Here’s what happened next:
I freaked out a little bit. I mean, I got the shouty spinnies. “You got me Neil Gaiman‘s dog’s teeth to make earrings with? For the Fabulous Lorraine to actually wear?! This is the coolest thing that has ever happened to me!” (My strict grammar training deserts me in high-tension situations.) And then I did a Cordelia: “Excuse me. I have to call everyone I have ever met, right now.”
When I calmed down, I started to freak out in a quieter, more worrisome way. It’s a fun and amazing prospect to think of making earrings with something really special for someone you don’t know but really admire, but then it hit me that I’d be using unique, irreplaceable, very very sentimental materials. The baby teeth of someone’s beloved pet – it doesn’t matter whose pet it is, that’s a very special thing to do. (Weird, I know, Dad – just try to be happy for me…) I want to make something lovely and lasting and unique, that she’ll love but that also looks like I definitely made it. So I got to continue with that quiet, daunting freakout while I waited for the teeth to arrive, all the while debating what to do with them.
My first thought was to set them in silver (with help from some metalsmithing friends) and do something simple but striking. Then they arrived, though, and I saw immediately that wasn’t going to work. Here are Lola’s elegant and dainty teeth:
They’re about a half inch long and a little less than a half inch high at the tallest point, and they’re very, very thin. I was sure that doing any metalwork with them would dry them to the point of making them brittle, and might actually crack them. Drilling them for hanging was also obviously out of the question. I spent the next week staring at them and taking some pictures, while I debated how I might use them and what beads I’d like to use.
Tune in tomorrow for the results.