Journeys on the Wire Road

So, I said in an earlier post that I’m moving away from making simple jewelry and trying my hand on wire work. I’m a bit scared of this move, actually. It’s a bit of a bigger step than it seems.

I’ve been admiring the work of other designers for quite some time. The way they can claim almost every component in a piece as their own handmade work;  the freedom they have in working out of the box, creating these beautiful pieces that existed only in their minds. Pieces that look like art to me.

I poured through books on wire work, watched every YouTube tutorial I could find and wondered – “do I have this inside of me?”.

So far I’ve come up with a few pieces I really love and I’ve been getting encouragement from members of a group I’m in on Facebook; still though, there is fear.

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This is so totally out of my box. I like it safe, easy.

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Put some beads on memory wire or beading string and call it a day.

Putting my toes in the water, by simply wrapping some wire around the beads as well as through them, that was okay for a start. Even making the connector beads myself, wasn’t so bad.

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Then I started playing a bit more.

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I stopped worrying about the symmetry and neatness and went for organic wrapping. I allowed myself to be a bit sloppy in the name of art.

Then I learned new wrapping techniques, but kept to the stuff that was safe.

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Then I bought new tools and really began to play. I bought a tool that wraps the wire into neat little coils,

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as well as a hammer and block to flatten and form the wire.

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I’m addicted now. I love shaping the wire; love letting me mind drift as my hands play. Bringing me to this:

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Scary is how much I’m loving this. I’m looking into buying a torch and a tumbler. I already have a soldering iron that I’ve not taken out of the package yet, but I may start playing with that before the week ends. I’m sitting here daydreaming about being able to work in real silver instead of the silver colored copper wire I’ve been using.  Scary is that I’m not sure if there is a market for these pieces, I don’t know if they will sell.  Scarier is that I don’t care if they sell or not, I’m ready to throw my budget to the winds and just play.

Up until now, I’ve been calling my jewelry handmade and it has been. I might have bought the components from other sources, but I’m still the one who had to figure out the pattern, put the colors together and connect everything so that it was secure and didn’t fall apart the first time it was worn. I hate when people put down other jewelry makers as ‘stringers’. There is so much more to it than people think. What I never felt about my work was that is was original. Call a piece “one of a kind” and really, it wasn’t. Oh, yea, one of a kind in the sense that I wouldn’t be making another one, but someone would, somewhere.

What I wanted was original. Something that someone else might copy, but would be out of my own head, my own hands and hadn’t been done before.

I tried working with Polymer Clay but my stuff looks so childish, lacks any talent at all

I tried bead weaving, but I just don’t have the patience to work with the tiny beads.

I did play with right angle weave and I love the results, but, again, so do hundreds of others.

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Wire. Metal. That’s where I’m going. I have no idea where the journey will end, but for now, I’m enjoying the trip.

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