When I first started making jewelry I used what are called "purchased ear wires". Purchased ear wires are mass produced and are sold in bulk. Over the years I became increasingly disenchanted with how they look. To my eye they look like utilitarian "hardware".
I have always loved things from antiquity, especially ancient jewelry. I grew up in Baltimore which is home to the Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Gallery has a beautiful collection of ancient jewelry and I have spent many days just gazing at these beautiful treasures behind museum cases. My passion for the ancient world has been further stoked by ancient jewelry collections I have seen in museums in Paris, London and throughout Italy.
Sea glass has a soulful, timeless beauty and I strive to make jewelry that looks to have emerged from antiquity. I am very fussy about what kind of ear wires I use for my earrings and found that the only way to give sea glass earrings an ancient elegance is to make ear wires from scratch here in my studio, and to also carefully source the ones that I do not make. I make them with sterling silver that I form on mandrels and then forge and finish by hand. The final step before burnishing is to soften the ends by filing and sanding them. I recently started sourcing some beautifully handmade ear wires and earring components from Balinese artisans that work beautifully with sea glass. This careful attention to very simple details makes a huge difference in terms of quality and beauty.
The ear wires below were hand wrapped and formed in our studio