Monday, November 10, 2008

Stainless Steel and Jewelry

There has recently been a lot of discussion in a wire group I belong to about using steel wire in pieces of jewelry. I have done it before ( here, here and here to name a few) but the whole discussion kick started my creative process, so yesterday I sat down with some 19 gauge stainless steel wire (found in my local Ace Hardware store in with the "picture hanging" wire), some really cool old typewriter keys and some red/orange drop beads I found at my LBS.

Lately, I find myself being influenced by the style of jewelry artists such as Mary Hettmansperger (Wrap, Stitch, Fold and Rivet; Making Designer Metal Jewelry), Richard Salley (his website), the work of (blog) Deryn Mentock to name a few. I am drawn to the mix of metals, wire, found objects and beads and fibers that get incorporated into each piece, and how, in spite of the fact that it would seem chaotic, it ends up being a soothing, inspiring mix once it's all put together.

In making this necklace, I tried to be more creative with my connections, more open to mixing shapes and textures of wire and attempting to assert asymmetrical-ity when I normally would not have. I love working with stainless steel - although it is a VERY tough wire to wrap with, unlike some other wire, the more it's worn the better it looks.

I have not finished the necklace yet, but here are a couple of pictures of the work in progress.

I spelled out SING using the antique typewriter keys, with a different connection joining each letter, a lot of 12 mm steel rings; some flattened and closed with a spring formed by coiling some 24 gauge sterling silver wire around a piece of 16 gauge wire and slipping it over the join in the ring, others left round and to them I added some delicious drop beads I found at my LBS - the color goes from garnet red at the top to a faint yellow-orange-red at the base.

I have a few other things to add to the bottom as dangles - I made a Spiral 'S' clasp - it closes in front - and for now have some steel and bead connections as a dangle. It reminds me of the fruit of a pomegranate - the right shape and the right color - mmmmmm yummy!


Mei (WireBliss) said...

Stainless steel wires are wonderful. I have been working with them for more than two years now :)

msglitter said...

love the necklace so far...........can't wait to see how u finish it!