Hi guys - It's me Ros (you just met me in the previous blog!) and here is a little taste of the new Tassel Earrings Workshop run by host Marissa Irwin!
I was thrilled to attend the first tassel earring workshop which was taught by Marissa at the Peckham Levels studio - one of the perks of working at M.Y.O is access to all the workshops! It was great to actually enjoy the experience of taking part in a class, rather than teaching one, be a ‘punter’ rather than a teacher and to be able to relax and be creative, after a fairly hectic day at my day job as an Occupational Therapist.
I hadn't met any of the guests (or the teacher!) before and I had never made tassel earrings before, so it was an all round new experience for me. We all sat down, introduced ourselves, poured out the wine (and water) and got started.
Marissa provided information of where to source the tools and materials needed to make the earrings so that you can go and buy them for yourself, at a reasonably low cost. For example she informed us that to buy the 3 different pliers needed to make the earrings only cost £15.
She talked us through the different materials that are used to make the earrings; fresh water pearls, Swarovski crystals, 14kt gold-filled half-hard wire, 14kt gold-filled ear nuts and matching posts (the part which goes through the ear) and tassels which are handmade in Nepal and India using nylon thread. She had a beautiful selection of pieces to choose from, so that we could put together our own earrings.
I selected a pair of turquoise tassels, two pairs of crystals and a pair of ear posts. Here is the selection I made, before I put it together.
Marissa talked us through the process of how to make the earrings, using three different types of pliers and we were able to practice at using the tools and making tight loops with the bronze wire before making the actual pair of earrings. It was fun to play around with the materials and perfect the techniques, before making our precious pieces.
After some practice, some bubbly, some mistakes and some laughs along the way (those pliers are finicky), we all came out with a beautiful pair of tassel earrings which everyone put on straight away! It was great to see what combinations of pearls, crystals and tassels everyone went for. Check out the end results;
I left feeling quite proud of what I made and realising how easy it is to make your own jewellery, with just a few simple techniques up your sleeve. The earrings that we made were not only unique to us, but far more durable than most cheap shop-bought jewellery. How special! It was so much fun to join a creative class in the evening, especially in busy London where I always feel like I'm rushing around. I found that attending a creative class completely forces you to slow down, forget your to do list and focus on an activity for a couple of hours. I also loved chatting with people I hadn’t met before and learning together.
Anyone can make their own jewellery and this class was a chance to learn new techniques, play with colour, different materials and scales.
The day after I did the class I visited the Frida Khalo exhibition at the V&A and saw these gorgeous woven shawls from Mexico which I noticed were fringed with tassels, which I absolutely fell in love with. When I next make tassel earrings again, these textiles will be the perfect inspiration for sumptuous colour ways. I’m sure Frida Khalo would be proud of the earrings we made!