08 November 2009

Variations on a Roman Theme

After almost a year, I finally finished the second of a pair of earrings which were inspired by a gorgeous, 2000 year old, gold, pearl and emerald, Roman earring that was found in Jerusalem last year. Here is a picture of the earring:

My version was made with sterling and fine silver wire, and, though I didn't have small emeralds, I did have two larger, polished round emeralds that I used as the focal on the tops of the earrings. I wreathed the emeralds with faceted ruby beads, and where the original Roman earring had the emeralds, I used rubies there, too. Suspended from the bottoms of my earrings are four Akoya pearls, to complete the look. I made the first earring the day after reading about the Roman find, then set it aside for almost a year. But now that I am getting ready to move, I have been trying to finish up those incomplete projects on my work table, and the pair is done.

After I finished these earrings, I decided to play around with the design, and started another pair yesterday. I received a bunch of beautiful pearls and beads as part of a bead swap on JewelryGeeks.com, and decided to use the lovely fresh water pearls I was sent. I paired the coin and biwa pearls with some rosy red carnelian beads, to give the earrings more of an old world flair (the Romans didn't have Swarovski crystals), and to tie the rich colors together, I wrapped them with copper wire.

I also decided to try a technique I'd seen some other wire artisans use on the frame, and wrapped looped wire around the frame for decorative purposes. The top loop also made a handy place to attach the ear wire. I used sterling leverbacks for the ear wires, because I knew that copper ones would turn my ears green, so I wrapped the fronts of the sterling wires with copper wire, to tie in with the colors of the rest of the earrings.

I am now quite taken with this design, and the myriad possibilities for variations on it, and will have more earrings of this style in the future.
Thanks for letting me share my design process with you!

No comments: