I'll admit it - I'm a girly girl. I like flowers and puppy dogs and pretty, sparkly things. I like seed beads and crystals and stringing patterns. Most of my previous experiences working with wire involved making French Beaded Flowers where the beads are at the design forefront. I've always admired the intricate spirals, the delicate loops, the ability to take a simple cabochon and transform it into a work of art, but my beads had been too needy of my time and attention!
With Beadalon's acquisition of Artistic Wire, I'm suddenly surrounded with a rainbow of wire everyday. How could I not get the itch to try it?
So, I tackled this project like any other, I dove right in with no direction and no idea what I was doing. I floundered around for a while, checking my beading library for patterns, looking in back issues of Step By Step Wire, surfing the Internet looking for inspiration. Nothing really got my fingers excited about wrapping until I found the gorgeous Adjustable Rose Ring Tutorial by my new friend Kiki - Borneo Queen. I got it, and started wrapping right away.
The instructions are clear and she has some great tips for keeping the framework even. It was surprisingly easy to make up, once I got the hang of it. For my first attempt, I used bare copper in 20-gauge and 28-gauge, but I think my second combination worked better for me: 18-gauge and 30-gauge red. By my third rose, the basket weave was a lot more even and took a lot less time. The next one will be perfect!
Things I've learned so far:
1. I'm a better teacher than I am a student.
2. Using a fingernail to tighten wraps with 30-gauge wire will ruin a manicure in a New York minute.
Next time: Making a leaf to complement my chain of roses.
- Meredith Roddy for Beadalon