Saturday, August 28, 2010

Self Critique and Play

I'm a little concerned that my last post came across more severely then I meant it to. I didn't mean to suggest that my last two projects were complete failures or that I hated them totally. Both projects are not ones I would offer for sale because they did miss my standards for selling on various accounts. However, I did think both projects had a lot of exciting ideas going on and tons of potential.

My frustration and lack of confidence at the moment, is in regards as to how to improve what went wrong so that they can meet my standards. The two techniques I use for creating and weaving spirals are not serving me well on my new designs. That means I need to break new ground technique wise. When breaking new ground, there is always the niggling doubt as to whether there is a solution to be found at all;)

When I said I was discouraged, I had only meant I was discouraged over these particular ideas, and unsure about finding a solution, not with all of my wire work.

When I first began to openly share my self critique, I was a bit worried about how it would be perceived by others. I want you to know that I critique my work because I genuinely want to improve and do excellent work. It fills my heart with joy to have a well made design in hand;) So I always strive for that.
I would also like you all to know, that I love my own work. I used to think that other peoples work was more interesting and inspiring than my own. I have grown so much this last year that I find my own work to enthrall me and excite me, more than other peoples work. I never thought that I would ever feel that way.

Today I decided to only play with the wire and test out ideas. Self discipline to commit to any project is in short supply at the moment;)

These wire projects might appear to all be the same, but each one is slightly different and each one experimented with a different technique to create it. This is my attempt to manage an oval shape that is also curving.

And now I think I should take a walk or do something different and give my poor brain a break;)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Steep Learning Curve

Here is another project that has not quite turned out as I hoped. I was inspired by a box Christine made at Jewelry Lessons. Christine had run out of copper wire and so had turned to some green florist wire in her eagerness to make a trinket box.

Every time I look at her box I see forest vines and trees climbing up the spirals in some chaotic fashion. I was determined to bring that inspiration to life and this is my first try.

There are two requirements that my designs must meet. They must be structurally sound, and also aesthetically pleasing. This design misses the mark on both accounts, but I am still hooked on the vine idea and I still want to incorporate this idea of an erratic weave up the spiral.

Everything I want to make is advanced for me and taxing my wire abilities. I'm a bit frustrated right now, because my ideas take so many hours to complete and than to miss the mark on 3 projects in a row is hard on my self confidence.

But what can I do? I really want a Sea Trumpet, a Vine Box, and my other project is to do a trinket box in an oval shape. I have no idea how long this learning curve is going to last. I don't even know if this is just a learning curve, or am I missing the signs that say 'Road is out ahead, turn around" lol

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Finishing Things..

I told my mother, "just because I've started using Facebook doesn't mean you will miss out on anything" (since she doesn't use it). Than I turned around and posted this finished design to Facebook, with no intentions to blog about it! Not on purpose mind you, just wasn't thinking:)

This is a pendant I did some time ago, inspired by Deborah Muhl basket artistry. I finally worked it up into a necklace.

I'm trying to also get an older silver trinket box reworked into a better necklace.

I also started another advanced coiling design that I can tell already won't work out, and I put a lot of hours into that. If I can work out these advanced ideas, I know I can make some really cool stuff. I'm motivated to work them out, but it's slow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Medicine Woman

I've always had doubts about this design and never quite connected with the end result.
You can see what it used to look like here:

Somewhere in the design process a 'should' creapt into my thinking. I should have some bright copper pieces available for potential buyers. I shouldn't be selfishly designing to please myself. I should think of other people's wants.

It's funny how such ideas can creep in unawares, even in lifes nonessentials like jewelry design.

The entire necklace came to life for me after I finished my intentions and she spoke clearly enough to give me her name. Meet the Medicine Woman.

I left the copper extra dark in some spots and did not evenly polish. I used the Protectaclear coating for the first time and loved it! This product is supposed to keep the copper from oxidizing any further. Before I can offer it for sale I want to see how she looks in a few weeks to be sure that I used the product correctly.

Though my attachment to this design has gone up 100% and I'm not entirely sure I want to part with her.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Trumpet

I spent most of my weekend working on this trumpet shaped box. It's been in my heart for a month now.

On Friday night I spent 4 hours just trying to figure out how I would construct it. Then Saturday I set out on the project with low hopes. Then I had very high hopes as it was working out OK. Than I got to the 'hinge from hell' SOB!!

I'm utterly wire exhausted. Maybe in a few days I will consider trying this VERY challenging project again.

