HOW TO MAKE… TASSEL EARRINGS
Polymer clay in yellow, white, coral and blue Acrylic roller Small lozenge-shaped clay cutters Power drill or hand drill Fine-grade sandpaper Baking paper Pliers Two jump rings Two earring studs and backings Peach embroidery thread or 4 ply linen yarn Superglue Sewing needle Why save statement earrings for best when you can rock them on the daily? We’re fully in favour of all the tassels, all the time, and these danglers will look equally amazing if you’re going out-out, or with your daytime stripes and denim. It’s about adding a playful handmade touch to any outfit.
We also love that polymer clay is kind of like playdough for adults, and with this project you get to break the rules a bit, mixing all the colours together to create marble
style painterly patterns.
Condition the polymer clay by rolling it in your hands to ensure it’s soft and easy to work with. Blend two or more colours with the white to create the right yellow, orange, coral and blue tones for the project, as shown.
To form the base, roll the orange clay out onto a piece of baking paper to ensure it doesn’t stick to the working surface. The base should be 0.5cm ( ") thick.
Roll the yellow clay into small balls and place them on the base. Roll these balls flat so they’re the same thickness as the base.
Roll the blue clay into long snake-like shapes, and arrange them on the base. Again, gently roll these flat onto the base.
Using the image as a guide, continue adding more clay colours and shapes and rolling them flat into the base until you have a composition you're happy with.
Roll out a small amount of coral clay to 0.5cm ( ") thick. Using the cutters, cut two small lozenges from the coral clay and one large lozenge shape out of the patterned clay base. Cut the large lozenge in half across the width. These shapes will make up the components for the earrings. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, bake the shapes in the oven.
Once cooled, drill a small hole into each shape to hold the jump rings, using the image as a guide. At this stage you can also use a fine-grade piece of sandpaper
to neaten the edges of the components. Using a bigger drill bit, drill three holes at the bottom of the patterned semicircle earring piece to accommodate the tassels.
Cut a length of thread for each tassel. The length of thread you’ll need depends on the thickness of the thread. We used 2m (78 ") per tassel, but you might need more if you’re using a finer thread.
Fold a length of thread in half and thread it into a needle. Sew through one of the holes on the patterned semicircle earring piece, securing the end of the loop with your fingers. Continue sewing loops of the same length until you reach the end of the thread.
Take another shorter length of thread, and tie in a knot at the back of the earring component. Wrap the thread around a few times around the top of the tassel, and then tie another knot.
Repeat Steps 8-10 so you have three tassels on each earring. Trim the tassels, and stitch any loose threads back into the tassel.
Using the pliers, secure a jump ring to each earring to connect the components, as shown. Finish the earrings by attaching the two earring posts to the back of the earrings with superglue.
Kelly’s been an art teacher for over 20 years, teaching visual arts in schools, as well as adult courses in printmaking, sculpture and fibre art. Lately, she’s been focusing on jewellery making. Her jewellery designs celebrate the tactile qualities of polymer clay, combined with fibre-based elements. www.kelaoke.etsy.com
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