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I've been looking at all of the wonderful jewelry being created from hardware. I love the industrial look and the interesting pieces that can be found at the hardware store. The various sizes and different metals called my name. The washers seem to have been design perfectly to be used as links or focal points.
The coils on the right are made with the correct, pretty silver wire. The coiled frames on the left were made with craft wire that I had accidentally used. The craft wire is now in the box marked 'give away'. Most likely to the art classroom of the local school. The coils with the bad wire were dismantled because the core wire and the bails were made with the correct wire.
It seems a bit weird making Christmas Jewelry in September, but that's the nature of art and craft fairs and festivals. I personally start to shop for my Christmas gifts and decorations early. It helps with the budget and of course to help reduce the stress of last minute shopping and the search for the perfect gift. So I have begun. There is a lot more that needs to be made. I'm waiting on a delivery with silver wire so there will definitely be more designs, not only earrings, but bracelets and pendants. In the meantime here's some eye candy for the Christmas season.
I was looking and thinking and contemplating a new pendant idea. It was staring me right in the face. My favorite bracelet! I've decided to design a double helix link into a pendant. Sometimes if I look to hard I miss what's obvious. I'll post a picture, as soon as this new design comes off the drawing board and becomes a dimensional new piece of jewelry.
I have just completed 3 necklaces. If you look closely they have a similar theme, a similar pattern, but yet I believe they all have different personalities. I even think I could expand on this pattern and continue to create more personalities.
This necklace is accented with blue metallic crystals is now listed in my on-line store at Artyzenstudio.etsy.com
To begin a new jewelry project I need a new idea. I have actually woken in the morning with what I think is an original idea. I've even had an idea 'pop' into my consciousness while engaged in a mundane conversation. I wish this happened all the time, but it doesn't. New ideas, for me, require research and experimentation.
Often I have my face buried in a new jewelry publication. When I have seemly memorized every book or magazine I find myself surfing the Internet. I love looking at the creations on Flickr. And I'm always thrilled when my Google search presents me with a jewelry artist that I hadn't seen or found before. This is how I came across Zoraida Bros. I immediately fell in love with her wire jewelry.
This necklace is accented with double spirals and will be at MountainMade
Making a duplicate of what we find in a book, magazine or from a wire artist web presence is (I think) typical of so many of us. I want to see if I can do it. I want to learn the technique. But, claiming the original design as our own, well I don't think that's cool. I personally think if the design is out there in public land, then its to learn from and enjoy the talent. But if we use it to inspire our own creations, well we should put our own personal touch on it and it would be nice to acknowledge who was/is our inspirational artist. I don't think there is anything legal that requires it, but it's nice. When I worked in the corporate world and a co-worker had a great idea and their boss ran with it as their own, well that just wasn't nice.
Each necklace starts with many components being made and sorted in my high tech ice cube tray.
So kudos to all the original jewelry creators out there and thank you for your inspiration.
All of the components are assembled in their raw copper form.
I started out by falling in love with Zoraida's necklace and wanted to see if I could make one for my personal use. As my wire was cut and shaped my mind (yes, I talk to myself) said, 'why not change the spirals in the original design to the double spirals (I call them mother and child). So I added my double spirals. Then as I continued to think and have an inner dialogue I thought, 'what if I added crystals?' And so I did. Since there was still time in the day I wanted to continue and asked "what if I incorporate crystals in between the links? Well you can see from the pictures how the personalities of the necklaces differ .
The necklaces are then oxidized in liver of suphur which turns them dark. Then each link is polished to remove most of the oxidization to reveal the depth and shine of the metal below.
Here are five new earring listings now in my on line shop. As much as I absolutely love these I must admit they require a lot of time to make. First I doubled up some wire and twisted it. Then the twisted wire went around a mandrel. Time in a bath of liver of sulphur, but more time removing the excess, etc.
These copper earrings are 2 5/8" long and are listed for $20 in my on line shop
These earrings are 2 5/8" long with Swarovski dangles are listed for $20 in my on line shop
My all time favorite stone is the Crazy Lace Agate. These can be found in my on line shop for $20
I'm always fascinated how a different stone or crystal can have such a large design impact.
Clear Swarovski crystals are like diamonds and go with everything! They are in my on line shop for $20
These have some extra Swarovski bling with Capri Blue crystals. They can be found here for $20
I'm always thinking about new designs and new ideas for things to make out of wire. I say things, because I've stopped thinking 'just jewelry'. I''ve been playing with a new idea (at least for me it's a new idea). I've decided to give my hands ago at making hair barrettes. It's a simple concept actually. I just took some typical pendant or necklace links and enlarged and expanded on them. I needed to use industrial strength wire so they will hold their shape. Then I decided to use a small gauge wire to bind things together to add some additional stability. Because I can't leave well enough alone, I got out my trusty hammer and gave them all a whack! Some of them I have textured. Then the typical bath in liver of sulphur, a few pieces of steel wool, my Dremel and then a trip to the photography studio. (That would be the rail on the deck.)
