She started to lose her hearing in her 30's, and hence now wears hearing aids. She wanted to create a pair of hearing aid guards, so when she went outside on windy days, her aids would not be howling from the onslaught of wind and air. They were to be functional, but also beautiful. She worked on creating templates of the earpiece, and then cut out, filed, sanded, and domed the sheet silver. Next she created coils in silver twist-wire, and after many soldering operations, soldered on these coils to the sheet silver. They are reminiscent of the ear, aren't they? She used a brass brush (leftover from her silver clay class) to burnish them, and then folded the wire around her ear; one left long enough to attach back up the front of the earguard.
Here's a picture of Barbara modeling her hearing aid guards. I was so struck by how elegant, personal and meaningful this project was to her. This was not an easy project- it took her many hours of forming, soldering, melting (oops) re-doing, etc... before she "got it", but she didn't give up. They're so chic, industrial, organic, and eye-catching, aren't they??