After a rather long dry spell involving baby cows and endless paperwork (I know, don’t ask), I’m starting to make wire art jewelry again.
A new breakthrough was inspired six weeks ago while I was poking around on Pinterest. Looking at wire art jewelry, this stunning piece by Ruth Jensen of SparkFlight stopped me in my tracks. The free-form wire she uses at the center of a necklace is inspiring! I want to play with that!
© 2016 Ruth Jensen – used with permission
In fact, I printed it out and have been dragging around that picture—along with my wire and bead trays—ever since.
Of course, there’s a fine line to walk as an artist because you don’t want to copy or reproduce someone else’s work. At the same time, magic happens when you’re putting your own spin or taste into something that inspires you—and giving credit to your inspiration.
Seeing Ruth’s work brought to mind a floral lampwork bead I’ve been wanting to use for the upcoming Blossom Trail event in Sanger, CA. One afternoon, I finally sat down to start. Our springtime fruit tree festival inspires me, and the floral focal bead looks like the stone fruit blossoms we are seeing all around us.
In the early “spaghetti phase,” the long ends stick out everywhere, and you’re not really sure it will come together. As I worked, I really started to like it.
Then it sat for a while. Sometimes I have to stop or step away. Instead of forcing the completion or the design, it’s important to take time with it and visualize what it can become. It’s better to think things through since wire isn’t a super-forgiving medium. With wire, once you bend it, you’re committed.
Bursting into bloom
When I came back to the piece, I did the rest of the setting all at once. By luck, I found accent lampwork beads that compliment the focal bead. Instead of manufactured chain, I knew it needed sterling hand-forged links that refer back to the piece itself.
Here’s the finished piece:
I feel so excited to play again! Working the wire this way really feels like a something new.
Side note: I bought on ebay the focal bead and accents and cannot find the lampwork artist’s name. If you happen to know, please mention it in the comments. I’d like to give credit.
If you’re interested in seeing or purchasing my work, this piece will be featured at Mixed Messages Art leading up to the Blossom Trail event on March 5.
Jan Anderson says
That’s beautiful Melanie! I loved your description of the process of arriving at the design. I find much inspiration from Pinterest too. I’m sure it will go home with some lucky person at Bloosom Trail!
Melanie Schow says
That’s so sweet, Jan. Thank you! If it escapes the purchase, I’ll be sure to bring it to art group to share.