This wood is beautiful when lightly varnished. Or not varnished even. I used an 1/8th of an inch thick yellowheart wood, and also experimented with some mahogany too. I picked up these earring earwires from Michaels pretty cheaply: make sure you get Hypoallergenic!
I made this at Techshop!
Step 1: Expand Outlines
Copy these two and scale a little smaller and rotate about 15 degrees.
Copy these two and scale and rotate again, so all of them look like the image attached.
Then expand all of the shapes (selecting them all via hotkeys ⌘a), under the edit menu. This will bring up a dialog box, which you can just use the defaults. Click OK.
Step 2: Shape Builder Tool (new to CCS5)
I use the Shape Builder Tool all the time. Its great for just pure experimentation, by overlaying various shapes then using it to cut away areas.
With the select tool, select all your shapes. To get a hold of the Shape Builder Tool, use the hotkeys "SHIFT" and "m". Then click on parts of the whole you want to remove, holding down the Option key.
Step 3: Unite Everything Left
Step 4: Delete Interior Shapes
Keep doing this until you have one last shape of the whole earring.
Now select the whole shape (v key), and reverse the stroke/fill, so that the color is now on the stroke. Change the stroke to 0.01 px, so it is ready for laser cutting (making sure you are in RGB Color Mode and the red you are using is 255, 0, 0, for cutting).
Lastly, draw a circle (hotkey "l" where you want to chain of the earring to be.
Play around with the size of the final design, ready for laser cutting some demos on paper, before on your wood.
And experiment with different types of wood too!