Thursday, June 14, 2007

Learning how to Wire Wrap Jewelry...starting out!

So, how did it all start? Here is a few pictures of some of my first pieces of wire wrapped jewelry and my first art show! These were taken in 2005....yep, I started officially creating wire wrapped jewelry just shy of 2 years ago! When I tell people this they are surprised. When I picked up my first piece of wire, it was like a fish on land finding water!

I actually created my first piece of wire wrapped jewelry, a woven wire bracelet, 14 years ago while in a gold-smithing class (that I took for something to do a couple nights a week)! Back then, my teacher looked at me like i was crazy and wasting my time....if it didn't involve a torch or piece of high-tech equipment it was a waste of time in her eyes! What a shame! It took me 12 years to find out she was SO, SO wrong! I think many schools frown on wire jewelry because they want you to keep coming back...who can afford and who has safe space for the tools needed for soldering and casting? I assure you, wire jewelry can be equally as beautiful and durable as any piece of cast or soldered jewelry! I think it is even more beautiful...soldering, in my opinion, is cheating!

I am including a few pictures for inspiration to those starting out....my first pieces were not earth shattering...I have come a LONG way! I have learned so much and continue to grow every day! It takes a lot of exploring, practice, and trial and error! I never took a class on wire jewelry...I bought any books I could find and looked at many, many photos....guessing how pieces were made, and figuring out my own methods of wrapping and sculpting jewelry. With time, i figured them out. I do many things differently than other artists and traditional methods...i do things my way! That's the point, there is no wrong way to create!!

Start out with copper or craft wire and basic tools....before spending a fortune, see if you enjoy working with the wire....if you do, treat yourself to some sterling silver wire in different gauges and shapes....(I like 22-20 gauge square wire). Most wire wrapped jewelry is crafted with 24-20 gauge wire. IF you like the swirls and curls--go with soft wire...you can always work harden it by running it through your polishing cloth several times...softening hard wire requires a torch.

Aside from the numerous books available these days, Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Magazine is a great resource for projects and pictures to learn and inspire ideas! Well....I will continue another night, have to run!

3 comments:

  1. Hi Kristie, nice to read your blog. I am new at wire wrap and still learning. Hope I can get more knowledge from you.

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  2. Hi Kristie

    I've just started wire work and wanted to say your pieces are beautiful and an inspiration!

    Joelle

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  3. I'm a wrapper (not an amazing a wrapper like you) and stumbled on this while playing with google. I've just had some frustrating experiences with metalworking classes, so thank you for your remarks about them. Wirework was certainly looked down upon as not a real art, which was frustrating. As you said, it's so expensive to get all the toys needed to do soldering and molding. Just nice to hear it from a professional, rather than soundling like sour grapes coming from me ;)

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