Week Eight…Learning a New Weave

This has been a different kind of week in my jewelry making world.  Normally, I like to have a beautiful piece finished, but while I have a finished piece, it isn’t that beautiful.  The best part is, I am okay with that.  I realized that my goal was to learn a new weave.  I would have like to have had a nice piece with the new weave, but I didn’t like the project to begin with.

This week I wanted to learn the Modified Soumak Weave.  I used a video tutorial that I purchased off of craftsy.com called Wire Weaving Bracelets: Basics and Beyond by Sarah Thompson to learn this weave.  The first project in this video series is the Colorwork Bangle.  Honestly, I didn’t care for the different colored wires used in this project.  It was a preference thing for me, so I opted to keep the bangle one color.  Another reason…other than personal preference…I didn’t want to use different types of wire was because of all the ends that would have created.  There is an interesting way of taking care of the ends that is shared, but I am not sure of it enough to incorporate it into my own wire projects, so I wanted to minimize the need to use it.

I found the Modified Soumak Weave to be fun, once I got the hang of it.  I really like the look of the weave and will enjoy using it in the future.  I think I found this project to be a little monotonous after a while thought.  I have gotten so used to bending wire and using a variety of weaves in a project that the simplicity of the project was a little boring in the making process.  I think if I had made the bracelet my own, then I would have liked it more, but the purpose was for me to learn the weave and I did…so mission accomplished.

Here are a couple of pictures of the finished bracelet…

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Completed Colorwork Bangle…pardon the messy wrapping. 🙂
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Completed Colorwork Bangle

I wanted to learn the Modified Soumak Weave because it is one that Sarah Thompson uses frequently in her new book Fine Art Wire Weaving.  Overall this book requires a higher skill level than what I currently posses as well as a lot of techniques I have tried only a couple of times or have never tried.

I found out this week that there will be a steep learning curve to these projects, so I am trying to break down the basics and see if I can learn or improve on them individually before I start anymore of the projects.

I tried to make a Decorative S-Clasp and fell flat on my face.

Here is a picture of how far I got…

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The failed beginnings of a Decorative S-Clasp (design by Sarah Thompson)

I naively though I it would be pretty simple…I mean after all an S-Clasp is pretty basic and I know how to weave wire. 🙂  Needless to say I didn’t anticipate the hammering and filing being a challenge stopping me in my tracks.  I tried and the more I tried the more frustrated I got, so I walked away…after all it is better to battle something from a point of strength instead of weakness, if you can.

I have spent the rest of the week thinking, reading, studying, and planning.   Here are some conclusions that I have come to…

~I need to work on some metalsmithing basics.

~I needed a new hammer…which I picked up this week.

~I need to practice, practice, practice…oh yes and be patient with myself and give grace to myself while I am practicing.

~I need to realize this won’t happen overnight and that is normal and fine.

~I need to be brave and have the courage to fail, so that eventually I will succeed because I won’t give up.

~I need the Lord to give me all of the things needed to do this…I am not a patient person, so it will have to come from Him.

There are more things that I will figure out as I go along, but that is the point of this challenge after all.  As I was talking with my husband this week, I realized this challenge is kind of like an apprenticeship in wire work for me.  I am working through new techniques and mastering others using the material by people who have mastered their craft and teach others through tutorials.  This was an encouraging thought, and it helped me to think of myself as a student…it makes me excited to learn.

Next week, I am wanting to work on some metalsmithing basics through some finding tutorials.  Hopefully the grand finale will be the beautiful Decorative S-Clasp that I didn’t accomplish this week.  We shall see…until next week.

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