My jewelry making journey

When I was in late elementary school through middle school, my father dated an artist – a potter, to be specific.  She made everything from teapots to bowls to rattles, all with a fanciful and semi-Southwestern flair.

I always got the feeling that she didn’t know what to do with me as an adolescent. However, she did know what to do with me as an artist.

Her studio was an artist’s playground.  Of course, she had clay.  She also had the materials for stained glass, jewelry making, collage, and much more.  I could spend hours there creating.  She also showed and taught me some things:  how to make a bowl from a mold.  How to solder stain glass together.  How to make earrings with beads and headpins.

Earring I made, age 12
Earring I made, age 12

Of the techniques she taught me, jewelry making stuck with me most.  I made several pairs of earrings and put them up for sale at my dad’s yoga studio. While it would be years before I would return to the basic wirewrapping techniques, they somehow stayed with me.  Years, later, my boyfriend’s mother gave me a wirewrapped pendant.  I loved it and wondered if I could make something like it.  She gave me some copper wire to experiment with.

I didn’t until I held a piece of blue kyanite in my hand, a stone that my mentor told me would be good for psychic protection.  “Are you going to wire wrap that?” She asked.  I resolved to try, and used the copper wire to wrap the piece, complete with a spiral in the center.  And that was my more recent beginning with playing with wire and stones.

I wrapped a few stones after that, and then resolved to really learn and refine my techniques this past fall. I took classes.  I spent hours experimenting and practicing, and discovered what worked for me.
Agate Pendant I made after taking a class in February
Agate Pendant I made after taking a class in February
Now, I have my own materials and a solid collection of stones.  I am still learning and playing.  Sometimes, I have a design in mind.  At other times, the wire and stones speak to me and turn into something that surprises me.

Sometimes, I think about when I started making jewelry, how exciting and rewarding it was to create a finished piece.  And honestly, it still is.  It’s often the activities that I enjoyed when I was younger that suit me best now as an adult.

Quartz and Copper Pendant from March 2015
Quartz and Copper Pendant from March 2015

Someday, I hope to have my own studio, full of all kinds of arts and craft supplies.  There, perhaps I will teach someone else a technique, and this will inspire them to create for years to come.

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