Monday, September 7, 2015

New Earring Monday: Weeks 35 and 36

Happy Monday, everyone and also, for my American friends, Happy Labor day!

As promised in my post on classes at Bead Fest, I'm sharing the last of my class projects here today for New Earring Monday.  Kathleen and I decided to try out one of their 45 Minute Beginner Workshops that were new this year.  The idea for these classes was that they would be quick, fairly easy, and you wouldn't need any supplies.  Unfortunately, that may not have been made super clear to all the instructors...more on that in a minute.

Anyway, we decided to sign up for the Faux Fire Opal Earrings class that used ICE Resin and what they call their Fire Opal inclusions.  I steered us toward this particular class for a couple of reasons:  1) Earrings are my favorite thing to wear and to make, 2) I'd already signed up for classes that would yield 2 bracelets and 2 pendants, 3) I've wanted to try ICE resin but have been chicken.

The classroom for these beginner classes was in a little area right off the show floor.  I think that the idea for these classes was giving folks another avenue to take a break from shopping and get a little dose of education squeezed into the weekend.  Our instructor for our little class was Jen Cushman from ICE Resin and it was fun to hear a little more about the background for their product and learn more about it's properties.  She also shared some of the challenges she and other instructors had faced with this particular classroom space (for instance no electrical and one of the classes required tools that had to be plugged in... oops!)  Jen had originally planned to have us make our own ear wires for this project, but when she realized that folks wouldn't be bringing ANYTHING to class at all, that part went out the window and she bought a mix of findings from a nearby vendor.  In the end, all most of us did was pour the pre-mixed resin with the fire opal inclusions (a shiny, colored plastic material) already added into the bezels.

After we poured the resin in, our bezels looked super cloudy... like almost white with all the bubbles.  Jen assured us that the bubbles would clear away as they cured but also showed us a trick to blow hot air from your mouth onto your bezels.  That helped a bit, but they were still pretty cloudy when we left them to cure overnight.  When we picked them up Sunday morning on our way out of town, they looked much better, but still have some bubbles in there (it's hard to tell from the picture I snapped).  When I got home, I tossed the findings and the original rhinestone rondelles that Jen had given us in favor of all brass findings and some different beads to make it more my look.  I think these will look great with the new Steampunk outfit I'm contemplating!

My verdict:  our class was a fun way to spend 45 minutes at Bead Fest, but they have some kinks to work out if they are going to offer this type of thing again.  While my finished earrings aren't perfect, I'm pretty happy with them and look forward to playing with ICE Resin in the future.  I'm going to get over my fear of mixing the two parts together... it will happen!

My second pair of earrings this week were designed to go with one of my new necklaces.  I made the necklace with a graduated strand of impression jasper but I pulled the biggest stones out because of the scale of the pendant.  I used those larger stones along with some of the smaller rondelles, some shell pearls, and brass accents.  Here are both the earrings and the necklace they go with.  The necklace features a ceramic pendant by Tracee Dock of the The Classic Bead.

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  1. Oh man! Your earrings are on FIRE this week! I LOVE the fireopal inclusions! I've got some inclusions, just haven't played with them yet..... you have inspired me, though! =)

    And who doesn't love The Classic Bead pendants? They are GORGEOUS! Beautiful pieces, as usual! =)


  2. I agree with Linda - these are so lovely! The resins are particularly amazing. You are so versatile with your work!

  3. The fire opal effect is very attractive, resin scares me and I've never even tried to work with it, maybe I should take a course, too! The jasper beads are totally gorgeous and the color of the pearls in the earrings make them look even more fascinating. I love the arrangement of beads in the necklace, so beautiful!