Friday, January 23, 2015

Tales from enameling class: Pink and black heart and polka dot enamel dangle earrings

The winter/spring session for my enameling class started last week. I'm thrilled to be back, though I was disappointed to learn that a few of the "regulars" have moved on to other things. The good news is, we have a couple of newcomers who are really nice. One is a travel agent and the other is a travel writer. Given my love of traveling, we have a lot to talk about.

It always takes me a while to get back into the rhythm of the class and this semester is no exception. I'm already a klutz, but this past week, I took my clumsiness to new levels. First, I tried to drill a tiny copper square... only my finger kept getting in the way so I let go and the piece flew off the table. Luckily, no one was hurt! However, I accidentally burned myself when my thumb grazed a flaming hot trivet, fresh out of the kiln. Ouch! Again, I was fortunate in that no major damage was done.

By far, my biggest mistake came when I attempted to make a pair of earrings. I had some leftover small rectangular pieces and painted them with stripes of green, yellow, pink and light blue. They looked really cute; the other women in the class called them "candy earrings" because of the bright pastel colors. I was almost finished with my project, but put one earring down on the wrong side of the trivet... and it ended up fusing to the metal. Stupid, stupid, me! I had to pry off the earring with pliers and in the process, snapped it in half. Honestly, I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I guess we all have bad days, right?

On the positive side, I now know a color combination which looks really good and I plan to make another piece using those pastel stripes. Plus, I DID manage to successfully complete a pair of pink and black heart and polka dot enamel earrings:

I'd forgotten I had a pair of copper squares and in my bag and was happy to find them. As I said to my teacher, it's like discovering buried treasure! Since Valentine's Day is on the horizon, I decided to go with a simple heart theme. I applied a layer of rose pink enamel over raspberry to get that bright pink hue and then painted a black heart on top. I then used a thin piece of wire to create that sgaffito design of swirls and scrolls. The heart's edges are a little jagged and I left it slightly underfired so it has a "stamped" appearance.

I initially planned to have a plain pink counter side, but decided it would be fun to add the polka dot design. I think it gives the earrings even more of a whimsical touch.

Now that I've made these enamel earrings, I feel like I'm back in the groove! Check out the rest of my handmade enamel and wire wrapped jewellery at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations.

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