Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tips and Tricks From The Studio - Consistency in Matched Earrings

This week I created for the first time in my new studio.  (Yay Me!)  I was on a mission to make earrings as specific styles had been requested from several of my galleries and boutiques.  As I began to prepare my work area, it occurred to me that a few of my routines might be share-worthy.

Earrings made by Jean Skipper.
Somehow it's against my imperfection-loving-nature to create consistently.  Asymmetry comes naturally to me; symmetry, not so much.  When making a matched set of earrings, both consistency and symmetry are important considerations.  

A few of the tricks of the trade that help me to achieve this follow...

When selecting the components, beads, head pins, and ear wires, that I plan to use in each pair, I check them carefully to ensure that they're reasonably the same size.  Many of the parts and pieces that I use are handmade, and differences in their form are to be expected.  This is what draws me to them; it just doesn't always translate well into matched pairs of earrings.

As I gather the tools needed for this project, I spend a little extra time with my round nose plyers.  Using a Sharpie Marker, I mark two pairs of parallel lines around each side.  The first is a quarter inch or so down from the tip, and the second is about a half inch below that.  As I wrap my wire around the pliers these lines guide me.  If I'm seeking tiny loops that disappear into the design, I wrap the wire around the smaller line.  For larger loops, the kind that become a noticeable element in the design of the earrings, I use the larger lines.

When each pair is finished, I perform a final inspection by hanging them from a horizontal surface.  The edge of a glass or tin can work perfectly for this.  This process allows me to see the earrings as they'll appear when worn.  It also allows me to make any final adjustments before presenting them as a finished creation.  

Does consistency and symmetry come naturally for you?  If so, "Yay You!"  If not, how do you manage to overcome this challenge?   

I'm happy to announce that we'll be making earrings in my classes
at Creative Studios NC in Vass, North Carolina.
My schedule will be announced next week.
Please send an email to me at jeanskipper@jeanskipper.com
to be among the first to receive this update.

1 comment:

  1. No, symmetry definitely does not come naturally to me! It doesn't attract my eye at all so it is tedious for me to make something that has to match for a commissioned piece.

    How do I deal with it? In my own work, I stay away from symmetry as much as possible. With that said, in my BoiLeD BooKs, I often do produce symmetrical pages simply because the way I design each page creates a mirror image.

    In commissioned pieces, I only commit with the agreement that they allow me creative expression. Seriously, I found that when I force what does not come naturally to my artistic being, it is not true and presents itself so. I have learned that all that I do needs to be "Rachellesque" as one of my best friends puts it, or else it just isn't a piece from my soul.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and tips. Good luck on the new studio! I owned a retail art studio in Boiling Springs/Shelby NC for over 4 years before we decided to return to FL in 2014. It is an awesome way to contribute and build community in your area. Best wishes!
    I can't wait to stop in when I am teaching in the area! You can visit me at www.rachelleeason.com I can't wait to watch Creative Studios NC grow!