Mycobacteria Ear Studs

I don’t get that easily annoyed by things, but sometimes, even I can’t help myself.

I get mildly irritated by not being able to wear fun, cheap earrings in crazy designs (other than for short durations when dressing up in costume) due to my nickel allergy, but what really tips me over the edge into annoyance is when they claim to be nickel free…. and let me down.

Yep. I’m talking about you Acorn earrings from Yosemite.

Acorn Earrings

Granted, they lasted longer than most, it was a couple of days before the reaction started, but then my earlobe was full blown red and itchy and weeping. I can only imagine that the nickel content is super low, or that the ear post and front are nickel free, but there is some nickel in the solder, and that is what sparked off the reaction.

For costume jewellery it doesn’t matter that much, I wear them a few hours, then take them out as soon as I feel the itch begin. But I am very wary when buying non-costume jewellery, as sometimes nickel content is not stated, or they are described as being silver, but in reality they are just referring to the colour, not the metal, or sometimes people don’t know or flat out lie.

What is a girl to do?

Make them herself.

I bought some jewellery findings a while back and made a few pairs with them (like these ones here and here), but then the bits have been in a box since we moved and not set free! P.S. I got mine from this site, stuck a pair in my ears and wore them blank for a week – not a single itch! Good service and a good variety of findings for not massive amounts of moneys – recommended!

Time to embrace my inner Microbiology nerd.

I have previously made Mycobacteria cake toppers, now it was time for Mycobacteria earrings.

A ZN-positive smear for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

First, I combined some pearlescent blue clay with a bit of white, mixing the two, but not fully, so that there were streaks and swirls of blue in amongst the white, but not fully blue. Then I rolled the clay out, and cut small circles, I made two sizes, 1/2″, and 3/8″, which were then baked according to instructions.

Mycobacteria Earrings

Once baked, I drew on the details with a thin red sharpie:

Mycobacteria Earrings - Clay fronts

(They are of course a very accurate representation of a Mycobacterium tuberculosis positive ZN smear!)

Then I glued the clay discs onto my silver earring posts.

Mycobacteria Earrings

Simple? Yes.

Nerdy? Maybe.

But cute? Heck yeah!

Mycobacteria Ear Studs

Plus of course they have the added benefit of not at first being recognisably nerdy. The meaning is only clear to those in the know! So now you know too.

I have been wearing them for about a week – no reaction! Score one for happy happy ears!

In further happy news, I wore them today for my first day at work! Yep, I got a job! Woooooooo! It does however mean that I shall have distinctly less time for baking, making, and crafting, so bear with me while I settle in. But yeah! Job! Wooooooooo! 🙂


  1. So Now that I know what they are.. Does that make me a nerd too? Congrats on the job!

    1. Sure! Or perhaps you could be a bacteria enthusiast?

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