Interest to Hobby, Hobby to Passion, Passion to Profession #2: Hobby to Passion

So after doing simple wire wraps and twists, I began to get bored with what I was doing. I had made dozens of pieces and I had given just about everyone I knew something I had made. My mom was really into doing stained glass and had signed up for a lamp work class for bead making in Las Vegas. She had seen that during the convention they had some wire wrapping classes for working with Sterling Silver. She asked me if I’d like to take one, her treat, and I decided to take a beginners course.

The class taught how to make a necklace out of sterling silver wire by binding half round and twisted square wire. It was fairly easy having already been experienced in using various types of of pliers. I bought a few tools there, necklace form, wire twister, and V forming pliers. I also bought some premade kits not knowing what the market price of silver wire was.

I took this new skill and adapted it to wire wrapping stones in the same spiraling manor using it like pattern wire. I began to think of new ways to bind stones by creating a frame or cage by spreading the half rounds around the stone. I figured out I could also wrap just about anything using this method, including coins.

A few years later, after dating someone for several months and getting more serious, I decided to order a bag of “mining” gem rough which came with a coupon for a free cut of a stone that I find. I was hoping to find a stone that would make a nice engagement ring since it included Rubies, Sapphires, and Emeralds. I did find some nice specimen pieces and a nice ametrine that could get a faceted stone out of, but no sapphires that could be faceted. I began wrapping a lot of the stones I got from what I got and even figured out how to do a figure 8 weave on my own.

So after getting married, I bought a ring from a store though, and on our 1 year anniversary we took a trip to North Carolina to redeem my coupon for the free cut stone. Finally getting to visit the little gem shop where my stones came from. We purchased a couple more buckets and got 2 more free cuts for 2 faceted stones, the Ametrine and a Rutile Quartz for my wife, and a cabbed Black Star Sapphire. While at the Spruce Pine Gem Mine, the owner showed us his work shop where he cut stones and did a brief demonstration of how he cut cabs. It was settled, I was going to start cutting my own stones.

More to come in the next entry: Passion to Profession

Sorry I couldn’t link photos on the blog, I’ll post some in creations.

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4 Comments

Wandering Rock Designs ...

Unfortunately I don’t have the pieces using the 3 bound wires in a spiral wrap, the ex wife has them.

This is an example of cage forming and wire binding from an Emerald I cabbed from the bucket of rough. I left a small emerald crystal in it’s rough form in the top corner.

Wire wrapped Morgan Silver Dollars from a customer request using 2 half round sterling wires.

Figure 8 wire weave using silver plated wire to form a bezel around a hand cut Amazonite cab, also from the bucket.

All of the rough wrapped specimens are gone, either sold or were given away as gifts. All the photos I’ve posted are from items that are or were listed in my Etsy shop. I really wish I had taken photos of my early work so I could see the progression from the very beginning.

Marta ...

Wow, impressive! Sounds like you’ve come a long way. Your wire wrapping is pretty and I like that you cut your own stones.

Wandering Rock Designs ...

Thank you Marta. The final installment is bench work and silver smithing. These stones are nothing compared to what I’ve been doing lately, but you already saw the one piece. I just set it Thursday and will have pictures soon. I actually found one of the 3 wire spiral wraps, well my mom did, so I’ll post that to so people can get an idea of what I described.

Wandering Rock Designs ...

So I did find a couple early pieces, one being the 3 wire wrap.

I also found a really early crystal I wrapped, I don’t even think I would put this up for sale looking at it and comparing to what I do now.