Dangling Chinese Sunflower Seeds
December 7, 2011 7:33 AM   Subscribe

After seeing Ai Weiwei's sunflower seed exhibit at Tate Modern in London with my girlfriend earlier this year, I was inspired to translate the afternoon into a thoughtful Christmas gift. I've purchased 6 of the seeds on eBay and need help finding a jeweler in Los Angeles that can help me design a pair of earrings incorporating them. HELP!

Because of her long curly blonde hair and her sunny disposition, I've taken to calling my wonderful girlfriend 'Sunflower." In May, she and I took a trip to the UK so I could meet her parents and while there we went to see the exhibit (Ive been a fan for a while). It was amazing! Inspiration struck and I hatched a plan that is now coming into effect: Ai Wewei sunflower seed earrings for Christmas.

I bought the seeds on Ebay (many were sold at auction) and now need to have these ceramic seeds mounted on earrings somehow. Are there any jewelers in LA that can help me with this?

BTW: It was a great exhibit and I left a heartfelt video message for the then incarcerated Ai in my best (horrible) Chinese.
posted by Dr.James.Orin.Incandenza to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I assume you know that the paint on the seeds may well be lead based? Not sure whether that's an issue for jewellery or not.
posted by pharm at 8:03 AM on December 7, 2011

Yes, there are jewelers who can help you with this, but I don't know of any. Hopefully, peagood will stop by with some better advice. My first thoughts would be to have post earrings made with 2 of the seeds and then use the remaining 4 to make a necklace. if it's just earrings you really really want, then...talk to a jeweler about how dangly you want them, and they will likely make some pictures or CAD renderings for you.
posted by bilabial at 8:11 AM on December 7, 2011

Response by poster: I'm not sure, but I don't believe the paint contains any lead. The were made using the same methods used to create classical Chinese... well... 'China'

posted by Dr.James.Orin.Incandenza at 8:26 AM on December 7, 2011

Ooh, I would want one seed for each ear, dangling off a short chain. This is really cute. Good luck!
posted by stoneandstar at 8:30 AM on December 7, 2011

NYT says that there were "traces of lead" so maybe it's not that big a deal?
posted by pharm at 8:53 AM on December 7, 2011

I think your best bet would be to look on Etsy for jewelers in your area.
posted by milk white peacock at 8:54 AM on December 7, 2011

If there's a craft fair or "hip" neighborhood in your area, try hitting it up. There are always jewelers there and I'm sure they wouldn't mind a commission.
posted by GilloD at 11:19 AM on December 7, 2011

One seed per ear could be nice, but I think six is good - a triangle of three seeds, maybe even with something yellow involved. Find an awesome jewelry designer! Shopping for jewelry designers will be work now, but think about what an awesome resource you'll have in the coming years.
posted by amtho at 12:21 PM on December 7, 2011

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