Brass and Silver Cloudburst Earrings

Cloudburst Earrings - by Noelle Powell

These little guys are very familiar items to anyone who knows me.  I made them myself and, ever since their creation a couple months ago, I have worn them frequently.  To an experienced metalsmith they are very simple pieces to fabricate.  For me, not so much.  I sketched out a design that was small and would require some tiny torch work specifically to have a reason to experiment with that skill.

The bottom of each earring, the “cloud,” was simply cut out of brass.  As I have worn these, the brass has turned several different shades.  I haven’t polished them and I just let them go until they finally landed at the patina you see today. When I cut out the brass, I left little tabs which were then looped over and the ends soldered down. Thus, the tubes were made that the earring wire goes through.

The earring wires are silver, of course, and they gave me the chance to practice using the torch to ball the silver.  On these, a good eye would notice that the silver is a bit pitted, which, as I understand from my teacher, means that I let the torch stay on the metal just a nanosecond longer than I should have.  Practice, practice.

What was I thinking when I designed them?  I was trying to achieve that casual functionality that I appreciate in jewelry.  The functional component (the earring wire) as design element.  I wanted to create something that worked with negative space and that had some movement.  In the end, I really like them but I think it could be done better.  I intend to make another version in the future with, perhaps, a focal point that has a more fluid shape.

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