Busy with several things

In addition to getting ready for the Together Festival in just over a week, I have been working on several other things. Many of which also have deadlines in the next 10 days. WHEE.

This had no deadline, but I needed the space on the top of the cabinet, where I’d had the objects laid out for weeks, and then I had some free time while waiting on an ear casting ( . . . uh, more on that later) so I took care of it:

I wired several of my favorite large pieces of found stuff on the end of this cabinet.

The top of the cabinet is, of course, now piled with other things. But that was the point of wiring the metal stuff to the end of the cabinet.

And I came up with this:

New ear cuff design

More of these at the festival! I was trying to duplicate a really old, early ear cuff design, and, well, things happened. I still haven’t duplicated the old design.

And then there’s this:

Models of things one might find in a skatepark

I made the quarter-bowl shapes by covering part of a rubber ball with paper soaked in glue.

And, at long last, after more horrors than I care to recount or remember, the Dig box has its primary coating of paint, and I’ve spent some time testing out my wonderful, wonderful paint pens, which I’ll be using to do all the detail work. (Also I have some tiny bottles of Testor paints!)

Testing out designs and pens and paint for the Dig box

FINALLY I am done with stinky paint


Bazaar Bizarre aftermath

So I worked at a craft fair (the Bazaar Bizarre, in its first-ever summer occurrence) for the first time ever, and it was only slightly less terrifying than I imagine it would have been if I’d actually been selling my own work.

I was there at the Artisan’s Asylum table; we were there to pass out flyers and show people how to make simple crafts. A couple of people were making neat hair decorations, tiny hats, and bags out of ties. We had bookbinding, and someone showing off Sumobots. Our coffee making demo had to cancel on account of it being too windy. And we had two people doing jewelry demos (the other person was showing knotwork).

Jewelry display, plus duct tape head with feather mask, plus flyers, beads, wire, etc.

I brought a lot of glass beads, figuring I could show people how to make simple dangly earrings. I even sat down and practiced by myself, so I would know how to talk someone through the process while demonstrating it.

No one was interested in learning how to make them.

People were interested in making ear cuffs, which I had on my big display board.

And of course I didn’t have any of the really simple ear cuffs there. Fortunately, I did have my brass wire, because at the last minute I decided to bring it so I could amuse myself if nothing else was going on.

I know now how just how poorly I know what I am doing, because I found myself flailing a lot trying to explain how to hold the wire and the tools – and honestly, I don’t know that -I- always follow the same process, so there was a lot of ad hockery (ad hackery?). I figure that explaining that teaching this was all new to me might be reassuring to people who were confused by the process a bit. Well, I got some laughs at least. And my victi- er students did end up with wearable ear cuffs.

Also, I got some really nice feedback about some of the wire work I had on display (the stainless steel necklace, which I finished off and now – of course now! – want to make some edits to. Guess I’ll have to make another. OH NOES.), like encouragement to make more and sell it.

I did loads of research earlier this year into Etsy and good places to buy supplies (bulk wire, especially), but time going elsewhere, and massive terror at the prospect of taking this semi-seriously, have conspired to keep me from actually setting up a shop and making items to sell. But I think at this point (and then there was a coworker this morning, who I showed some photos to), I have no choice.

If for no other reason than to subsidize my bead buying habit.


Long overdue post full of ear cuffs

I seem to have a bit of breathing space, so I am catching up. ZOMG TWO POSTS IN ONE DAY.


Have some ear cuff photos!

Wire earcuff

Love the simple shape. Need to redo this to fit right.

Brass feather/leaf ear cuff

It all started so simply.

Wearing the leaf/feather ear cuff
And it fit!
Ear cuff with green bead

Then there was a variation. With a bead.

Several feather/leaf ear cuffs, all slightly different

And then there were more. (These are just some of the non-rejects.)

Ear cuffs in a row. Silver with feather; brass with beads (and without).

Ear cuffs in a row. Silver with feather; brass with beads (and without

A pair of brass feather/leaf ear cuffs

A favorite pair.

Ear cuff with thinner wire wrapped around it, making a vining look.

Adding some thin wire wrapped around the main frame added some additional viney leafy bits.

Ear cuffs with multiple, layered leaf shapes

A friend suggested wrapping some excess wire back up the shape, and creating layered leaves. Needs a little refining (I dislike the indentation along the edge), but I really like the layered look.

With bonus not-ear cuff wire work:

Wire necklace made from "weaving" wire together.

This was inspired by the wire mesh I made for the sink, as well as Elise Matheson's fabulous necklace-crowns.

WordPress hates when I try to put links in captions, apparently, so let’s try that again: here is Elise’s blog (go find “new shinies” and “shiny sale” posts for jewelry goodness); here are photos of a necklace-crown.


Some things in progress and ear terminology

I have been playing with a variety of shapes for ear cuffs, both large cuffs for the entire ear and smaller pieces. I’ve started to get really interested in cuffs that hook over the top front part of the ear, which apparently doesn’t have a special name. It’s like the lobe, only the upper part. You know, the top part of where your ear attaches to your head? That spot.

Diagram of the external parts of an ear

An almost-helpful diagram of a human ear. Source of original ear image.


I’d like to know how to best describe that spot because some of the larger ear cuffs have a hook that curves around that spot. (Some fit only over that spot, and are small; some fit over that spot plus one or two other places around the helix because they are rather larger.)

ETA (July 30): I got email from a reader earlier this week with the answer! It is called the “forward pinna” or “forward helix.” Thank you!

Here’s what my desk looks like at the moment. More or less. I rearranged a few things to fit them into the shot better.

Some experimental ear cuffs. Also: trace paper diagrams that help me recreate certain shapes. Also: a feather I experimented with to see how wire wrapping a feather would go. Click on the photo for a MUCH LARGER version.

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with different ideas, and the desire to go try them out tends to get priority over perfecting any idea. And of course once I get one to a point that looks good, then I have more ideas to build on that idea. It’s fun, but it’s a little frustrating, too, because I can only do one thing at once!