Back in November 2022 I took an online workshop at the Smithsonian called Wirework Workshop: The Abacus Pendant. It was taught by Mia Vollkommer.
(As a note, the i should have two dots above it, but I don’t know how to do that in this post; and you say her name, Mya.)
You may remember I took some jewelry classes at a local art center before the pandemic. Remember these projects?
I enjoyed working with the materials but some of the techniques (the torch! terrifying. The saw! I break blades at breakneck speed) were not so good. I did love hammering and twisting and stamping metal.
And I like seed beads. So, when I saw this class advertised I figured, three hours, one afternoon, why not try it?
I assembled my supplies. I needed a couple of inexpensive tools which I ordered online, and ordered from Mia the small amount of wire we would need for this class. I chose seed beads myself, also online.
The day came and we got to work. I want to say right now that Mia is an excellent teacher. She had clearly-written instructions for us and her class presentation was equally easy and clear to follow.
Here are the two pendants I made. One in silver and one in brass.
Basically, you bend a thicker wire into a U-shape. You use a tool to make the rings at the end for the necklace to go through (I am very proud of how these look, and it all happened like magic with the right tool!).
Then you wrap wire all around the U-shape. And then you wrap wire across the shape and incorporate the beads.
I made the brass one first and then the silver one, and I can see already my skills have improved. I was worried that my eyesight might make it too hard for me to do this technique at all, but I learned that a lot of it is done by feel, and a magnifying glass helps with the rest.
I enjoyed doing this project and I like the look of the finished result. Maybe I will get enough skill to give some of these as gifts sometime. I do not think I will be embarking on a jewelry career anytime soon, but I did buy some copper wire and plan to settle down and try some more of these. I believe they will be a good evening-TV time activity.
Thank you to Mia and my classmates for a fun introduction to wire-wrapping!