It's Mini-Marvel time!
Here's a lady who lives with precision every day. WireYourWorld's beautiful & intricate, yet simple & elegant pieces have long been a source of admiration for me. I keep wondering HOW she does it and keep wanting to learn. She's sweet and so hardworking and has so much talent. I can only strive to achieve what she has with her designs.
I asked her to share a little about herself so we could have a look into HER world.
My interest in rocks started when I was a child. For some reason, I was always fascinated with dinosaurs and the time before man, the creatures that walked the earth, and the death and fossilization of those creatures. This translated over time to the study of how the earth formed, and all the types of pretty rocks created as time passes and the world changes. These interests were helped along by memorable (for me), field trips to the Peabody Museum in CT, and the Museum of Natural History in NYC.
Alongside of my interest in rocks and dinosaurs, around the age of 13, I was developing an interest in the ancient world of humans, King Tut was going on tour so it was all in the media, and talked about in history classes. We lived in CT, my father owned a Dairy Queen, and my mother was a nurse. With four children, money was tight. My mother found that the local Community College was going to have a course about Ancient Egypt, with the field trip at the end of the course, a trip to NYC and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to see the King Tut Exhibit. This field trip was a much lower cost way to get the both of us to the exhibit. So, there was my mom, convincing College Administrators that a 13 year old should be allowed to enroll in the course. They let me in, I took the course, and passed the test. I suppose I still have a college credit on record somewhere for that! Needless to say, I enjoyed the trip, and the glass cube that enclosed the Mask of King Tut, is still vivid in my head.
How does this relate to the here and now? Lapis, ahhhh lapis. I had never seen such a gorgeous stone and there it was, in the mask, finely wrought in solid gold. I mean, c'mon!
Another thing my mother did for me, though I didn't know it at the time, was instill a love of finely crafted items, to be able to see the work, the craftsmanship in something well done, over something mass produced. This came about by helping my mother sell her "stuff" at flea markets. Lugging boxes and sitting for days on end at her table, and wandering around looking at others' "stuff", I learned to discern antiques from nic nacs, and quality craftsmanship from shoddy or mass produced. Somewhere along the way, there was a wire worker, and I was astounded at the work, but yet, time passed.
Enter late 1990's, and a wire worker at a renaissance fair, a tiny bead ring that I purchased and wore, for two years straight. I wanted to know how to make that ring. At some point it occurred to me there might be something online and in books, an lo and behold there was, and I learned to make that ring, then sold my first one at the local flea market, where I was attempting to sell mass produced jewelry. (Long story short, after being unsuccessful in a myriad of jobs ranging from postal worker to insurance agent and stock broker, I gave up on employers, and started my own little business).
After that ring sold, I search for more information on the basics of wire working and taught myself the basic wire sculpt and border wraps. I became a bit of a cabochon junkie as I decimated my savings to buy supplies. I quit looking at the work of other wrappers, and searched for a style that was uniquely me. As I worked I strove for elegant, because that was what I was taught by my mother, that you wear jewelry for elegance. My customers asked for simple, smaller, items that they could wear to the office, so I strove for sleek yet artistic. And at every bend I worked, and cursed at my fingers (but never at the wire!) to make the perfect coils, the perfect finishing touches, to make sure the ends were tucked neatly, to make sure its sturdy and will last. A common thing I say at shows to people browsing, "go ahead and fondle the merchandise! Don't worry if you drop it, if its harmed it means I didn't make it right, and I made it right!"
But, back to my cabochon obsession. I wanted more and more to work on my own stones. My inner child was coming back! Plus, I was aware I needed something to keep my business going when it wasn't craft show season. They say things show up when you need them the most. In December of 2008 I was searching Craigslist for anything lapidary, and found a mention of a yard sale that had already passed. :-( But, the phone number was posted, so, nothing ventured nothing gained, I called. I found the lapidary equipment was owned by the elderly father of the yard sale host, and had never made it to the sale! It was ALL still available. I met the couple and apparently they liked me and for a VERY good price, I was now the owner of equipment that new, would have run me at least $3000, and a small metal drawer unit of slabs. Wow. So, with no education beyond what I read online and in some old old cabochon cutting books, I began cabbing. I'm still very new at it, and I'm humbled that my creative jewelry peers see fit to purchase my cabochons. I cut and polish stones often while visualizing what I would make with that stone, and I try to bring out the pattern and polish so its something I myself would be unashamed to offer my customers as a finished piece of jewelry. Quality and craftsmanship, the way mom taught me. I get to do what I love, without embarrassing my mother!