earrings I went with a gold and bronze palette to compliment the vintage purple cabochons.
The thing with beaded earring as I found out is that they are very lightweight. I usually don’t wear earrings because after a while my ears start throbbing but I have been really comfortable with the beaded earrings that I have made for myself. I think it is probably because there is no metal setting involved in making the earrings, which makes the pieces very light and hence comfortable to wear.
LIST OF MATERIALS USED:
- 18x25mm VINTAGE GERMAN GLASS AMETHYST PURPLE CABOCHONS
- 15×15 mm SQUARE SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL
- 2.5mm APOLLO GOLD CZECH FIREPOLISH BEADS FP2611
- 2mm GOLDSTONE BEADS
- 3mm GOLDSTONE BEADS
- DARK PURPLISH BRONZE SEED BEADS SIZE 11/0
- GOLD SEED BEADS SIZE 11/0
- GOLD METAL SEED BEADS SIZE 15/0
- 10mm SURGICAL STEEL FLAT GLUE ON EARRING POST
- FIRELINE THREAD 0.006” IN SMOKE GREY
- LACY’S STIFF STUFF
- BLACK ULTRASUEDE
- E-6000 GLUE
- CRAFTER’S PICK THE ULTIMATE GLUE