10 September 2009

Black Sphere Earrings

Off the bench: Earrings for Odette.
I thought you might be interested in the process...
Black Earrings with Gold fittngs; what to make them from?
Ebony or Horn were the choices, (both recycled... of course)


I tested the ebony, turning up a ball on a 'rudimentary lathe'... (Ive waited a long to time to say that in context) just putting a dowell into the chuck of a drill press and tooling with a file.
Deciding that the horn was denser and blacker, I went with that, but also ended up with a little ebony doming punch. Perfect for doming-up the cups that will hold the black spheres.
I rarely do any doming, so dont actually own a set of punches... for a soft material like 22k Gold, wooden punches work very well.


Being a simple design, I thought it best to hand-build every part, so as to give it that certain quality... So I made the 'butterfly' clips too, which I have never bothered to do before. A moderate level of asperity in shape and finish seemed desirable too; a little wabi-sabi, refined roughnessTo this end, I simply cut out the flat shape with little scissors, (chamfered the sharp edges...) I pierced a hole with a pin, then bent up the the 'wings' of the clip, which are essentially springs that need to curl around and grip the post, holding it securely in the ear.



Cups soldered to posts... at this stage they need a little cleaning up.
Next, fit the black horn spheres.


                                                             Fin. Quietly good, I reckon.


  1. beautiful! and interesting process also.

  2. thank you for showing the process - let's non-smiths smith vicariously. love the handmade butterfly clips

  3. Dear David,

    I arrived at your site via a link from http://dearada.typepad.com and fell in. I've been sitting here for the past hour, and have read every post! (Good thing the blog only goes back to the beginning of '09!) Hard to explain why I am connecting with the material here, but suffice it to say I love your work, and I love your thinking about your work.

    By the way, the last time this happened to me was about five years ago at photographer Frank Horvat's site at www.horvatland.com. I started with 1999: A Daily Report http://www.horvatland.com/pages/1999/intro_en.htm Like you, he writes charmingly about serious, thought-worthy matters related to his craft. And his photographs....well, just pop over for a look and see.

    Looking forward to frequent return visits. Thank you.

  4. so happy to find your site. yay. lovely earrings, wish i had a lathe and knew how to use it....

  5. These came out lovely! I am very impressed that you went to the trouble of hand-making the butterfly clips. They have a really nice quality, so I understand why you did :)

    I just found your site through Heather Moore of Skinny Laminx and am so very glad that I did. I have some gold- and silversmithing experience and really enjoy seeing the work and process of talented jewelers. I am definitely adding your blog to my bookmarks!