On a lighter note... When I first started wire wrapping I had a very low view of the spiral. I thought the spiral was a 'necessary evil', or 'for baby wire wrappers'.
I get such a chuckle when I think of how horrified my younger self would be if she were told that all her best designs were going to be centered around a spiral:)

When I designed the Spiral Locket a year ago, I had only come to tolerate the spiral. Somewhere along the way I came to like it, and now I fully embrace it! Who knew?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Facebook Promotion

Making an effort to improve my marketing skills this week. I'm finally ready to take on Facebook to market finished pieces that are ready for sale.

If you hit the LIKE button and follow my Wired Elements facebook page, you will be eligible to win this iolite and sterling necklace. Details of the promotion are on my Wired Elements facebook page.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Trinket Box 101

The Trinket Box is Back!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Copyrights and Inspiration

There has been talk around the internet regarding copying each other's work and/or not giving credit where credit is due. I want to state my opinion on the matter.

I believe we should honor our teacher's and sources of inspiration. I personally adore the work of Eni Oken, Iza Malzyck and Lynne Merchant. These women have shined a light on the beauty of wire and opened my mind to possibilities. Sharilyn Miller is the most excellent teacher and I would be no where without her. I have said all this before.

When I was interviewed on Bead_Pearles blog I mentioned these women, and I hope I honored them. I hope they feel honored by me. Iza Malzyck is still the number one exit link off this blog, and whenever I mention a specific design that inspired me, she gets as much web traffic as this little blog is capable of.

I have purchased tutorials from Iza and Eni, that I did not need. Books from Sharilyn that I did not need. Simply because I felt I owed them something monetarily for their influence.

If any of these women ever felt dishonored by me, I hope to have a chance to show them I care. Just because my conscience is clear, doesn't mean I would not bend and adapt to spare the feelings of another person.

Usually when I do a new design that I know is directly related to anyone at all, on or off the net, I mention their name and their influence in the work. Sometimes I explore the wire and end up in similar places as other artists, in such cases I do not usually mention their name. I may have arrived at the same place, but I arrived by my own path.

I have made a design that is 100% the same as Sharilyn Miller without ever seeing that design until years later. Sometimes the matter comes down to whether or not you believe what someone tells you. I have actually felt pressure to LIE and say I was inspired by someone else even when I wasn't. Just so that I would not look bad. Maybe you have also felt that pressure.

Though I believe in honoring our inspirations and teachers, I don't believe we should be enslaved by them. I don't believe it is empowering to set down every jot and tittle of their influences on each piece we make.

Some people are starting to find my own work to be an inspiration and I'm thrilled. Some of these people already had similar ideas, it's just that I beat them to it. Haven't we all had that happen to us? Most of them have made me feel plenty honored. They have mentioned my name and linked my blog and have far repaid me anything they have owed. But I would never want them to have to mention my name over and over every time they make a item that is inspired by that same theme. No one should have to feel afraid or fret that I will be after them for every design they make. Most of these women have already made their own contributions to weaves and vessels and have inspired me right back.

There are people who abuse this. There always will be people who give no honor or sideline their inspirations completely and some who outright steal whole designs and even teach them as their own. I do think such things are wrong. They are hurtful. And they are also against copyright law.

I am going to do something new and different very soon. I have already begun it. I am writing you a free GUIDE on how to make a trinket box. It will be on my blog in less than a week.

Wire is something to joy over. People are for caring about. We can care about each other and we can have fun.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Yesterday's 'morning coffee' wire work, turned into an all day affair that lasted 12 hours :))

First off, I finally played with twining. I wanted to see what I could discover regarding any potential for jewelry making. It may appear at times that I am evolving into a basket maker, but I assure you I am not. I cannot stop looking for ways that I can get my weaving to have a hole down the center of it, where as a basket maker, probably despises having a hole at the bottom of their vessel:)

So I set up my first twining project with a center hole. Pulled too hard on some some sides and not hard enough on others, it's quite wobbly:) Not that I expected any less, this was an exploration project, not an actual jewelry making one.

What the heck is a girl to do with so many spokes? Hmmm?I don't know yet!

After that, I decided to twine again using less spokes. Than I decided not to twine my spokes but decorate them in Iza Malzyck fashion. I've always wished I could make some cool 3D pendant designs in the way that she does, or to make Octopus beads in the way that Lynne Merchant does. After yesterday I realized I finally can do these things!!

I'm not happy with the finish on the pendant. It's very hard to polish when there is so much depth. I have some ideas to resolve that next time.

The ruffly wire spokes around the top remind me of an Elizabethen collar:)

Green garnet, peridot, pearl.