Sunday, November 14, 2010

Looking back on wire-wrapping

In December of 1995 I left a long-term relationship and was faced with suddenly having money and free time again. So when a friend pointed out that there was a new store in the mall, and that they were teaching jewelry classes, I thought, "Why not?"

And so went my money and free time.

The first thing I made was a wire-wrapped bracelet.

The wire was so stiff it was nearly impossible for me to work with it. (I know today that it was German silver jewelry wire, which isn't sterling, and it's quite stiff. I usually use dead soft sterling now, to save my hands.) By the end of class I thought my poor fingers were going to fall off. Also, I'd get two sections done, and then forget how to start again. But I persevered, and made this stunning example of jewelry craftsmanship that you see here.

Note the gaps between the beads and coils...the slanted and deformed loops...and the loose coils. Still, I have actually worn it now and then, just because it's not as bad as a lot of other stuff I made when I first started beading. Mostly this is because I made it in a class, the colors aren't...awful, and the materials are nice Italian beads.

The second thing I made was a necklace. Because it was a pattern for a class, it wasn't bad. Of course, I immediately wanted to make the same necklace in 2358923985623 different colors and configurations. I digress, however, because it was strung on Soft-Flex.

So. Now we go forward to earrings.

It's probably a bit difficult to tell, at first glance, what is wrong with these earrings, other than one is missing its mate. Should you begin to explore further, however, you will notice many interesting details.

  • Very scary howlite star beads dyed to look like lapis. Any sort of energetic encounter with sun or rain, and they'll reveal their true color again: white.

  • Unnecessary jump rings at the top of the star earrings. I suppose you could claim that they would give the earrings more motion, but in truth, they're just...useless.

  • The spirals at the bottom of the stars--if you even noticed them--are absolutely gruesomely formed. Even worse, when you are wearing the earrings (let us hope I never get that desperate), the spirals are facing forward and, as such, are invisible. Maybe that's a good thing. Also, they would most likely catch long hair.

  • Awful, oversize base metal earring hooks.

  • Oh, you think I forgot about the leaf earring? Let me point out its ungainly coil formations and the lower loop, which looks like it got caught in a vise and twisted.

Bullet points are still made of fabulousness.

The reason that I have these shining examples of my early jewelry prowess (ahem) are because of my sister, who holds on to her "vintage" Laurel Moon Jewelry and tortures me occasionally by wearing it. Usually this means that I continually stare at the piece, and eventually work up to bribes, telling her I will rework the piece and give it back to her for free. But she likes them, for some reason. It must be the sentimental value.

Thank goodness my loops got better.

Don't forget, my blog is moving! I'm posting at both places for now, but eventually it will be located solely here. Thanks!

No comments: