Making Matching or Complementary Items


Earrings. I probably do not need to say that when you make a pair, they are mirror images of each other. I don’t need to remind you because likely, if you are like the rest of us, the first pair you made were the same, not complementary or mirror images. ‘Like they both faced left. Ha.

Below are some hollow-form earrings in my Artisan Earrings Series. Some were identical; some were mirror images. The best way I find to make mirror-image earrings like some of these is to hold them together and assess their mirror-image status at various times during their creation. 



Sometimes I make two to twelve pairs of earrings at one time. I roll and cut each pair at one time. How then do I keep these matched throughout the rest of the process?

First, when I make them, I keep the matched two together. 

Then, when the earrings are in the dry clay stage, I put a notch or mark on the back of each one in a pair. This also tells me which end is up.

Then, I sand them back to back, so that their final shapes are mirror images.

Now I can mix ‘em up the rest of the process. Until I put them together on a display card.


Below are photos of the finished earrings backs to see the notches. Top left has two notches. Top right has one notch. Lower pair has no notch.


Here are the finished fronts to see how they are paired up. The notches can be subtle, very subtle, and the matches have to do with placement of tree trunks within the circles, the final shape of the circles, and the empty space around each tree. 

If someone ever notices the notches and asks, feel free to explain why that notch is there.


For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.

© Kris A Kramer 2019