Beads, Baubles & Jewels: Wire as the Artist’s Muse

When people ask me what my favorite medium is to work in, I have to think really hard. Often, my favorite is based more on what’s most present in my mind or on my bench. Two longstanding loves though, are wire and glass. If you knew me well, you’d even guess I had something to do with this episode of Beads, Baubles & Jewels. I didn’t but it’s one I will watch over and over again, no doubt, as this episode features wire and glass!

To kick things off, Katie Hacker’s bead of the week highlights her own love for glass. Here, she celebrates all she learned during the International Society of Glass Beadmakers’ Gathering, last year. During this show, thousands of artists come together to share their love for working with glass. Katie was clearly swept into the fold and absorbed as much as she could. She also came away with a sampling of beads she shares in this picture.

Beads, Baubles & Jewels

Filip Vogelpohl: borosilicate pendant. Filip owns Boise Art Glass, where he makes incredible art glass creations from jewelry to lighting installations – and you can take classes to learn how to work with glass.

Beau Barrett: borosilicate spirals on the hoop earrings. Beau and his wife Shani live and work in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Beau makes beautiful beads, vessels and more.

Kevin O’Grady: sterling silver and glass ring. Kevin is a pioneer in borosilicate glass and has developed many of the techniques that have become widespread in the art glass jewelry world. (Watch for a special feature on Kevin in the May/June issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist).

Kris Schaible: tree and mushroom beads. Kris works in soft glass and has won numerous awards for her amazing beads, including being inducted into the Beads of Courage Hall of Fame.

Christy Atherton Schrack of Wabi Jewelry made my wedding ring. The cabochon is made of borosilicate and dichroic glass. I originally wanted an opal, but she convinced me that glass would be beautiful and durable. She was right! I love it.

The honeycomb bead on the stand and the starry night pendant are special beads made by artists for Beads of Courage. If you make glass or polymer clay beads, I definitely encourage you to get involved with this heart-warming organization by donating your handmade beads.

Carrot and rainbow charms by Stephanie Sersich. Stephanie is a dear friend and I enjoy wearing her whimsical work. These are examples of two totally different ways of treating soft glass.

Following Katie, Brenda Schweder wields wire and pays homage to Alexander Calder.

Beads, Baubles & Jewels

Wyatt White, another wire artist (among many other talents) brings a beautiful wire design to us, made using a new tool designed by Katie Hacker.

Beads, Baubles & Jewels

Be sure to tune into this episode to learn all these amazing artists have to share — I know I’ll be listening in and taking notes!
Tammy Honaman
Editor, Beadwork magazine and Editorial Director, Bead & Jewelry Group

For more wire working from Brenda, be sure to check out her video series which includes: ABC’s of Wire Wrangling Using the Now That’s a Jig!


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