"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bent & Twisted

Some might think the current title refers to my personality. Okay, I may be a little bent on occasion, but I don’t think I qualify as twisted. What I’m actually referring to is my decision to add worked wire to my jewelry pieces.

On beginning the new learning curve, I quickly discovered that wire has a mind of its own, and that mind can be kinda kinky at times. I also learned straight away that working with wire is a lesson in tweaking, futzing, and cursing. The rewards, however, are quite nice.

I started out simple, using fine wire to wrap around beads. This got me a few interesting pieces that resembled leaves on a vine, but the wire was too fine a gauge to stand up to everyday wear. Next I bought a stronger gauge wire, and made simple loops with needle-nose pliers, or wrapped it around a Sharpie marker, or plastic film canister. The results were okay, and I used two of these experiments to make pendants, adding beads, crystals, etc.

Then came spirals. Spirals are fun. Spirals become hypnotizing and addictive. I made lots of spirals. I even adapted a piece of a design from an ancient Etruscan tiara and necklace into a pendant, using a bracelet slide element, which is the necklace pictured. As you can tell, I really like spirals.

Now I have a wire jig for making more complicated wire designs. Great, another learning curve. I spent three hours yesterday playing with this contraption, which consists of a metal plate full of holes, metal pins of varying sizes to put in the holes, and tiny plastic tubes that I have no idea what to do with. Bending wire around the pins is like trying to scratch your head and pat your stomach at the same time. One hand holds the wire down, the other bends it while also turning the jig plate. Most of what I did ended up in the trash, which is par for the course. Two pieces came out rather nice, and one has already been turned into a pendant.

However, more hours of practice at tweaking and futzing, bending and twisting, are needed. A lot more. Maybe I’ll just go back to doing spirals. I really like spirals.