Sunday, December 14, 2008

Silver Tidings

This week I needed a couple of little gifts, so I riffed off some quick silver earrings. I rolled out silver clay 3 cards thick, added cherry blossoms with one of my favorite tear-away texture sheets, and cut out two pairs of shields with a previously used index card template. After cutting a hanging hole and adding a small flange around it, I left them overnight. The next morning I spent five minutes filing the edges smooth, then loaded all into the kiln.

As soon as they finished, I quenched them right into the tumbler water and set them to polish for an hour. A dunk in liver of sulfur and a couple of argentium silver wires beaded in a microtorch gave me two gifts with less than 30 minutes work, completed in odd moments within 24 hours. 

Alas I failed to photograph them, but I decided I needed a pair for myself and maybe even a few for my Etsy shop, so yesterday I whipped out four pair more. All the earrings I've bought for myself in the last year or so have been really long, so these follow that pattern.

I've been thinking recently about how I tend to make everything too complicated. I like to make complex, detailed work. But when I buy jewelry to wear myself, I tend to gravitate toward very simple, elegant designs. So I view this as my first step toward simplifying. That's what focus can do.