Silver and Green Onyx Art Deco Earrings

I made a pair of earrings out of silver and “green onyx.” I put that in quotes because I have a feeling these stones were treated somehow to get the uniform emerald color. They worked well and are the right color for the project so I am not too worried about how they were made.

The start of these came from sketches. Armed with pencils and a hot cup of coffee, I went to work. I like to draw several iterations with little changes to play around with the design. Once I was happy with one, I drew out the design in the old reliable Corel Draw (yeah, I know) and worked from that printout.

I once heard an artist explain that when you are starting out, your final work is about 10% of what you originally set out to do. Your skill, experience, and wisdom restricts your ability to create. He went on to say that once you are a master at a craft, your final piece is about 80% of what you set out to make. That really stuck with me. The implications are that even masters are not perfect, and the process shapes the art beyond the concept. A master’s work that matches 80% of the original vision does not mean is is 80% as beautiful. Rather, the work may have changed for the better, beyond the original concept. I think over this and come to a conclusion that a novice is more likely to sacrifice quality to complete a work, while a master is more likely to improve quality during the creation of something.

I think I came pretty close to my original design on this. I like the arch at the top better than in my design. I was going to use all square wire for the vertical lines but instead decided to alternate square with round to give more depth and allow me to tarnish the gaps to make the lines stand out just a little more. Most of the tarnish came off during polishing but there is a little left. Overall, I like these earrings and can’t wait to see them on someone out in the world somewhere.


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