The two side pieces are finished and I've laid them out beside the layered centre piece. I'll need a bead or beads between the pieces to set them apart. I ran into a problem with the curvature since these side pieces are essentially hollow beads. This is going to be a fairly substantial piece so weight will become an issue. It was so difficult to ensure the curvature of the top black pieces matched the curvature of the larger bottom pieces, especially when the bottom pieces were baked on the round form and also had that soft curve. I decided to work the bottom black pieces flat. That way I could bake the top black piece, lay it on the flat clay and trace out the curvature exactly as needed. There is a curved, textured, glittered insert on the side, set in a bit so it is not obvious - just noticeable from an angle. Adds a bit of intrigue/interest to the piece. I'll need to be exact when drilling the hole for the wire, since any change in curvature of the wire will affect the wrap of the "claws" around the central bead. I don't have a neck mandrel so I'll try using the jewelry manikin.
I like the look of the side pieces as earrings. Will have to work some more up as such.