Okay, this post title should really say that chandeliers are the inspiration this week as this is all the result of a challenge to make chandelier inspired earrings! There were a couple of things that led me to lanterns, though. First, while I do love sparkly, crystal heavy earrings, there are very few times of the year when I actually wear them. And I'm trying to cut down on all that stuff I love and collect, but never actually use! And then there's an idea I've been working on for a couple of months - lanterns.
It all started pretty much right before Christmas when I was brainstorming beads with a winter solstice theme. I've always loved lanterns - the way they glow on summer evenings when one can spend hours out on the deck watching the world. And the strong light they give off on dark winter evenings - luminarias, Christmas lanterns, solstice lanterns to bring back the daylight. I had a couple of types of beads made and bisque fired when the February Art Bead challenge came out - this wonderful 1909 fairy tale illustration by Warwick Goble.
And when Erin Prais-Hintz announced her earring challenge theme for February (read about the challenge here), it all seemed meant to be! It's been a bit of trial and error to get a glow on the lanterns using stains, but I have one set finished and one that I thought was finished - maybe not.
The set done is based on the Goble illustration. The beads are earthenware ceramics, stained and fired multiple times before being finished up with a satin/matte glaze. I used sterling silver wires and findings - the stars have been in my stash for years and never looked quite right with anything I used them in.
This second set is based on Chinese lanterns - I wavered for a few days on whether I should overfire them with tiny gold dots sprinkled over the red and now I think I will take these apart and do that. It wasn't until I saw them on the finished earrings that I realized, yes they do need that bit of sparkle. The findings are gold fill and I used black and gold lustre glass beads.
Finally, I have to add in a pair of earrings I made for Christmas last year that really do fit the more traditional chandelier idea. They're gold fill and crystal and I loved the way they swung when my head moved!
Head over to Earrings Everyday to see how others interpreted Erin's challenge - I've already looked at the first batch up and there is some really beautiful work! And the entries are still coming in on Art Bead Scene Studio's website, so keep checking back during the month to see other inspirations from Warwick Goble's illustration.
I'll have the star lanterns up on the website shortly and the red lanterns by Monday or Tuesday (stoneypointstudio.com).
Happy Creating! Deborah