I'm not a wire-worker (and neither is Shannon), but we so admire those we have met in the industry. Wire jewelry artists are fantastic and inspiring -- and I wanted to talk a bit about what they have said inspires them and how they work.
Many say their true passion is creating unique pieces, and that they don't work toward a preplanned pattern or idea. Artists tell us they rarely plan out designs or draw them -- instead, they just snip off a piece of wire and go at it! Lots of pieces are created organically and take their shape naturally and freely. Such jewelry can also be inspired by nature and shaped by imagination -- taking on organic or geometric forms. These folks particularly enjoy free-form work where they feel, manipulate and handle the wire between their fingers. It is a very tactile method of working that takes the artisan wherever it wants to go. Sometimes, they end up with a mess; but moments of magic can also happen!
Others are inspired by specific things such as fantasy, myth, and folklore, or tribal and ethnic designs. Shown above at the right, there is a 'poster' of Hungarian folk art that has garnered more attention from wire artists than anything else I have ever pinned on Pinterest. The original person who posted this added the comment: "Some of this would make really nice wire work. Inspiration from so many places...now I just need the time!" Others have been inspired by Roman, Celtic, North African, Indian and Islamic Arts, and many more.
Some wireworkers persue elegant, minimalist designs such as these from WvWorksJewelry on Etsy, shown to the right. It is the pursuit of something almost melodic and harmonic -- like the beat of the heart or the rhythm of a poem. Whatever the approach, I think wireworkers must feel something like a Greek god who exclaims, "I can shape metal with my bare hands!" It's like conjuring an object from a pile of precious metals and amazing gemstones -- a feat of alchemy.
Wire is a wonderful medium, as it is both beautiful and portable. And there are so many approaches -- from working with a jig, to chainmaille, to soldered/hammered, and more.
A great site for learning more about wire jewelry, resources and tutorials is the Wire to Jewelry site:
Another good place to get started is Step-By-Step Wire Magazine from Jewelry Making Daily.
If you enjoyed thisi post, you might also like Learning to Design and Make Jewelry.
Until Next Time,