Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How I make Fiber Earrings



Perhaps you have read my Etsy 'About' page. This page was something I lost sleep over. I wasn't sure how to promote my shop with samples of my studio. I don't have a studio. I have a growing collection of trunks, hat boxes, jewelry boxes, cigar cases, and other romantically alluring vessels in which I tote my projects from homestead to driveway to forest to beach to the stars and beyond.


As romantically breathtaking a dream of life on the road can be, you might sense a hint of sarcasm in this writing. Well, I suppose anything gets old if you've done it long enough. I'm just the kind of person who grows bored with anything I've perfected. So all in all, I'm ready for the next step. This is why I am extending so much energy to the promotion of my online Etsy shop. I'd love nothing more than to generate an income doing what I love from a space I call home.
This morning I would like to demonstrate some of the outdoor crafting skills I have developed and then apply to the Ragdoll Earware Earring line. It all begins with string.



 This sequence of photos shows me using a drop spindle to unite loose European (The Californian variety are often bred for other purposes and produce a much tougher fiber) hemp fibers. After winding the loose fibers into yarn, I color them using an ancient, natural technique with Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) dye.  You can purchase a finished set of Indigo dyed Goddess earrings here.




While this process is extremely enjoyable, it is also extremely time consuming, so I make the majority of my Ragdoll Earware Earrings from unwinding ready-made hemp, bamboo cotton blend and agave fibers.



As well as imitation sinew, which I am guessing is a waxed rafia thread. This material is really handy for creating dream catchers and beading with small stone beads.




 Once I have selected the various types of string, yarn, fibers and ribbon I arrange them on my lap (though a work table I imagine will be easier on my back).



 Then I use some handy homemade tools to loop the fibers through a jump ring. 

In the beginning, I made all my own finding of special order sterling silver 22 gauge wire. Since the demand for my earrings seems to be in a lower price bracket, I've begun substituting my techniques for ready-made silver findings. You can still get a pair of the original hand molded Ragdolls Earwares in my shop, or contact me to special order a pair of your own.



Then I cut my copper material and carefully wrap the fibers securely into place.



Sometimes I add various stone or glass seed beads to enhance certain pairs. Either way the result is a comfortable, lightweight, stylish and divinely unique embellishment to your earring collection.



 Voila!!! After years of contemplation, a journey of feathers and stones, then a sacred meeting with the ancestors, the vision is complete. These earrings are sustainably crafted with love, patience and heartfelt inspiration. May the wearer be blessed!




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