adornments for the wedding of two dear friends

After so many years together my two former college room mates decided to finally get married. Really, I have been waiting for this day for some time. I have seen them grow into an amazing couple and the engagement has just made them even more amazing. 

When they started to get into the planning stages I received a call from the soon to be groom, asking me if I will make some jewelry to adorn the ladies of the wedding. I was so excited to take part in their celebration by doing something that I love for two people I adore so you know I essentially yelled yes into the phone.

A few months go by and they come over for a cookout. We talk about the wedding, see fabric swatches of the dresses and discuss flowers. So, out come the beads and away we go trying to match and compliment the dresses and bouquets. We are settled on carnelian, just yummy for this autumn wedding and all of the ladies get a vine necklace with these luscious stones. Then I am asked if I can make the maid of honor a pair of earrings. Again, I am most excited. I love making earrings. But I am not pleased with the maid of honor wearing just any pair of earrings. I let the couple know that I need to think about a design. It needs to be special. 

I decided that I wanted to try and capture part of the design that is embroidered on her fern colored dress so I request some pictures. I am delighted to open this email. Making earrings with a leaf design. Can it get any better?

I grabbed a sketch book and a pencil and tried some different designs, trying to capture the flow and grace of the embroidery while making it my own.

So, I came up with all of these designs and emailed the sketches to the soon to be bride. We agree, the two below are the best. And doesn't the carnelian look like a drop of color that an autumn leaf may turn? 

Out come the pliers for some bending and shaping. I try so hard to make the drawings to scale so I always have a form to rely on.

Now the fun begins. Setting up to solder, which means FIRE.

Now it is time for the second leaf to take shape.

Soldering is underway and the second earring is started. I try so hard to keep them identical but I am reminded that nature isn't always perfect in shape and size. I accept the imperfections that I am sure only I notice and realize that had I found this discrepancy in nature, I would embrace it.

Where would I be without a flex shaft? I clean up the rough edges and messy solder with my sanding discs. They are dreamy to work with, but I still need to improve my soldering skills. 

Another dreamy device, radial wheels. The firescale is getting whisked away. Don't you just love seeing the silver color we love oh so much start shining through?

After tumbling over night I assemble these two lovely pair of earrings. I am quite pleased. I have never worked on a piece using only thin wire (20 gauge) and this is the first time I have ever wrapped beads. Really, how is it that I have a bachelor's degree in metals and never wrapped a single bead? I had to buy a book to learn! 

I made them five necklaces for the five ladies and I just couldn't remember who had what for colors, some varied from creamy white to luscious oranges. The necklaces have already been boxed up, tied tight with a green ribbon and handed over to the lovely couple. So, I made one pair with a darker orange stone and one with a creamier stone and I will leave it up to the soon to be wed to decide which pair will best match their maiden's necklace. 

You may be wondering why I would make two pairs of earrings just to be certain they will match a necklace? I decided that it didn't seem fair that my gift to this lovely couple was jewelry for everyone in their wedding but themselves. So, I made the extra pair for the bride. A little keepsake. A detail of her special day which otherwise may have been forgotten. A reminder that she chose lovely dresses with beautiful embroidery for her ladies. Maybe these earrings are taken out of their box to celebrate anniversaries? Other special occasions? I am lucky to be a part of these celebrations also! What about the groom to be you ask? Well, he just gets and extra tight hug in the receiving line because I know he wants his new bride to have the beautiful things in life and is content enough just to be able to share all that is beautiful with her. Forever.