Part of my motivation for making wire jewelry was to learn how to turn pretty stone beads into pendants and the like, which meant I had to learn some basic wire-wrapping techniques. Lots of people do this kind of work, so I’ve had plenty of sources of awesome inspiration and eye candy.
Another part of my motivation was to explore an idea I had for making ear cuffs, which a lot of people also do with wire, except that one thing lead to another and I found that making interesting shapes with the wire was more intriguing than dangling beads from a basic ear cuff, and I have become more focused on using the wire to create the majority of the piece, to be the focus, rather than be used as primarily connective, structural material, or the framework.
But I have not seen many examples of this kind of work, focused on using the wire as the primary source of form and interest, which has had me at a bit of a loss in some ways.
Until recently, when I started finding other jewelry designers working primarily with wire to create their designs. And the excellent thing about them is that they are all strikingly different.
Beautifully simple mechanics; industrial
First (somewhere), I found this link to an interview with Brenda Schweder, who not only makes jewelry using wire, but steel wire!
Oh my god. I am not alone!
There are a lot of awesome photos of her work on her Facebook page; it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I really like the simple forms of this piece, and the design of the sections that go around the wearer’s neck:
Three-dimensional organic forms
Also from Lark Crafts (that post has a free tutorial in it), I found the blog and jewelry of Kathy Frey, who also makes sculptural jewelry out of wire. Her gallery and her Etsy have plenty of examples. Her pod shapes, and the nest shapes, are my favorites.
Simple geometry, reminiscent of mid-century Modernism
And via a post on Kathy Frey’s blog, I found Tia Kramer, who makes her own paper and combines that with wire forms. The combination of simple geometric shapes and rich colors (from the paper) just blows my mind. She has some very elaborate necklaces that incorporate other pieces of jewelry in them (like earrings and a bracelet) that can be worn as one piece or separately, as well as many simple, stunning pieces.
Science fiction, high-tech
Going for a totally different style is this choker reminiscent of cyberpunk (found via someone’s board on Pinterest (they linked another piece by the same person)):
I am not entirely sure what media are used in this piece, other than wire. Polymer clay? Precious metal clay? Random found objects?
I don’t really care, because the part of my brain that loves high-tech science fictiony design thinks this is the best thing ever. (It is currently engaged in a standoff with the parts of my brain that prefer Modernism, or an industrial look, or organic shapes.)