Here's the first batch. They are destined for the WV Highlands Gallery. This will be their maiden voyage and pricing. Time and customers will let me know if they sell and if the price is right.
The first piece is my favorite and I'm planning on making another just for me. My sketch pad has many more designs and I'm hopeful they will be successful. I think the tourist at the Elkins Farmers Market might find them interesting. But the truth is there is no way for me to know if customers will buy them. I just need to test them. If not, then I'll be wearing them to keep my hair off my neck this summer.
Thank you for visiting. I'll let you know how the public reponds to these. Now I need to figure out a price. Something is only worth what the customer will pay for it. Hmmmm, thinking, thinking, thinking.
I've been on a quest to find a book, magazine or blog article that focuses on wire charms. Several hours of searching on Google and Amazon and I came up with zilch, nada, zero, none, zip.....I'm puzzled. How come? Why can't I find a resource? Am I the only one that wants to know more about wire charms? How weird if I'm the only one.
The upper left resembles the swan clasp design and it has been hammered. The next looks more like a swan or duck. The lower row are simular with the exception of the use of a soft bend on the bottom, versed sharp bends and how much wire was used or left over. The final two shows the difference that can occur with a bit more wire.
On a whim I made the upper portion with big swooping movement and the round nose pilers. Then I got daring and decided to make a coil on the top two; the botton two have spirals, but since the amount of wire was different the spirals took on different sizes.
Charms, typically are preformed or cast and have served as jewelry enhancements for a long time. As a little girl I envied my cousin's charm bracelet. Her parents would give her a new charm whenever she became involved with a new activity, like her little ballerina charm. I've started making some wire charms. They aren't specific to an activity. They have an abstract form. Little spirals, curls, coils and crinkles can be made. Some are hammered to add another design feature. I'm working on adding colors to some of the charms and sealing them. There are ideas in my noggin for little daisies, hearts, dragonfly's and butterfly's. My imagination is soring with more ideas.
These embellishments can take a design up a notch and really put the icing on the cake. I like adding them to the bottom of pendants, or dangling from a bracelet and if I make two that are identical they will transform a simple drop bead earring into something extra special and unique.
I had learned to make a leaf form from Linda Jones. Since my left over wire was small these leaves became charms and a spiral or spirals were formed from the left over wire. The bottom two remind me of goddesses.
Here I went wild with tiny squiggles and added different types of spirals on the end. The charm on the far left has the spiral up a bit and over lapping the squiggles.
After I have made some jewelry I usually have several pieces of odd lengths of wire left over. Those bits that remain after that final snip of the wire. These pieces can be anywhere from 1" in length to several inches and the gauge of wire varies. Sometimes, when time is short or my hands are tired, I save these bits and pieces. These can be round wire, hammered and textured flat wire or twisted wire, etc. Sometimes I delve right in with my pliers and start to take that tiny bit of wire and transform it into a charm. I have found that many surprising designs can appear from the wire, especially when I'm not planning a specific design. I just start to curl, twist and move the wire. Some of these charms end up really ugly and they are quickly put into the trash. But most of the time some sort of design comes from the wire and it becomes a keeper. I try not to think about the charms final purpose and what it is for or how it will look in a piece of jewelry. I'm just saving that small bit of wire and keeping it out of the trash. Once a charm is made, I try not to judge it.
The top two charms I bent a piece of left over wire sorta in half. I say sorta, because I didn't measure. The bend was placed on the round nose pliers and then I twisted the ends around. I then formed coils, they were all stretched out in a random pattern without much thought to their final outcome. From there I made different types of spirals on the botton of some.
The other day I was cleaning out my studio and came across my batch of charms. I was surprised by how many had been made and how much wire that had been saved from the trash. I decided I would oxidize them all. After they dried I sat in front of the TV and started to polish each one. It became very therapeutic.
Here's a picture of my found batch of charms that I made here and there with my left over wire.
More sqiggles, but they all look so different because of the variation of wire gauage and length of left over wire.
Throughout this post I've inserted pictures of some of my little charms. As I look at them I can see that some of the designs came from forms I've seen or adapted from others. I'm sorry, but I don't know who the original designers are. Plus, there are many charm forms that came from my allowing the pliers and wire to just make a form and I'm certain there are many new designs just waiting to come into form.
The spiral we all know and love changes it personality lickadee split when the guage of wire changes, twisted wire is used, or when it is hammered and tectured. The patterns seem endless. Perhaps that's why we love the spiral so much.
I was attempting a design by Cindy Wimmer and was doing a terrific job of failing. Mostly because I didn't have a heavy enough gauge wire, nor was the length long enough. But, there was a silver lining because I was left with a new charm design.
Jeanette Blix has a wonderful pair of earrings on her blog. In my vain attempt to recreate a pair for myself I am left with a huge batch of cool charms. As you look closely you will see the variations of wire gauge used and the different lengths of wire. There are a couple that don't even have a loop for attaching, so I'll add a jump ring. Maybe one day I'll master this techinque, but in the meantime I'll make charms.
Have fun with your wire. Have a wonderful and joy filled day, Linda