Playing With Wire
Do you get so caught up in precision jewelry techniques that you miss the joy of the creative process?
We jewelry crafters and artisans are truly fabulous. We transform simple wire, metal, stones, and glass into grand, elegant, funky, or even whimsical jewelry. It's a joyful craft indeed.
We really shouldn't take it so seriously.
Metalwork can be a bit tedious until you get the hang of it, but working with wire should feel like an exciting creative experience from day one.
It should feel like fun... like child's play.
Learn the basics
Of course, you do have to learn a few things first. Angles, measurements, and nearly perfect curves and loops are important to beautiful, well-made wire jewelry. You should learn at least a few rules before you get down to breaking them all.
But wire jewelry making rules are only half the story. Learn the rules, then make your wire jewelry even better by adding in your own originality, your own ideas, and above all your own sense of playful excitement.
Your sense of creativity and joy will be the unique something that draws wire jewelry lovers to your creations.
If you're new to wire jewelry making, it's easy to get intimidated by the elegant designs on Pinterest or the fanciful jewelry showcases on Etsy. Let those pieces inspire you, but realize that those jewelry makers were once in your newbie shoes.
Your jewelry will be admired and praised some day. In the meantime, You must master wirework... and play. While you're waiting for your wire jewelry making skills to kick in, have fun with the process.
Play, Play, Play With the Wire!
|Create your jewelry however you please|
Some jewelry instructors teach their students techniques and measurements only. They tell them to go home and practice, practice, practice.
I teach all of that tedious stuff. But after a beginner class, I send my students home to play, play, play.
Wire-play is simple
- Buy some inexpensive craft wire. Try copper from your local hardware store. It's sturdy yet flexible.
- Pull out your tools.
- Watch TV or listen to music or talk radio-- anything that will keep your brain from concentrating too much on your hands.
- First practice what you learned in class or from online tutorials. Try loops, swirls, figure 8s. It's great exercise for loosening up your hands and wrists-- preparing them for wire play.
- When you're done with the serious stuff, have fun with your wire. Begin by cutting a single piece. Any size. Any shape. (You don't even have to measure it if you don't want to.)
- Twist the wire in ways you never learned. Turn it. Bend it. Curve it into any shape you please, just for the fun of it.
When you play with wire, there's no pressure to be perfect. You don't have to make a finished piece. You don't have to copy what you learned in class.
It's just play
But while you're playing around, you'll be getting better and better. While you're playing with wire, you'll be learning to master the wire, so that the wire doesn't master you.
The more you play with wire, the more your skills, creativity, and individuality will grow...and isn't that what you want?
Crafty love from
Carol, The Nice Lady
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