purple mojave

Wire wrapping, not to be confused with wire sculpting, is my passion. 

What’s the difference you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you.

Wire sculpting is usually done by grabbing a few wires and creating swirls and dips over the top of a stone, thereby at least partially covering the stone, so that it’s all about the wire.

Wire sculpting can seem almost “fru-fru”, which is fine for some. I just don’t care to do it.

As you can see from the photo to the left, the emphasis is more about the wire than about the stone.

Not that it’s not pretty, it’s a different way of creating jewelry.  And differences are what makes the world go around, right?

golden twirl
Tiffany donut

Wire weaving is, as the name implies, the art of weaving (as in cloth) wire to create the framework surrounding and enhancing the stone.  

Candis Watterson black tourmaline
golden twirl

A similar technique to wire weaving is wire crocheting or Viking knitting.  It’s actually done using a crochet hook, complete with starting with a chain stitch. 

Personally, I’d rather do chain maille than chain stitch.

Chain maille is the art of creating a cloth of sorts out of wire rings.

I really enjoy working with gemstones.  But when a stone is too much or isn’t the right thing to wear with something, I like the idea of working with the wire to create chain maille. 

It’s more neutral, and an easier thing to just put on with whatever you’re wearing. 

Just throw it on and go.

Judy Mcnight chain maille peridot
golden twirl

When I first learned to create with wire, my teacher taught me to use round wire.  I quickly grew frustrated because the round wire didn’t hold, didn’t stay where I put it. 

So I said to myself, “Self, let’s try working with wire that has an edge.”  So I experimented with a wire called half-round, which, as the name implies, has a flat side.

It worked like a charm!  Then I took it even further, and also use square wire,  and I’ve been getting all sorts of creative ever since.

I use both half-round and square when I make my bangle bracelets.

golden twirl

Last, but most definitely not least, is wire wrapping.  My first love and the thing I do the best is wire wrapping.

This is the art of using the wire to accentuate the stone it’s surrounding. 

While this is an involved process, it’s easier to show than to tell.

Paua pendant
ghost eye jasper pendant
petrified palm root

But really, when it comes down to it, if it involves wire, I’m probably into it. 

My inventory of unwrapped stones is great, so if you’d like a piece that is made just for you (or a loved one), contact me for a one-on-one appointment to create your very own piece of custom jewelry.

Until next month,