In my messiest (and of course, most creative) days the dining table, coffee table, and even sometimes a tarp on the floor are covered in crafty supplies. If you’re picturing inks, decorative papers, punches, and rubber and clear stamps you’re right. But there’s more. Even before delighting in making handmade sentiments I have been a beader. So in addition to said supplies, one might also find eye pins, head pins, various pliers, crystal beads, glass beads, precious metal findings, and more. If I was to define myself as a crafter, I would probably first identity myself by my beading, then my cardmaking, and then my crocheting (although it’s been about a year since I’ve crocheted anything). Ironically, though, my Etsy shop displays some of my jewelry, while thus far in the blog, I’ve only shared my cards. In the spirit of sharing some of my latest work and to even things out a bit, I give you “A Wrapper’s Delight”.
One of the areas of beading and jewelry-making that brings me both greatest challenge and greatest joy is wire-wrapping. It requires more dexterity, more forethought, and patience. The end result, however, is worth the struggles of trying to form the wire around delicate beads and chains, for it looks so classy, so refined, and very non-amateur. In my first days of making earrings and trying to form loops at the top of wires in order to connect the bead to the ear wire, I was incredibly daunted. Try after try to bend the wire into a circular, even loop often resulted in brittle wire, oddly-shaped amoebas, or uneven earrings. My poor roommate, too. She’d had some experience with forming these metal curves and could offer tips and words of encouragement, but loop after loop I was in her room, “what d’you think?” As they say, practice, practice, practice. After adopting different styles and techniques to more easily accomplish the open loop, I finally reached a point where I could confidently enforce my will on the metal and end up with even, rounded loops. And then, of course, I needed the next challenge — the wrapped loop.
To learn more about not merely bending wire, but wrapping it, too, I signed up for free community classes at Michaels, pored through wire-wrapping books, and sought wisdom from those more experienced than me. Again, practice, practice, practice. I’m at that happy point now, where I can more confidently wrap the wire around the beads, around the chains, etc. to produce these elegant pieces. There are still thicker wires and more complex designs to be conquered, but I can now say that wrapping wire brings me far more delight and Zen than frustration and sore fingers.