How well i remember getting started with jewelry designing! That historical event took place maybe ten years ago. Initial experiments involved stringing bracelets and necklaces, and an accumulating collection of interesting beads and findings. i’ve observed that that is where many jewelry makers get their start. It’s a great place to begin! Fall in love with beads! What could be better?!
|Spools of wire|
Soon after, wanting to make matching earrings, i found i had to learn how to make bead drops. Those required wire. And that seemed to be when wire started to edge its way into my creative consciousness. Wire bending led to the discovery that ear wires were simple to make. Then i began to replace other bought findings with those of my own design. It all came together when i grasped that handmade findings could complete a piece of jewelry, where bought ones in the same place seemed like foreign objects. A piece then had a creative totality that had not existed before.
After a lifelong experience with fiber arts; mostly embroidery, crazy quilting, and knitting; working with wire was a little different. For awhile i could only think about what it would NOT do. It would not relax and sew itself into the contortions i tried to consign to it. Instead of becoming pliable as i bent, wrapped, and coiled, it got more resistant. Until i learned to be a neat-freak about filing off burs, band-aids were constantly on the shopping list. And i ran through so many twenty-foot spools of wire i don’t know why it took so long to figure out the stuff has to be bought in quantity. In pounds, that is, not feet.
The whole experience with wire seemed at times dysfunctional. But new ideas kept coming into my head. There was no stopping the ideas! Falling asleep at night with jewelry ideas roaming through my head seemed to lead to waking up in the morning with variations on those ideas plus some new ideas.
Proudly, i can now say that me and wire have worked through our differences. Learning is a process. It has its curves, ins, and outs; and sometimes you just have to assign it some down-time. Do something else. Rethink. And then jump back on the old apple cart and go for the next challenge of working out a new design idea. But, after even a short time away, picking up the chain nose feels like taking hold of an old friend.