Monday, October 24, 2011

Twining Lesson

   There is a lot of interest to learn twining right now. For those who don't know, the book "Fabulous Woven Jewelry" by Mary Hettmansperger teaches the twining weave. Also the book "Jewelry: Concepts and Techniques" by Oppi Untracht teaches the weave and gives multiple start methods for beginning round twining or weaving of all sorts. Some of these methods I have used and some I have not.

  I have drawn from all of these sources and closely studying the works of someone like Mary Lee Hu, or other fabulous weavers out there, including basket artists, and have developed my own methods through self study.

  If you read my blog you know that I am reluctant to teach in any official capacity. Recently I have been rethinking my reluctance. It began when I decided that I would write a free tutorial for the blog on Twining like I did with the Trinket Box. I very much enjoyed writing and teaching on that subject. But, I also felt free to teach in my own style because I did not charge anyone any money for it.

 The wire work community has developed a certain expectation about how information is to be transferred and shared. It is expected that a step by step type project will be taught and all wire lengths given. I really do not want to teach in that style, but I am interested in empowering wire workers and giving them tools to help them grow.

  So, I recently decided to take a risk and sell a lesson/guide on the subject of Close Flat Twining. I hope to share info as to wire choices, how to wrap on and off, how to do the twining weave (I use a revised method, not the one in Mary Hetts Book), how to twine closely, offer lots of options to encourage inspiration and design, pitfalls to avoid, and give you an idea how to approach your own project.

  I am going to offer this lesson for a low fee of 4$. With such a low fee the wire work community can try out a new method of information exchange with only a small risk if you don't like it.

  I'm a bit nervous about how this will go over or whether I will only be offering information that isn't already obvious to all. I hope everybody will at least gain one new skill from it.

  I don't have enough material to discuss round twining at this moment. However I will include one basket start in the lesson for those who want to play around with round twining;.

  I have never merged pics and text in a word processor before so it's a steep learning curve for me. Also there is lot's of details to discuss and pictures to take and it's taking longer to write than I thought. I hope to be done in two weeks or less.

  Than we shall all find out together whether this was a good idea or not!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Striped Agate Necklace

I'm so amazed at my own work lately. Like someone who dreams, I feel I will wake up and find the wire fairy has abandoned me. She will say "Ooops, I sprinkled the wrong wire artist, this magic dust was meant for someone else" and than she will take it back:)

I begin to think that all the scratching and clawing and hard work and failed projects have brought me to this very moment. All that suffering wasn't wasted after all:)

  Well it's past my bedtime and I have nothing fascinating to say. Good Night!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Deep Sigh...

....of satisfaction:))

  I have longed to do beautiful layers of interesting wire but I always felt I fell short of 3D work most of the time. Eventually, I told myself to stop worrying about it and let it happen on it's own. Today it really happened!!

  I'm so satisfied and proud of myself over this design!! I couldn't help but think back to my very first ever twined project over a year ago.

 At that time I remember being mystified as to how I would ever deal with all those spoke wires. I never thought I would ever have a solution!!

  Most of this year 2011, I have felt like I was always in learning mode. I've worked on improving my skills and problem solving things that I believed held me back. But, I haven't felt for a long time that there has been any sort of break through for all my effort.

Until this week:)


  I've said this before..... maybe you paid attention, maybe you didn't, maybe you didn't care....

  If you are going to work in 3D get a brass brush. Many wire artists choose to leave the wire black when they work in 3D with multiple wire layers. I've seen tons of work out there that was not left black but was hardly adequately polished.

  If it is the intent of the artist to leave their work half polished, that is certainly a design option. Personally I think it shows a lack of care and attention to detail or they simply don't know what to do.

Here is a link to the brush I used from RioGrande

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Twined Flower Vase

  This project was all about warp wires for me. I treated my double weaving wires like a bundle and allowed them to cross however they pleased. I didn't want to be distracted by my perfectionism  over the weaving.

 Expanding, shaping, reducing, and being creative with warp wires was the number one goal here. In the future hopefully all skills with begin to come together in one design.

  It's about 3 inches tall. The two tendrils at the top right were an accident, in that I had not counted my warp wires correctly and so had some spares. However I think the design is much better with the happy accident, as opposed to the perfect ring of petals I had originally planned. Yay for accidents!!

  As for the finish, I took a torch to it and had the most wonderful colors of purple, reds and golds. It looked awesome!! I coated it with Protectaclear hoping to seal in the colors but it all turned into the same hue:( Maybe renaissance wax would have been a better choice?

  On the side view, you can see the vase shape I made a bit better.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vessel Artists

  Just stumbled on this website and had to share with you all

Amazing artistic vessels!!!

I am struck in particular by the twined bird made by Ann Coddington Rast. I'm very tempted to copy that design to learn from it

I googled a few of the artsits from that website and found more wonderful things!!

Nancy Moore Bess

Ann Coddington Rast


I'm working on a little twined basket right now, should be finished in the next few days. My basket is so very sad looking when held up next to the works of these amazing artists, still I love it:)

I wonder often lately, how does one become such an amazing artist with such skill and such a body of work?  Is it a matter of time put in? Years they have worked their craft? Where does such skill come from?

I'd love to do amazing works like that and I would love to do gallery quality work. I just have no idea how one even get's that good!!

Love to hear your thoughts on that!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Moving Forward

  So many good things have happened to me lately. I was able to sell quite a lot of work in the last few weeks, both online and off. I was able to sell even more than I told you about in a recent blog post. I've sold at least double that much in the last week.

  I also had a really good idea for a possible project to submit for Bead Dreams. The other project I began last Spring is still ongoing, it's so enormous I can't face it very often. I learn a lot when I work on it though:) I have to get something done by April if I want to try and submit for the contest. I love my new idea even more than the original project and it's a bit more doable.

  All these wonderful things have happened and my response to it? Initially happiness, and than I collapsed into self pity and depression. All these ideas, this talent and hard work, I feel I can do nothing about it. It sits in front of me like a tease. I feel hopeless to solve the dilemma of my time problems and managing the different areas of my life in a balanced way.

  My daughter and I have made some changes this year. We have been eating healthier food  and we even both lost some weight. I've been spending regular time reading my Bible and I want to add some exercise into my weekly routine. The problem with all these wonderful things is that I have to cut back on wire time.

  For the last 6 months I have known that if I want to have a healthier and more balanced approach to my life I have to let go of this creative life I want so much. Or give it a teeny tiny space in my life. When I think about this problem and how to solve it I slip into day dreams of being rich, or married and not working, or winning the lottery:) Or I slip into depression.

  This morning I just realized... my needs HAVE been provided for. In my self pity, I never noticed that there is MONEY in the bank, thanks to all of my customers. I can afford to hire a service to clean my home and maintain it for at least 6 months. I can move some of this load off my shoulders finally!! Big SIGH of relief!! I can maintain my creative life and dreams. I can take another step down this road in a healthy way. This is the first time I have felt any true hope on this long standing problem.

  Rejoice with me friends!!! And thanks to everyone who purchased in the last few weeks!! You've saved my life and lifted my soul!!


  A while back I told you I made a mistake on the Moroccan necklace. This is the mistake part. It was supposed to be 6 wires thick and it's only 5. Perfectly useful mistake but it was not a matching mate for that other necklace.