This week I got my first commission to do a custom jewelry piece from a customer on Etsy. I have been asked if I could do custom pieces in the past, but I could not accept the orders because they would require metalsmithing or etching skills I do not have. But when a customer if I could make male Draenei tail earrings, I was intrigued.
For those of you who do not know what the heck I am talking about, this is a male Draenei.
They are a playable race in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. You can click on the image to learn more about them.
The commission was for large, blue tails, with gold rings. Something that would make a statement.
Time to do some research. Even though I have played WoW for years, I have never played this race, and my fellow guildmate plays a female version; which have very different tails. I found this image to work from.
The next step after research was to design the piece and create a sketch to get approval from the client.
She liked the design and we agreed the length of the earrings would be closer to 3.5″ in total. Next step; find polymer clay as near to the darker blue color on the left as possible. I think I got pretty close with this light bluish-teal.
I molded the tails and added the scales and the ring edging as separate pieces of clay Then I smoothed it all together to create my base piece, and trying to keep the correct size in mind. Each tail is different and unique, hand crafted with care.
Then it was time to bake them. I baked them at 275 degrees for 25 minutes. Just enough for the polymer to harden, but not so much that it became too brittle or brown.
Next, I painted the gold bands, and added some shadowing and some blue highlights and texture with acrylic paint.
I added large brass jump rings to each tail, and created the beaded connectors from gold-toned metal spacers and aqua faceted glass beads.
I chose to put the earrings on a closing ear wire, because they are large and heavy. I wanted to make sure they did not slip out of her ears. Once the earrings were assembled, I added two layers of gloss sealant, letting the first coat dry over night.
This treatment makes the earrings look glossy and finished, and also protects the paint from chipping and wear. But it does not make the earrings waterproof. They should not be worn in the pool or shower.
So here is the final product!. (The last couple of photos in this post came out a bit light. The blue is much closer to the first few photos in this post.) I hope she likes them. The final measurement was just over 3.5 inches in length. Now that is a fashion accessory that makes a bold statement!