What is terrazzo anyway? This trend seems to be the new IT material, showing up everywhere from kitchen counters to phone cases. But what is it? Where does it come from and how can you use it? As a part of the new series “What is it” we will discuss the four W’s of terrazzo then make a pair of “terrazzo style” clay earrings!
What is Terrazzo?
Terrazzo is a material that contains chips of broken marble, glass, quartz, granite, and porcelain set in concrete or an epoxy then polished smooth.
It was developed several hundred years ago in Europe by Venetian workers as a new way to use discarded marble. It was first used to build the terraces of the Venetian worker’s homes. The original sealant was goat’s milk, and it was smoothed using a hand stone.
In the late 1700s, Italian craftsmen brought their design concept with them to America. This technique can be seen in historical sites such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon home.
1900-1915 Three million Italian immigrants came to the US, and terrazzo grew in popularity. The terrazzo and mosaic workers were praised for their craftsmanship skills, “The Terazzeri” were considered true artists in their time.
The Art Deco era of the 1920s called upon terrazzo for its limitless design potential. It complemented the modern curvilinear styles of the period and became the go-to design technique.
Today with many material developments, terrazzo has progressively become a more cost-effective option. Most if not all terrazzo consists of recycled materials, making it a popular green option as well. With its unlimited color range options, durability, and design flexibly terrazzo, has earned its moment in the trend spotlight.
It looks like organic confetti to me, which I love! Forget the days of boring office building floors. This current trend is bringing with it lots of fantastic colors! Am I crazy for wanting a terrazzo countertop??? It’s an idea I’m definitely flirting with! We can find this style inspiring all ranges of fashion including jewelry, so what better way to pay homage to the art of terrazzo than making something of our own!
Terrazzo Style Clay Earring DIY
In this DIY we will use polymer clay to craft a pair of earrings inspired by the Venetian workers of the fifteenth century. It’s a super easy project that can be done it under an hour. These earrings make the perfect gift for any style nerd and will go great with lots of outfits!
- Polymer clay in several colors
- Jewelry pliers
- Earring hooks or posts depending on the design you choose
- A toothpick or a headpin
- At least four jump rings
- Rolling pin
- Wax paper
- Pan for baking
- E 6000
- Circle drawing measuring template or circle cookie cutters
- Clay knife
Step one: Wrap the rolling pin with wax paper and secure with a few pieces of scotch tape.
Step two: Select the colors you are going to use for the “confetti.” Then use a rolling pin to roll out each piece until flat.
Step three: Then using a clay knife or regular knife, chop up the pieces into an assortment of sizes.
Step four: Roll out about 5 inches of your base color clay until it’s at least 1mm thick. It will need to be slightly thicker than what your desired size will be.
Step five: Sprinkle your chosen clay confetti on to your base color and roll the clay out until the confetti is flattened into the clay.
Step six: Use the circle drawing template (or cookie cutter) then trace the clay with a knife. Once you have your circle-shaped clay, lay it on top of another piece of clay and using the knife, trace out a duplicate circle. If you are making a triangle use the ruler to trace straight lines.
Step seven: Use the head pin or toothpick to punch holes into the clay for your jump rings.
Step eight: Place shapes on a baking pan and bake according to the directions.
Step nine: Once the clay has cooled, use the jewelry pliers to string the jump ring through the clay shape. Then link another jump ring to the first one, ensuring your earring will face forward. Then link to your earring hook. If you are using an earring post, use the E 6000 to glue the post to the clay.
Well, that’s it! We learned some, we made some!
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