Friday, January 17, 2020

Garbage On The Counter

Part of the uniform-like way I dress is a statement necklace. I love jewelry of all kinds but I'm especially fond of necklaces. At my first Design Outside the Lines Retreat, I saw Diane's amazing textile jewelry pieces. Inspiring. Sophisticated. Elegant. Intriguing. And not at all kitschy as fabric jewelry can often be. I have spent the seven years in-between trying to make pieces that are predominately fabric and equally interesting to her work although in my own style. I am making progress.

One struggle has been to give the necklace weight and shape so it feels neither too heavy or too cheap. This piece was made by adding thread details to a piece of hand painted fabric and then wrapping it over a metal core. Finding the right core became an issue so now I am learning how to cut and shape metal. Needing to resolve a problem has...

... taken my learning curve in all sorts of interesting directions. I learned wire weaving in order to add metallic components to the textile pieces and give them some bling however, it was so much fun that I've continued to design wire pieces. The ones above were made by picking a starting point from the garbage on my jewelry counter and then taking it forward into another piece. Sometimes the garbage works out and becomes a finished piece and other times it does not. Either way, this method of working is fabulous for problem solving and developing my skills.

This ring began with three woven strips from a bracelet that didn't work out. I started bending and twisting them around each other and adding additional wires. While working, I try for as long as possible to not know what I am making and to just let the piece unfold as it will. Because this one was so large, I didn't think it would be a ring but it is... and a really fun one too. Once the patina is added, it will have added depth and the details will show up even more.

This piece also turned into a ring which is surprising since I am more drawn to necklaces. I don't think it's done yet but I'm going to wait until it has a patina as well so I can get a better idea of the dark areas that may need more light.

I am learning to finish the wire pieces up to the patina stage and then put them aside to do a batch together. Once the copper is dipped in liver of sulfur to add aging, it needs polishing and finishing. At that time, I also check to see if all the wire ends are safely tucked in and if any further details need to be added. It's not quite one piece at a time and it's not quite a bunch of pieces at once and yet this middle ground is starting to feel like a comfortable way of working, if only with jewelry.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the joy of wire wrapping

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