Wednesday, July 16, 2008
There is an inner child inside me.Even though she has a very feeble voice, every now and then she pops her head up and do silly things. Most of the time she is ignored, criticized, scolded, even demeaned by the more mature, reasonable grown up part of me.
The grown up part smirks - where would this silly jewelry business take you, deary? Did you see your competition? There are many many wanna bs like you. Besides, why do you have a masters degree in Education and years and years of experience not to mention all those certificates and couple of awards that you have stacked up with so much care?
She turns to the Job opening list.
The Inner Child could not take it any more. "I don't wannu..." she screams. She wants to play with her beads. Rather, gem stones these days! She leads to a site by the artist Eni O ken. Eni is a fantastic Wire Jewelry artist. Little I.C is totally mesmerized and decides to pick up her free tutorial "The Herringbone" My, that is heavy stuff! She realises that she needs to do some home work before showing up in this class. She needs to practice her basic wrapping skill first.
From that a necklace piece came out whom I'll call "Black cubes with Rhinestones"
Now the Herring Bone thing. It got pretty late by the time the print out job was done and then the pictures didn't turn out clear.So, those had to be hand drawn. This exercise led me visualize the wrapping in my head. (Remember haptic learning in Education theory). Oh no!
All night long I couldn't sleep, at least until 2:30. I was wrapping and wrapping half dozed. In the morning I found that I do have some left over wire, though I had no idea if these match the direction. Any way I started practicing.And I did that for seven whole hours until there was no more wire left.
Grown up me was impressed though with I.C.'s tenacity. She smiled and took I.C to Michael's and bought her few more spools to practice.
The Herring Bone pattern is an old tradition used by the basket weavers of yesteryears -mentions Ms. O Kens in her tutorial. It felt strange and wonderful how I learned an old tradition in a very new way -through the internet, a modern way of learning.
I haven't seen my mentor, I don't know if she is older or younger than me. Yet, I felt she was watching me closely as I learned to perfect the tensions of the wire. Pull a little tight at the top, let go a bit while you wrap the sides. I revived something from the old world and created some thing that is uniquely mine.
I feel so thankful to Eni O Kens and my Etsy friend, Jules who introduced me to O Kens. Jules is a budding Wire Jewelry artist. Check her our at
I found that for me using 24 gauge instead of 20 and for wrapping using 26 and 28 gauge instead of 24 gave a more delicate finish. I'll use that for earrings and the 20/24 will be nice for bracelets or hair jewelry. I haven't done any finished piece with herring bone yet but very ready to use sterling now. For now I can show you my pillars of success and the finished "Black cubes with Rhinestones".