Being a dabbler in everything I come across, one the skills I tried to learn, when I first started making jewellery, was wire-weaving. No matter how I tried I could not get the infernal stuff to do what it was meant to do. It tangled, it kinked, it poked me in the eye. It was relegated to a box and sent to the purgatory in the dark abyss at the back of my craft cupboard. It would be given the occasional reprieve when I needed to make simple findings like jumprings. After a time, I discovered viking knit and was pleased to find that it was relatively easy, so long as I used a narrow gauge wire. Other techniques remained out of reach for me.
Then one fateful day, I stumbled upon Nicole Hanna Jewelry (note I use different spelling for the word ‘jewelry’, the NZ spelling is jewellery). Her designs drew me in with their intricate pathways and amazing detail. Her work was so precise, and her finished pieces looked ethereal – like they had been woven by teams of pixies. For a long time, I simply admired and marvelled from afar, and of course ‘liked’ her Facebook page so that I wouldn’t miss anything new. It was through Facebook that I learned that, from time to time, Nicole hides a free tutorial on her website. When I found my hidden prize I was instantly digging out my wire to try my hand at subduing it once and for all.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. What I created was an abomination and was quickly binned. Much later the Nicole Hanna Treasure Hunt caught my attention again and this time I struck it lucky. The Loop Prong earrings pattern was mostly simple coiling. It still took several tries to get it right but I ended up with a passable pendant (I decided not to go for earrings because making two that match might be too tricky). While there was no true weaving in the pattern, something clicked for me and I started to see how to work with the wires natural coil, instead of battling against it.
I’m still a long way away from being totally confident in my wire creations, but I’m finally making progress – and I have a collection of Nicole’s tutorials to work
on to keep me busy.