Ms. Erin who comes up with amazing challenges every month on the Earrings everyday blog was spending her summer (April is peak summer for me!) on…wait for it… The Bead Cruise! She has invited all of us to play along with her by creating earrings that reflect her Tropical mood.
The more I read about bead cruise and the wonderful classes on it, the more anger and self-pity coursed through my body. Why? Because I couldn’t be there. The fact that I was denied permission to attend a rare jewelry conference abroad didn’t help either. Realising that no good was going to come out of sulking, I decided to take the jealousy pangs in me and convert it into something useful, tangible and a little fun. Thus was born the idea for these whimsical Tropical Jellyfish earrings.
We’re all Ears – Inspiration – Paradise Calling
Places that are close to the equator are referred to as Tropics and their hot and wet weather is known as tropical climate. Living in Chennai, I am no stranger to the tropical climate. Chennai might have moved away from being a typical Tropical Savannah climate during the recent years. However, it is supremely hot, humid, tiring, and at the moment very far from the Paradise that Ms. Erin refers to.
Usually when people think of the word tropical, they visualise blue – green beach resorts, brightly coloured birds, coconut trees and flowers like Frangipani and hibiscus. Rarely do they think of creatures that live in tropical waters. Given my slightly nasty mood, my overworked and tired brain could not somehow picture these items. It craved beauty with a dose of evil. The first image that came to my mind was jellyfish.
I have seen jellyfish at the Sea world in Bangkok and recently at an Aqua museum in Varkala. I love their forms, the translucency and ofcourse their bioluminescence. Beautiful as they are, they are also deadly. While not all smacks of jellyfish sting to kill, some like the box jellyfish do.
Some beautiful pictures of Jellyfish for you to admire
Clue in a Local Carnival
Now I could tell you that I looked at these pictures of jellyfish, analysed them and sketched designs for my earrings. But that would just be lying. Every year in March – April, The Paghuni festival happens at the Marundeeswarar temple near my house and the streets go into carnival mode. As the crowds throng to visit the temple, hear local musicians sing and shop to their heart’s content, the streets turn into a market. Every year I see a lot of fascinating stuff but this year, it was a little boring. Almost double the usual number of stalls but most of them selling cheap Chinese merchandise. Apart from food, the only Indian items that was being sold were glass bangles and beaded jewelry.
Tropical Jellyfish earrings
I found these beaded tassels in lots of different colours and immediately bought some. So when I thought of creating jellyfish inspired earrings, I realised that I could put the beaded tassels and silk cocoons together and make quick earrings. The one in blue happened first when I transformed two of the cocoons from my blue cocoon necklace to make them wearable in this heat.
I took apart the bead tassel and wire wrapped them with silk cocoons for this design. This construction is slightly different from the Silk Cocoon earrings that I showed in my DIY post early this week. If you have missed it, please click the link in the previous sentence to access it. Since I was assured of the structural integrity and strength of the cocoons I skipped the beadcaps here. I am glad that I did that, as the earrings are heavier than what I prefer. I wore them to contrast a solid green cotton kurta at an educational review and got a lot of appreciation. Here is my look on instagram.
Silk Cocoon earrings
Encouraged by the response, I made two more earrings. One in bright yellow and other in dull green. All the cocoons used in this post were dyed at the silk farm so the colour is more uniform compare to my home dyed cocoons. However, there is a disadvantage too. The dye makes them fuzzy and the fibres keep coming out. But nothing a few coats of varnish wouldn’t fix.
The yellow pair is the longest but similar to the blue one in terms of weight and construction. As I found the style to be heavy for my taste (I prefer extremely light weight earrings), I made the green differently. Its smaller, lighter and similar to my original cocoon earrings in build.
These are my three designs for the Paradise calling challenge. I think that this is the first time in 10 years of Sayuri that I have made three versions of the same design at the same time, that too without a customer ordering a repeat it. There has to be a first time for everything, right?
What you think of my Tropical Jellyfish earrings? Is jellyfish an interesting take on the tropical theme or is it too far off the coast? (ok, pun intended).
Both the yellow and green earrings are for sale. Please contact me to buy. If you are looking for more tropical jewelry inspiration, Do hop around the participating blogs and soak in their creativity.