Earrings from the Seashore

When I was a kid, we would challenge one another with tongue twisters.  One I remember is “she sells sea shells by the seashore.”  I often wondered how anyone could make money selling seashells near a beach.  That was then and this is now.  Shells are harder to come by on the beach nowadays.  Still, a friend did manage to find some seashells which she asked me to make into earrings for her.

The shells looked like small mussels to me and were pretty delicate so I decided to give them a reinforcing coat of epoxy resin after I drilled tiny holes for jump rings.  2DrilledCoatedShells

My new dehydrator came in handy for drying the shells after I coated them because the weather is humid around here.  By the way, this dehydrator was $24.99 when I bought it on Amazon a couple of months ago to use with metal clay.  Now it’s selling for three times as much and  I have no idea why.  But there are plenty of dehydrators to be had for under $40.00 if you shop around.

6 Dehyrator

I like to weigh my resin on a gram scale.  I put a silicone egg cup on the scale, calibrate  to zero, and pour in equal parts resin and hardener.  When I am done,  I let the remaining resin resin cure in the cup, pop it out and throw it away.  Voila!  The silicone cup is clean for the next resin project.

 

I used real 24 K gold leaf for one pair of shells and fine silver foil for the inside of the second pair.  I attached the leaf with sizing and coated the shells with Pebeo varnish. I laid the shells on an old silicone pot holder to dry and sanded off any blobs before I applied the leaf.

 

 

 

And here are the finished earrings: gold filled wire for one pair and sterling wires for the pair with the silver leaf undersides.    The earrings are extremely light and a lot more durable because of the resin coating.

Earrings

 

 

Dear Fleisher 2012

Dear Fleisher, 4×6 Inches of Art is a biennial fundraising exhibition showcasing the work of hundreds of artists from Philadelphia and beyond. Artists submit original postcard size works in a wide range of media and styles, each of which is exhibited anonymously and sold on a first-come, first-served basis for $50.

Some  well-known artists have contributed work  So have some not so well-known artists like me.  Since polymer clay is not well represented in the exhibition, I try to use polymer in my contribution.  This year I made an earring holder you can hang on the wall using screen printing  over a stripe pattern.  I included a pair of matching earrings made from the same screen printed polymer clay, mixed metals and seed beads.



I like this style earring because it spins around when it’s worn.

When I cut out the earrings,  the scraps looked just as interesting so I used them too along with gold-toned screw eyes to suspend the earrings.