Having made several attempts at wire wrapping in recent times I have to confess that it took me a while to get the hang of it. The events that I write about in this post were in fact my third attempt at this technique.
You might say, ‘Well, you’ve just answered your own question there Johnny boy’. But, dear reader, please wait for there is more…
Although I’d read various books, researched it online and tried to watch lots of (out of focus) Tube video tutorials, I hadn’t really gotten the hang of things.
I tried to follow what they said but then, after the second failed attempt, I thought maybe it was my shovel hands and sausage fingers that were the problem as I just couldn’t get the swing of the thing.
Was it my ability to grasp this technique, or was it down to the quality of tuition?
More importantly, what and when was the breakthrough moment?
I think that the question will be quickly answered when you see how these cheeky little booklets from Beadalon transformed my ability to learn this technique.
Oh yes, you probably noticed that I also got the wire from Beadalon to – in for a penny, in for a pound – if I was going to try this I might as well get the lot, right?
There was the added benefit that the packaging is labelled with the gauge and profile of the wire so that I knew what to reach for when I needed to – TIP: keep the rest of the wire in the packet that it came from – it makes life SO much easier in the future.
Anyway, within minutes of opening the books I was creating exactly what I was being shown. Ok, well I did have a cup of tea and a scone first, so maybe not within minutes of opening the book, but within minutes of actually starting to work ;)
I think that it also helped that I decided to leave all of my previous knowledge (and inherited bad habits) behind me and followed the booklets page by page and word for word.
This was the first booklet that I worked with …
This edition covers five different techniques for loops, links and other wire wrapped ways of stringing or hanging beads.
I chose the Wire Wrapped Links to have a go at first. Every step for this technique is covered with both a thoroughly written description and a picture, as you can see here.
I think that this unique step-by-step instructional approach was probably the switch that turned the lightbulb on for me. I consider myself to be quite good at following written instructions and using my noggin to figure things out visually, but given my previous failures at this technique I did worry that I would never get it.
As I hope you will see from the image below, I think that I leapt over that first hurdle and succeeded quite well on this first challenge.
Ok, Ok, yes I know, I can here you saying, ‘it’s just a wire wrapped link necklace John. We thought that this was going to be arty wire wrapped cabochons or something – and do you have any of those scones left?’
Well, firstly, I’m afraid that I’ve gone and eaten all of the scones – maybe next time for that, Ok? I think that I can satisfy your other craving though.
Having gained confidence from the initial project I decided to move on and have a go at something from book two.
Booklet two covers techniques for making wire wrapped components and stone setting and it is presented in exactly the same style as the first booklet.
I’d previously made a glass cabochon in a microwave kiln (more on that excitement in the future) and thought that it would be nice to put that in a wire wrapped setting.
Again, following the written description and copious amount of pictures I gingerly worked my way through.
I must confess that I did skip a stage or two (in order to simplify things for myself) and there were a couple of moments were I thought I’d got it all wrong but I kept going.
Here is the finished piece (don’t ask me why I thought a bowl of pot pourri was the best place to photograph it…it just seemed to work)
It’s not perfect to any degree (there are scratch marks on the wire from where I was too rough and the mount didn’t quite fit, so I had to bend it a little to keep the cabochon in place) but, all-in-all, I am extremely happy with my first attempt.
There are so many examples on the internet of exciting wire worked pieces, and I know that I have only just scratched the surface of this technique but, thanks to the Beadalon booklets, I now have the confidence to go on and try bigger and more complex designs and I’m sure that you’ll agree – confidence is key in working with any creative technique.
In conclusion, I believe that if you get the right tuition delivered in a way that is easy to understand and work along with then any technique will ultimately appear easier than it initially seems. So don’t be afraid to try new things, and persevere with them. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.
What do you think? Would you persevere at something if you had already failed twice at it? Is quality tuition important to you or are you adept at ‘winging it’?
I’ll hopefully be adding more on wire wrapping to the blog in the future but in the meantime please feel free to leave your thoughts and/or questions below – oh, and feel free to share this post with anyone else you think might be interested.
Many thanks for visiting.