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Some of my favorite pieces

I have made hundreds (maybe thousands?!) of pairs of earrings this year, and as I was going through them preparing for the upcoming Royaboya Handmade Bazaar, I realized that I have some definite favorites. I also realized that my favorites fall into a few specific categories!

Telling a Story

There is nothing that brings me greater joy than sitting at my desk, taking tiny pieces of clay and turning it into a small canvas. Polymer clay earrings are like a story in miniature - my favorite pieces evoke a feeling or atmosphere. Like you could dive right in and be totally seeped in that vibe.

handmade polymer clay earrings that look like stone with a window and two potted succulents.
portal into another story...

Connection to Past and Future

I also love crocheting - I've been crocheting since I was eight or so, and one of the best things about it as far as I'm concerned is how connected I feel when I have my hook and thread in hand. I feel connected to generations of women that came before me. And I feel connected to future generations as well -- I can't count the number of times I've been crocheting out in the world when a little kid came over, curious with questions about what I was doing. I love heritage arts - and I love the little stitches, the tiny details, the rustic and folk feeling and making it something people want to wear here and now.

handmade crochet teardrop earrings in green
classic Royaboya crochet teardrop earrings

Connection to my Heritage

I also love the earrings that feel the most *me* - the ones that feel like they not only connect to heritage arts in general, but the ones that connect me to my heritage. Like this pair of pomegranate earrings. I will always have a love fest with pomegranates. My Persian father grew up on an orchard of them, and they have been a symbol of that side of my life for a long time.

hand holding handmsde clay earrings that are black with red pomegranates

Lessons Learned

Beyond the end result of the earrings, my favorite pairs are also the ones that taught me something. Maybe I saw a new technique, or discovered a new material, or some previous limitation of what I could do was blown past. When I started to get really detailed in some of my floral earrings, that was an aha moment for me.

handmade earrings with white diamond background and pink and orange intricate floral details
one of my first and favorite floral pieces

When I failed miserably at making marbled earrings and had to take a step back and figure out why it wasn't looking the way I wanted... that was a great day too.

handmade dangle earrings with white and black marbled technique
turns out patience is required

Mixed Media and Experiments

I love when I just play around with the materials out on my desk and something works! I especially love when that involves mixing cotton and clay. I love the look of those two together, and I love the symbolism too.

handmade dangly crochet teardrop earrings with clay discs
a personal favorite crochet and clay pair

This year I began experimenting more with alcohol inks.

handmade clay round earrings in blue and gold
each pair of alcohol ink earrings is like a tiny galaxy

With incorporating acrylic paint, gold leaf, metallic powder.

a trio of purple and gold leaf earrings
a trio of purple and gold leaf meant for royalty, clearly

With clay canes - a technique that still blows my mind.

a pair of hexagon shaped earrings with purple and black design
the pattern on these earrings were made from the cane technique

With using other material like metal or wood.

handmade earrings with wooden circle and a yellow diamond with yellow bee hanging from it
part of a custom wholesale order that I adored making

With using clay like paint and sort of smearing it to create an oil paint look.

a hand holding earrings that are rectangle with an ocean and boat made out of clay
my first foray into earrings as a painting

Customer Requests

I also truly love when a customer asks hesitantly, "can you do this..?" and I get to take on the challenge. Some people send me a photo and ask me to match it. I've had beautiful beach scenes, wedding bouquets, to baby blanket patterns and book covers! It's like a game, getting to translate their loved image into a work of wearable art.

handmade clay earrings on white background. earrings are oval with abstract ocean.
abstract ocean art to match someone's vacation photo

Inspired by someone

Some of my absolute favorite earrings weren't requests, but they were definitely inspired by someone I know. I had a whole line of California native plants, for example, that was inspired by a friend who is a naturalist.

hand  holding pair of purple oval earrings with clay poppies
california poppies!

I was talking to someone living in Hawaii and voila - the tropical earrings were born.

hand holding pair of oval turquoise earrings with tropical leaves and flowers
aloha earrings

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