While working on my first piece (of hopefully several pieces) for the January "use your stash" component of the month challenge (which is open to everyone who has an component created by one of the AJE team sitting in their stash), I decided on a weaving theme. I can't reveal WHY I selected a weaving theme, but I promise it will all become clear on the day of the reveal on January 31st.
While trying to figure out how I would convey weaving in my piece, I remembered the class I took way back in 2008? 2009? with Sara Sally LaGrand and the neckpiece I created during that class.
Basically on day 1 of the class, we created a bunch of lampwork pieces to make into a neckpiece and a "corsage". Day 2 we created the armature for both pieces and wired it all together. So I grabbed this out of my jewelry chest and looked at it. I love this piece, but this wasn't exactly what I wanted. However, I didn't know what I wanted.
So I started exploring my way too expansive library for something that might work when I came across the gem of a book by Mary Hettmansperger called Wrap, Stitch, Fold, and Rivet.
I don't think I ever truly explored this book. Mostly I glanced through it and made a mental note to look at it more closely later. Which I never did. I've been missing out!
Several projects would have worked for what I had in mind, but strangely it was the project titled Wire-Wrapped Hands Bracelet, which wasn't very appealing to me, that ended up being what I needed. You can see a photo of a single hand in the photo below.
Basically I wanted the spokes of the hands, loved the balled ends on the spokes, but wanted it to look more like a woven cloth than part of the anatomy. So I adapted the instructions to fit my needs.
One the Hettmansperger does brilliantly is use a ring clamp to hold the fiddly bits of wire in place so you can start weaving. That was HUGE in helping me accomplish what I wanted to do. You can see the ring clamp in action below.
And here's a finished woven component. I have made more, in different sizes. I haven't completely worked out how I'm going to attach everything together yet, but it's on the to do list for this weekend.
Below is another project I want to tinker with to fit my needs. I already have an idea for how to take her component and make it into something completely different, but still paying homage to her design and skill.
That is the real purpose of tutorials, books, and magazines devoted to teaching the art and craft of jewelry making...to take what you learn and tinker with it to make it your own. Use the instructions to learn a skill or technique, but then make it your own and see how far you can push the technique and design process.
Have you ever taken instructions and while using the same technique, completely changed the design? How did you feel about the design afterwards?
If you have components created by someone on the AJE staff and would like to participate in the Use Your Stash component of the month design challenge, comment below.