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January 06, 2013

Gemstone Cluster Earrings

The Year of Jewelry Project (YOJP) has begun again - and I'm going to really try to stick with it for the whole year this time.  (easy to say the first week of the year!).  This time, the year of jewelry has moved to facebook.  I think that will be a really good place for it.  It is easier to post the pictures to facebook than the blogs we used in the past - and getting feedback or 'liking' an item is natural in that environment.  I'm going to be interested to see
how many people stick with it - according to the group page, there are 240 participants signed up. Wow!  That's a lot of jewelry!

This week's theme was 'Renewal'.  I'm not big on the themes, so I just decided I would start the year trying something new - but also cleaning up my work bench at the same time.  I made a pair of earrings with gemstone clusters / dangles.  I've seen many different styles of these, but I've never attempted a pair before.

I used a really pretty pair of faceted corner drilled  smoky quartz beads and then added amethyst, iolite and coated labradorite rondelle dangles.  They are all wire wrapped on ball headpins that I made and connected with jump rings.  I wasn't sure how to join the dangles into a cluster, but I found this free tutorial to make gemstone clusters.  I made the ear wires earlier in the year, and thought they would make the earrings a little more special.  The ear wires have wire wrapped rhodolite garnets.

I will probably try making a few more pairs of this type of earring. I'm not sure I like the way you can see the jump ring directly under the ear wire.  I find that distracting.  I also might try slightly larger rondelles or graduated rondelles and see how that looks.  I'm sure there are many opportunities for me to play with this style over the next few weeks.  And not to be super critical - but I think they would look better with liver of sulfur.

I'm glad to have time to make jewelry again!  If you want, check out all of the fabulous week 1 Year of Jewelry projects.

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