Washington based Sarah Thompson of Sarah-n-dippity, is one of the best wire weavers I have come across. I featured her stunning work in a past post. She also is a very good instructor too as I found out when I got to review her Wire Weaving Bracelets: Basics and Beyond Craftsy class. Here she teaches how to create wire weaving bracelets.
She spent the past 10 years developing her wire weaving skills through trial and error. So the class is a fabulous opportunity to learn how to make your own jewelry using her techniques. I agree with Sarah that wire can be such a sculptural medium, designs are invariably unique.
The class is divided into 7 lessons with a total run time of 3 hours. 3 bracelet designs are taught. As with all Craftsy classes, the format is such students can watch the class when and where they want and as many times as necessary to learn a technique. You will be able to ask Sarah any question.
Lesson 1 covers the wire information and basics of working with wire. Her tips on how to prepare and handle wire for weaving were invaluable. Wire weaving does not require many tools but it can be hard on the hands. So her ergonomic tips were also excellent.
I found Sarah to be thorough - the sign of a good teacher is they never assume anything. Her teaching experience shows with this lesson as Sarah starts with the simple figure 8 weave. This is perfect for beginners and for those who find the other weave taught challenging.
Lesson 2 is where she teaches the modified soumak weave which is used for the 3 bracelet designs in the class. Here she shows how a simple bangle is made with different colored wires. The basics of how to change wire color, fixing wire breaks and how to tuck in the wire ends are covered here.
An astonishing amount of time - 31 minutes - was allocated for Lesson 3. It was for the making of the articulated clasp which is used for the next bracelet design . This is where one realizes the attention to detail this artisan pays to all her designs. What she said about doing something well is thought provoking. She called it "the difference between a crafter and an artisan."
Lesson 4 and 5 were the most fun where she shows how to weave a free form bangle using bare wire and two different widths of woven bands. There is considerable leeway for self expression with this design shown below.
You do learn some basic metal smith techniques like hammering. One thing I learned from Sarah is that there are different types of chasing hammers - hers has less of an edge than mine. This means she is less likely to make tool marks than I when hammering.
Lesson 6 is the "beyond" part of the class where Sarah shows how to layer and "stitch" more complex designs. She also covers how to incorporate focals and a second clasp style.
I particularly enjoyed the patination portion of Lesson 7 where Sarah demonstrated the use of liver of sulfur gel and the range of colors one can get depending on how long the metals stay in the oxidizing solution. She did point out that if you mix copper and silver together in a design, the silver stays shiny after patination as it does not oxidize in the presence of copper. It is a matter of preference, but I rather like that contrast and don't think it need be avoided.
A simply excellent class and one which I highly recommend for those wanting to get into wire weaving. Although the class is on bracelets, the techniques learned can be applied to pendants and and earrings.
Sarah is also the author of a new book Fine Art Wire Weaving: Weaving Techniques for Stunning Jewelry Designs.
If you would like to win Sarah Thompson's Wire Weaving Bracelets: Basics and Beyond class, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.
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This giveaway is international.
Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.
It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, September 21, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!
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I am now a Craftsy affiliate which means I receive a small compensation when classes are purchased through my blog. The opinions expressed here are entirely mine and mine alone. These would be the same, whether or not I receive the compensation. The book link is an Amazon affiliate link.
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