The Joy of Designing Handmade Jewelry

Last summer I started watching videos to learn how to wire wrap jewelry. You can find hundreds of artists on YouTube who freely share their expertise and knowledge, and they're genuinely invested in helping others learn their craft by answering questions and looking at your work.

After mastering some basic wraps I moved on to studying weaving, which opens up myriad possibilities when designing a piece of jewelry. After a while you can look at the work of others and see the various elements used in their designs. Instagram and Pinterest are fabulous places to get inspiration. It's important to note that many artists who have created something truly unique don't appreciate it when you copy their designs. 

When I begin to wrap a cabochon (that is what the stone is called when it doesn't have predrilled holes), I first decide if I want to incorporate weaving in the frame or not. I also think about what kind of wire will best compliment the stone, and if I want to use round or square wire. In later posts I'll go into more detail about the various options, but for now I'd like to express how joyful it is to just create.

Handful of cabochons

Cabochons I purchased from Etsy seller Habibagems

You can draw your design on paper if you want to, or you can just start a piece and let it organically develop into a finished piece. In the future I may try my hand at drawing designs, but right now I find great pleasure in starting a piece not knowing how it will turn out. There are so many places where you can make decisions that change your options and it's exciting! 

Here are some decision making moments in my most recent pendant.

Wire wrapping stage 1 Wire wrap stage 2 Wire wrap stage 3 Wire wrap stage 4

Go to YouTube and search for "wire wrapping tutorials" to learn a fun new craft! My favorite contributors are 

  • LanAnh Handmade
  • Yvonne Williams
  • OxanaCrafts
  • Kelly Jones Jewellery
  • Aubrey Bouck
  • Rachel at Wire Guild
  • Fantasia Elegance
  • Perfectly Twisted Jewelry

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