During quarantine, many people tried out new hobbies. Art, cooking, fitness, and reading are some of the more notable endeavors, but there were plenty of new and nuanced skills to be picked up as well. During MC senior Addison Seal’s quarantine, she turned to crafting her own earrings.
“It started off over quarantine as a hobby,” Seal says when explaining how she first got into making earrings. “I had seen some other people make polymer clay earrings, and I really liked the way that they looked. Then, I ordered a pair and liked the light feel of them, so I kept buying them. However, I couldn’t afford to just buy every pair that I liked, so I decided to order my own start-up kit and work with it that way. It was so much fun starting off as a quarantine hobby, and then it became this dream that I’ve been able to make into something really cool.”
Polymer clay earrings are a big trend among MC students, notable for their unique appearance and often colorful designs. The process of making them is simpler than one might think. Seal explains, “You buy the clay, or you can mix clay together if you want a specific color. Then you mold it to the shape you want and bake it in the oven. Once it’s out of the oven, you just piece it together with backs and connectors.”
Seal spent a good portion of her time practicing and developing earrings for personal use, but during Christmas break, she decided to give them away as Christmas gifts.
“The popularity from giving them away as Christmas gifts boosted my confidence enough to make an Instagram and Facebook page called @addie.maes.clay. Addie Mae was a nickname my grandmother gave me, and a bunch of people here at MC have caught onto that, so it was cool to tie all of this into family and things like that. I officially posted the page after Christmas.”
Those pages on social media are where Seal posts about her earrings, offering photos of her designs as well as taking orders for anyone who wishes to purchase them. She has released collections for Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, and her newest collection will be focused on spring. Collections typically include a set of five designs with pairs made in advance, but she also does custom orders.
Seal takes a great deal of care with her earrings, shaping them into designs that range from studs to intricate dangles. However, she is also mindful of the metal backings used for the earrings in order to better fit people with metal allergies.
“I only buy gold-plated posts because I know that people may have a concern with nickel allergies. If I advertise a silver backing, I make sure to let people know the gold-plated backings are always an option,” she explains.
The designs for her earrings are beautiful, characterized by bright colors that are meant to catch the eye. But beyond the beauty of Seal’s work, there is also a distinct meaning behind each design she wants people to take with them following a purchase.
“I can’t believe the satisfaction I get from sitting at a table, thinking of an earring design, and then bringing it to life. That helped me sit in awe imagining how the Creator of the universe must feel looking at His own creations, hand-molded and hand-perfected. I tell people all the time that my earrings are not perfect by any means, but they’re created with so much love. They’re imperfect just like the person who buys them, and that’s completely okay. We’re all imperfect humans, but we’re all uniquely and wonderfully made in God’s eyes. It’s a small analogy with clay earrings, but it’s the joy I find imagining the joy our Father has in seeing all of His creations and how it’s so good.”
It’s such a meaningful notion made equally wonderful in its simplicity of being analogized to earrings. There’s such a personalization to each design, and one can’t help but feel as if they were created with intentionality behind it. Every earring is unique much like all people are unique. Few things can so beautifully capture that individualistic touch, but that is precisely what makes Addison Seal’s designs a profound creative endeavor.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment