Matt's Awesome Stuff
TetraOrb and Helm Orb Earrings
Last updated: 14Apr2012
These were a 2010 birthday gift for a waitress at the local pool hall. She selected all the elements of the design herself (because I forced her to). Chain weave, the dangle weaves, the wire sizes, and the colors apparently to match a favorite dress of hers. Maybe she didn't like how they turned out, I've never seen her wear them in the 3 years since. Or maybe they're just too fancy for waitressing.
The chain is Helm Chain in Argentium silver and custom-anodized titanium using my homemade anodizer. The balls are TetraOrb and Helm Orb in Argentium and custom-anodized niobium. They're tiny, about the size of a pencil eraser.
The chains came out just a touch too tight, since I didn't calibrate properly between my prototype and the final model (titanium rings had too high of springback). The balls also came out a bit too tight because no one makes 26awg niobium and I tried to stuff 24awg (larger) into a 26awg cage. My closures look worse than they are due to lighting, none are actually open. Could have used a welder on them if I had one back then.
Since the chains had trouble straightening themselves after being bunched up too tight, I also made her a little earring stand to hang them straight. I had the idea that the stand could be a woman in a ballgown made out of wire, holding up the earrings, so I drew a sketch and then tried to make it out of scrap copper wire. I was pressed for time and it was my first time wireworking, so it came out ugly. Regular lead/tin plumber's solder holds it together.
It came out ugly but functional.
Here is a render that I made, of various chain options she liked, to help her narrow down her chain weave (color was decided later). She picked, obviously, the second one, Helm Chain.
One thing that's difficult to see from the pictures is the scale. Even the larger wire size used on the dangling balls is far smaller than most chainmaillers dabble with, and the chain wire is smaller by half still. Here's a few pictures for scale: