Sorry – not an homage to our favorite Space Cowboy, although…yea…Firefly is a favorite. Damn the network for screwing that one up.
It’s been exceedingly quiet lately on the T&T, because I’m sliding through creative cycles with shiny stuff… and to be perfectly honest, here, I’ve always known this would eventually happen, because this is the way my creative impulses work.
I go through phases. I’ll be utterly obsessed with the written word for a while, put out some flash fiction, work on a longer story, blog like a mad thing in an attempt to catalog my thoughts.
Pick fights on Facebook when the politics of the world annoy me JUUUUUUST so…
Then something new will catch my eye, and I’ll be making faces out of clay. Or photographing everything in sight. Or creating memes in photoshop. Or exploring new greenspaces and obsessing over celestial events. Or…you get the idea.
The creative voices in my head rearrange the furniture in their living space more often then new homeowners…
My latest impulse – is jewelry, and I’ve become obsessed enough to share my creations with the world through Etsy:
I got the initial idea, not surprisingly, from the kids, who brought with them, along with their clothing and furballs, a collection of natural gemstones. Most of these were loose, but a few had been lovingly treated to exceptionally intricate metal cages by some extremely talented artists.
How could I resist diving into wire wrapping some stones of my own, with such stellar examples of the craft sitting there – RIGHT THERE – in my own living room???
No – this is not a photograph of one of the aforementioned intricate pieces – this is the first attempt I made at wrapping a stone in wire. It’s a tumbled rose quartz piece I fished out of a bowl of pretty rocks I had sitting around, and some cheap craft wire I picked up at Walmart. Ghastly, isn’t it?
They say you never forget your first…
After that – I played. I bought some cabochons and beads and donuts from one of them discount-jewelry-findings websites. Got more/better wire. Played some more…
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Then last summer took over, with the heat and the teeth issues and the fleas and the bedbug scare and the massive upheavals in the relationship with the SQO…everything went to pot … except wire wrapping. So long as I was tossing pieces about, I had some semblance of control.
Eventually, all the twisting and wrapping and bending and viewing what other people had done on the web ended with this:
What I like the best about this piece is the two lowest tentacles. They look like feet…so the mighty squid is walking across my chest 😀
Aaaaand – once the squid emerged, the drive to create new wrapped pieces winnowed away…
This, too, is something I’m used to in my creative outlets. I start a new art-form, spend time learning how it works (in this case, how wire bends, and how it DOESN’T bend), create something I’m extremely pleased with, then watch as the creative impulse within drains away from working in that medium. For me, it seems the learning of a new craft is the drive – once I’m competent, I tend to move on.
I did manage to sell a couple of pieces in the fall – the kids took a small case of my better efforts to their last few camping festivals of the season – and this gave me just the boost I needed to explore complimentary crafts in jewelry making.
One thing I tried as a quirk while working full-bore on wire wrapping was the Kumihimo disk. It’s based on Japanese braiding, and makes some quite pretty necklaces/bracelets. I needed something unique to hang my wire wrapped pendants from, something larger and stronger than your traditional necklace chain.
I knew Kumihimo was short-lived when I got it, and I wasn’t surprised when the drive to weave heavier braids petered out quickly. I’ve never had soft textile artforms stick with me throughout all of my 29(+) years, even though I’ve attempted several times to do so.
What’s the definition of insanity again?
So here I was – still stuck for an idea on what to offer as a chain or pendant cord for my creations. After all, a pendant is just a pretty bauble until you have something to secure it to your person. I browsed braided leather cord. I browsed organza ribbon necklaces. I toyed with the idea of full collars of woven wire, even though the push for wire wrapping had diminished.
And then I happened upon – The Ring Lord.
He runs a shop out of Canada which specializes in making jump rings.
Yea, I know…sexy as hell…
But – Ooooooh – what you can do with a little circle of wire. OK, to be honest, a LOT of little circles of wire.
You can make chainmaille.
Chains with repeatable, intricate patterns along the length. Chains that you can make to any length and width you want, and chain patterns that you can twist, loop, piece together and make new and exciting geometric shapes.
So…that’s what I’ve been doing with my little crafting self. Come have a poke around my Etsy shop, and see what I’ve come up with.