Thursday, May 23, 2013

Free Your Mind for Free form Wire Work

by Staci L. Smith

Since this months Boot Camp is all about wire and what you can do with it, I thought we'd talk a little bit about my history of crazy free form wire work.
I do not read instructions.  I do not follow rules.  Typical wire wrapping is Greek to me, and I never tried it because I hate to have to measure anything (yes, I am kinda lazy that way).  For me, the free form wire work comes very natural, so it all worked out.  However, I realize that it is not so for everyone.  Some people are very intimidated to just dive right in and play.  I will not lie, there is a learning curve, lots of unwrapping and re-wrapping or wrapping too much, until you can get that balance of function and design....but you can do it.
When I started- I basically learned so I could capture sea glass in wire.
Staci Louise Originals the early
I never took a class to wrap stones or sea glass (obviously) so there was a lot of trial and error.  The most important thing to me at first was to learn to capture the glass securely, so it couldn't be pulled apart.  There is nothing worse then wrapping something up really nice and then it pulls apart off one side, and your sea glass falls out.
Then I learned to drill sea glass, so the wire wrapping was able to become more decorative and less functional.
(this was all sterling silver mind you, back when it was $8-$12 an oz!!!!)
Then I tried this style below, the loop with beads wrapped around the outside, and only made a just wasn't me
However, trying this allowed me to think about making a wire frame and attaching beads to it.  So, of course, I took this technique and ran with it- and made it bigger...................
my tide line design in sea glass
AND BIGGER...................
Then I added wire as charms and adornments to my beaded pieces
and that is about it. 
Free form wire work- just try it, and be bold and have fun!  You won't discover anything amazing if you don't try!
I hope seeing my early work has inspired you to just jump in and try.  And remember- post your progress, experiments and success's in our flickr group (for the current Boot Camp Only)! 
have fun!


Gaia Copia said...

Thank you for the encouragement! Sometimes it really helps to see where a designer has started and the whole evolution, well, just demistifies it a bit.

I never measure either but I also haven't done well making my messy style actually look good. This is exactly what I'm starting to address in my it a more organic feel. This boot camp is perfect for helping me practice letting go.

It was great to see how much wire to use on the previous post. I realized one of my problems was underestimating and I don't get a very good messy look with too little wire.


YaY! Jewelry said...

I must try this!!!!!!! I love the organic feeling it gives and like you I am a messy designer, I don't usually have a clear cut plan when I start. I like to see what happens. If you ever read the book Fold Forming by Charles Lewton-Brain ( I love his writing style ) , he calls this Process Vs Procedure. Adopted from his educator and mentor Professor Ullrich, he talks about using the hammer blows, scratches, graphic marks etc and how that contributes to the design process. I like to think of wire work the same way, I am learning and like he talks about in his book have limited knowledge as far as the procedures go but maybe starting the process and experimenting with happy mistakes can yield you most interesting and untraditional designs. Thus uniquely you. This is evident in your work......hoping someday to have more of the procedural knowledge but for now I design by my happy little attempts. It is an exciting ever-changing art and am so glad to be apart of it.

stacilouise said...

I think Free your Mind is the key to playing, because it allows you to discover things you hadn't planned or thought of before. Play leads to new ideas and inspiration!

Holly said...

As always, your work is so lovely! And I loved seeing how it's developed. I too, tend to be a bit more of a free form wire worker (lazy, yup, uh huh), but your work is just so inspiring.

(and now I'll be singing "Free your mind, and the rest will follow...")

Micheladas said...

I am so ready to play in some wire.. I tend to not like how I wrap because it is never neat enough... but I think from now on I am just not going to worry so much about neatness as I am with just letting it happen. Thanks for the inspiration.

Kelli said...

I'm with you Staci, just let the creativity flow! For the VERY first piece of jewelry I ever attempted, I bought a wire working book.... I used it to learn the tools I needed to buy, and how to do the basics, and I don't think I ever looked at it again after that first piece. It was too limiting. Helpful, to get me started, but limited in creativity. Your early pieces look like mine :)

Anonymous said...

This will be a hard one for me. I first started making jewelry when I took a wire wrapping class. I liked it so much that I kept on. All my wire wrapped pieces are measured and orderly, the clean lines enclosing the stone and accenting the piece. Three years ago, my grandson gave me a box of sea glass pieces and they have laid around because I wasn't sure how to wrap them. You have definitely given me a challenge. Thanks, I think.

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