Wire: Wrapping, Weaving and Designing Contemporary Jewelry
Like millions of other wire workers, I sauntered into the world of wire in the usual way: casually linking beads with loops, then perfecting the amazing loop with a coil, then added some links of chain and then discovered jumprings… its not exactly a path unchartered, but instead a well worn path travelled by thousands. Steadfast and true, this path only leads to more paths!
Branching out in metal
Finding myself at a crossroad of metal clay, stamping, cold connections, soldering and more, I decided to sit still and examine the path that others travelled and see what it was all about. I want to show you contemporary wire jewelry at its best, in hopes you’ll break out and dust off the pliers and get to bending, twisting, wrapping and basically creating beautiful art to wear.
I love the look of tightly wrapped, uniform loops and coils. It looks smart, fresh and clean. You can imagine how enamored I was when I took a look at this pair of two toned earrings by Gosia Meyer. An unusual shaped hoop paired with silver wire adorned with gold beads. But the design element is so strong and unusual.
Feminine and lovely
Another example is this pair of earrings titled “Moonflower Earrings” by Sheridan Joslin. I love the cold, hard, industrial wire that’s become feminine and swirly and girly with loops and shape. Wire is really pretty stuff, and this is showcased in this design.
Innovative and fun
This is the kind of wire work I dream of doing! But alas, I have not done so. But… Mary Tucker has! This gorgeous wire locket is made up of spirals and wraps, all in such lovely precision. I can’t stop staring at it. And its functional, too. How in the world does one come up with these fantastic ideas and then actually execute them in a flawless way? Beats me. I’ll keep trying!
Loose and flowing
If your style isn’t so concise, then take a look at these for inspiration. Kathleen Urban made these whimsical wire earrings with wavy curves and a bit of chain. Not too difficult to make, but look at what a simple design can do. When worn, these beauties have lovely movement and just reek of summer fun.
Weaving with Wire
Joyce Zborower wove this fine silver into a lovely basket cage for this bead, and in doing so made a fun, edgy pendant. Gives wire a whole new look, doesn’t it? Pretty far away from coils and loops, this simple basket weave can be interpreted in a flat piece, or in the round to wrap around a bead, or to create a vessel such as a basket. Big potential!
Wild and Carefree!
Talk about no worries! Swirling, twirling wire overlapping and all unruly…. And gorgeous! This little beauty is designed by Allison from BeachFlowerDesigns. A simple stone with a messy wire bale. Love it! Has that sort of multi-media or steam punk look to it.
Freeform wire design is at its best in this pair of spiral cluster earrings by KUKLA designs. She uses black enamel to make the receeded areas really dark. Love the look… and the hand crafted, hand made, awesome look. Very cool.
And from the same designer…
Such a creative way to incorporate resin into wire design! These have such a new and unique look to them! The tulips are among many other nature inspired designs from KUKLA designs.
Contemporary wire artists know that wire doesn’t have to mean a bead with a loop on either end of it, linked to the same. There are so many incredible pioneers of wire out there. What pathway are you going to take?
Resources worth checking out!
"There is a vibration and feeling about things made by hand. Things made with hands have a spirit about them, a love that no machine can copy If I touch it more, rub it more, put a little more of myself into it, it becomes powerful. I put that flame of attention into every single thing that I do." Lynne Merchant, wire pro and artist