My favorite way to explore a design that I like is to make a series of variations on that design. I usually become single-minded (read obsessed) when I do this, and will crank out 3 or 4 variations in a matter of days. One design that I played with a while back was a tribal-style hoop with rolo chain wrapped onto the bottom and gemstones wrapped onto the other side of the chain. I did several of these hoops in silver, and had been wanting to try the design again for a while.
When my husband and I went to Oregon last month, I took advantage of being in there and went to my favorite bead store: Harlequin Beads.I had some 14K gold-filled wire at home that I wanted to use, so I bought some gold rolo chain with the idea of returning to this design for more exploration.
The first set of the hoops I made were paired with faceted green onyx beads. It was my first choice of stones to use because of their rich green color, which looked fantastic against the gold wire. I also wrapped tiny round gold beads in the spaces between the gemstones, to give the wire work more of a granulated look. This pair has already been sold in my Etsy shop.
For the second variation, I used faceted amethysts along the edges of the hoops, and spaced them closer together to give the hoops more color.
After I finished the second pair of earrings, I started thinking about wrapping more than just beads around the edge of the hoop. By creating another wire aperture, and wrapping it on the outside edge, I was able to create a more structural piece. I love the way turquoise looks when set in gold, and I wanted to play some more with those yummy green onyx beads, so I used both in the third variation. I made the hoop frames smaller, so the finished earrings would not be too long or too heavy. They turned out beautifully!
I will have to wait until I make my next supply order to buy more chain and wire, so I am done with this series for now. You can be sure that I will be making more of this design in the future!
I have always loved making things with my hands. It has always amazed me that I am able to take an image in my mind and make it come into form. Like magic!
I will never have enough time to create all the wonderful things waiting to come to life from my imagination, but you can see a few of the lucky ones that actually get made here.
I hope they bring a bit of joy to your day!
Thanks for looking!