Ways with Wire : Part 3 of 3

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I wrote a previous post on the use of Chinese knots in jewelry making because beautifully braided cords can add another dimension to the pieces. My friend, Diana Norman's blog post shows how she successfully integrated Chinese knots with her specialty real flower jewelry. She (and she is not the only one) also raves about the best book ever on knotting - Suzen Millodot's Chinese Knots for Beaded Jewelry. For pictures of classic Chinese knots, check out this website.

I don't know who was the first artisan to apply Chinese knots to modern jewelry designs but I do know who is the first to do it in wire. Yes, you read right. Wire. I first stumbled upon Corra (de Cor's Handmades) of Malaysia in South East Asia on a jewelry forum. She says she hasn't been making jewelry all that long but as you can see, she definitely has a way with wire.

The above is her Love Knot- PIPA pendant. A pipa is a Chinese lute which inspired this design name. She used two colours and two different gauges of wire. Ten purple cat's eyes and a single focal freshwater pearl are painstakingly added layer by layer. The reverse side of the pendant reveals the difficulty level - for intermediate to advanced wire artists. If you love this design, Corra offers the tutorial on her Etsy store. She also applied the PIPA pendants with the Grass Flower knot in a bracelet which she showcased on her blog. Her metalchasers site has some hot new PIPA earrings with drops!

It is not easy to make this wire wrapped knot. Mei (Wire Bliss), another wire work artisan also from Malaysia and Corra's friend, wrote a candid blog post which showed her learning mistakes making the PIPA knot. But the result of much practising is the above version now on sale in her brand new Etsy store. These are post earrings with faceted prehnite briolettes, goldstone and freshwater pearls in a confection aptly named "Fruitful". You can check out what else Mei has been up to on her blog.

What I found astonishing is that both Corra and Mei use stainless steel for their wrapping. Although it is wonderful because it doesn't corrode or rust, anyone who works with metal will know stainless steel is much more difficult to bend than say silver and copper.

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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