Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wire, Wire Everywhere...........

by Staci Louise Smith

I don't know about you, but I go through a lot of wire.  My designs are very free form, and I use wire as a main design element.  So that means, when a piece just isn't laying right, or the composition isn't right yet, I have to take it apart, leaving a wire graveyard in its wake.

So, I have been working on some new pieces for my last show of the season, as well as the Bethlehem House Gallery that my work is in.  (cruise through their site, its the coolest gallery ever! and you can buy the art online as well.  I love being a part of that gallery!  But maybe that is a whole other blog post)

Remember when I was preparing for Bead Dreams at the beginning of the year?  I had made this piece, which was a real runner up for entry.  

And for all the pieces, I had made these polymer horns as part of the necklace.  Well, I wanted to do something else with them all year, and hadn't gotten around to it.  So I finally made some more horns to play with.

However when I began to play with them, I just couldn't find a way to use them that was wearable and that I loved compositionally.

So needless to say, I went through quite a bit of wire.

I finally decided to just use chain and the horns together.  

(I love them, kinda rock star- biological rock

I loved it, but again, still had to figure out how much chain- which chain, getting it to lay right...............I went through a lot of wire, and learned what I will do differently to make the process easier the next time I make a batch of horns.  Anyhow, I ended up with lots of piles like this

(and then some.....................)

I have been trying to keep my desk cleaned up so I can be more effcient (said the  I also, hate to waste so much wire.  I have a recycle bin, but still, its more wire gone that I have to replace.  but once it is all bent up like this, its really hard to re-use.

So I have decided to use the bits and ends on my desk to make wire balls to use in my jewelry.  It takes a little time, but still, I feel better using it in a way that it still makes it into my jewelry.

So I uncoiled these wire ends I had made and then cut off.............

and then wound them into little wire ball beads

I love these wire beads, they add wonderful texture and some negative space into heavy designs.  I am really glad I took the time to do this!  I have a video at the bottom of the blog showing my process.

I also got to use some of my new spiky polymer beads in some designs.  I think over - all this batch with the horn spike shapes and the spiky shell like shapes, and the heavy gauge chain- it really has a rock star feel to it, while still feeling like specimens off a biologists desk.  Rock Star Biology.  

So, I am just going with this look for now, because I love it.

Want to make your own wire ball beads?  There is not real "way" to do it.  But I shot a little video of how I do it if you want to give it a go.


Don't forget, we are having a Day of the Dead design challenge (basically, show off your sugar skull jewelry designs!!)  here and on Facebook on October 25th.  You KNOW I am participating!


Carol Dekle said...

I LOVE your horn necklaces Staci! To me, they are very earthy and organic with even a small hint of post-apocalyptic styling. VERY COOL!

stacilouise said...

Thanks Carol. I think they are kinda bad ass! lol! Love the post apocalyptic reference.

Unknown said...

Hi Staci, Love the organic look of all of your work. I have two of your great tutorials. Where do you get that wire with the great patina. Do you do that yourself. If so, how do you seal it? That color adds so much to the organic look of your work. Sure wish I could find some. Those wire balls are a great idea and a money saver.

Shai Williams said...

I have so much scrap wire about & unless it's sterling, it has just been going into a bowl prior to recycling. I am going to have to make some of these wire balls.

Ann Schroeder said...

I love those horn necklaces!

Y said...

Thank you for showing how to use scrap wire and make wire balls, great idea! May I ask what wire do you use in this video?

stacilouise said...

This is all copper wire of various gauges. mostly 16, 18 amd 20g

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