Earrings Made with Polymer Clay

girl with the pearl earring by johannes vermeer
“Girl With Pearl Earrings” by Johannes Vermeer, 1665

Earrings are everywhere! If you look at jewelry you are bound to see earrings. And there is a good reason for that. The shapes and styles earrings come in are literally endless.

Even if you would restrict yourself to only one basic shape, there still would be a huge number of variations you could make. For example, one single round bead is a classic shape you can find featured in many earrings. It is classy, stylish and goes with almost every outfit!

But if I say “one round bead” and would ask a number of people to make earrings with that, you would certainly get many different looks and results! Everyone will have their own idea how to use one round bead.

Maybe you are not a fan of the humble round bead. Then you could pick a different basic shape and still come up with a huge number of variations!

And if you decide you want even more possibilities, pick a number of different shapes. Or combine a couple of basic shapes with each other!

I think you see where this is going: the possibilities are truly endless. And I have not even started to talk about different colors, patterns or combination of materials!

Sketches and finished earrings – a look into my sketch book

If you start thinking outside the box and say “I don’t even want matching earrings or I just want to make a single earrings”, then that would open up yet another pathway of possibilities. I, for one, do like to make earrings with different shapes but in the same style. Or the same themes but with two different variants of it. I must admit I get bored easily and sometimes making two of the same is just too boring for me.

Another good thing about earrings is that they are relatively small. Not at all like a whole necklace with a good number of components, all the same or at least very similar, that takes quite a bit of time to put together.

Earrings are not that time consuming. You also need less material to make them. Even when you only have a small amount of material, let’s say from a special veneer you made, you nearly always have enough to make a pair of earrings with it. That makes them cheaper, quicker and much more manageable. All qualities that draw me to making earrings.

Some great tools to help you create your earrings!

Since earrings are mostly small in size, they are the ideal canvas for experiments! Try out a new technique, color or pattern! If you like your experiment use it for a pair of earrings! Even if you don’t plan on making earrings right from the start, you can drill a hole in your sample pieces and make a pair of earrings with them. You might want to add a nice backing or a fitting hanger to make them look good. But you don’t have to go overboard if you don’t want to.

Earrings made with Liquid Clay

What I also really like about earrings is that they have a different construction that most other pieces of jewelry. What do I mean by that? Well, earrings mostly hang from the ear and so you possible see all sides of the hanging parts of your earring! Necklaces on the other hand lie on the chest. Bracelets are wrapped around the wrist and brooches are pinned to your top. Earrings are the only piece of jewelry that truly hangs. That gives you the opportunity and also the challenge to make something really light weight, to have a construction that does not have to be very solid! I think it opens up a whole range of possibilities, which are hard to pull of with a different piece of jewelry. Especially when you go bigger with your hanging shapes it is a good idea to make them light weight or hollow.

Since earrings are quick and easy to make, they are the ideal gift! Presented in a nice little box or a fancy envelope they always are a welcome surprise. Most women and some men like to wear earrings and are happy about a new pair to add to their collection. Try to find something that fits the taste of your presentee and you will surely be recognized for it.

Some of MY favorite earrings from my personal collection

Of course, most earrings you will make only need to be fitting to your own taste. I made most pairs for myself and that is a good thing. When I am working or just for everyday, I do not wear a lot of jewelry. BUT I always will wear earrings! And if I do something special than of course I will wear more jewelry, and I never leave without earrings! Sometimes I also test run earrings, that are not for me, to see if they are comfortable to wear. Of course they get a good clean afterwards.

One year I challenged myself to make a new pair of earrings each week of the year. It was hard at times to really stick to it, but I finished that project. To see a finished collection of 52 pairs of earrings is quite something. What I really liked most about this project was the boost of creativity and inspiration I got from it. This challenge really kick started my creativity in a good way and I only can recommend to try something similar for yourself!

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