Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jewelry with wire, beads... and fiber?

I’ve been in a jewelry phase lately and when I wandered into JoAnn’s yesterday, most beading supplies were marked 40–50% off (yippee!) One of the intriguing books available was Crocheted Wire and Bead Jewelry by Jacqui Harris. It was only $5.97 after the markdown, with nice color photographs of the variety of necklaces. They’re all based on the same process; chain stitch at least 3 lengths of wire with beads, then braid them together. They can be elegant or wild and crazy, depending on the choice of colors and beads.

The random quality inherent to this style of jewelry is one of its most appealing aspects for me. Another nice feature is that these are pretty quick to construct. I made the one below in a couple of hours in front of the TV last night. It has 6 strands braided in groups of 2, so it’s still a 3-strand braid. One factor is that the wire can be hard on the fingers, so perhaps gloves might be in order for the fingertips that must grip the wire chain while in progress. I used 26 gauge wire instead of the recommended 28, so that made it a bit tougher as well.
Of course you wouldn’t have to stick to a 3-strand braid. 200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop, or Weave by Jacqui Carey is wonderful eye candy that shows amazing ways to create unique trim. A helpful photographic “braid and trim selector” is a visual index to the contents. Each sample is explained clearly with general instructions plus the unique aspect of each one, e.g. multi-colored or different strand weights and/or textures. I bought the book without any specific project in mind, but with over 75 braids alone, there must be some that would be appropriate for crocheted wire work jewelry. Time to experiment, definitely.

And what about adding some fiber? Whether wire can be considered “fiber” is perhaps debatable, but there must be a way to add strips of fabric, ribbon, or yarn. Below is a simple 3-strand sample with one strand that’s crocheted with wire + ribbon yarn. The other two strands are wire chains with beads. Some definite possibilities there!
Tomorrow is the Craft and Hobby Association Craft SuperShow which moved to Orlando this year, so who knows what supplies may be available there? Better bring an extra bag...


Diane J. Evans said...

There is no end to your talent -- you show open a shop on Etsy and sell some of these amazing creations!


tlc illustration said...

Oooo. Love that last one. Beads and wire are another one of my compulsions - which I am trying to avoid judiciously until my next deadline is met!

chrissieday said...

Hi my book wire jewelry may inspire you further