It's less than a month 'til Valentine's Day and I'm continuing to build up my stock of holiday-related products. I'm not a huge fan of V-Day; truthfully, I think that you should celebrate your love for someone every day of the year. On the other hand, I really like hearts so I'm happy to have an excuse to make heart-themed jewelry!
My enamel teacher suggested that I start making things other than individual pendants so I can get used to designing series, so I made a pair of cloisonne heart earrings. They're a pretty simple design -- a deep red heart with a pink and purple background -- but they're sweet and pretty, and appropriate for Valentine's Day.
Of course, being well, me, the process of making this didn't go smoothly. First, I dropped one of the little cloisonne hearts on the floor of the studio. Before I knew it, everyone in class was on their hands and knees as they scrambled around looking for it. I felt pretty embarrassed, but it was kind of them to help out. We never did find the heart, but it wasn't a big deal; I just made another.
Then, for some reason, the purple counter that I used (the enamel put onto the underside of the earrings) glazed over into a lumpy mess. I guess I put it on too thick in some spots? I ended up applying a third layer (usually I use two layers of counter) and that seemed to do the trick. It's still lumpy, but there are no cracks. I added an additional layer of glass powder to the front side to even things out, so hopefully, the enamel will hold steady all around.
One good thing is that I've become much more skilled at adding the cloisonne wire. The first few pieces I made fell apart somewhat because the wire was overheated and melted. But I now know to take the piece out a bit before a minute is up. This seems to do the trick!
I wish the earrings' colors were better in this photo, but it's dark and rainy here and I was eager to show these off. If it's brighter tomorrow, I'll try to get an improved pic. Still, you get the basic idea. I'm pleased with how my earrings turned out and am all set to begin my next project: a bracelet with enamel and cloisonne links!