Weave, Wrap, and Coil Your Way to Wire Jewelry Making with Jodi Bombardier

Oct 22, 2010

You might be familiar with Jodi's many class offerings at BeadFest and as a contributing designer in Wire Style 50 Unique Jewelry Designs. I'm excited to share our "wire rap" with my Beading Daily peeps. I had some pretty important questions (at least in my mind) about Jodi and her new book, Weave, Wrap, Coil: Creating Artisan Wire Jewelry.

Kristal: How did you get started in wire working? 

Jodi: When I first started making jewelry in 2001, I used memory wire only, all the while looking at jewelry magazines and always being amazed by wire jewelry. At the end of 2004, I went to the library and a local bookstore and looked at multiple books on wire wrapping. I ended up buying Mark Lareau's book All Wired Up and taught myself how to wire wrap.

Kristal: What was your fave part about writing this book and how long did it take? 

Jodi: My favorite part about writing the book was designing. When I first started the book, I had 8 projects, and I needed to create 17 more designs! I had lots of ideas-for example, I knew I wanted a steampunk key and some 3-D pieces. I worked on the designs off and on for six months, all the while writing.

Jules' Ring

Coil Drop Earrings

Kristal: What are your top 3 tips for a newbie entering the wonderful world of wire? 

Jodi:

1. Buy good tools. Remember, you get what you pay for. Inexpensive tools can potentially hurt your hands and won't last in the long run. I first bought Swanstrom tools in 2005, one at a time as I could afford to, and paid about $50 per pair. Although they are now worn out, I still have them, and I did not replace them until 2009.

2. Use good body mechanics. This is one of the first things I go over in all of my classes, and I cannot stress enough. I see students time and again overextending/over-rolling with their tools. I see students rolling their pliers, for example, to make a simple loop and trying to make the loop in one turn of the wrist. They then end up turning their shoulders into the process. This is really bad body mechanics, and after a while, your wrist and shoulder will start aching. Mark the pliers with a marker (this wears off over time or can be removed with a cleaning cloth), roll the pliers to a comfortable stopping point, reposition the pliers in the loop, then complete your roll.

3. Maintain stability with your wire. Where you hold your wire with your nondominant hand plays a big role in achieving uniformity in your designs. I am right-handed and hold my tool with my right hand. With my left hand I hold the wire next to the tool as I am making a loop or a bend. This creates stability, does not allow flexibility in the wire, and leads to uniformity. In Weave, Wrap, Coil: Creating Artisan Wire Jewelry, there are several projects with what I call "open loops." These are created by making a simple loop, then changing the position of my left hand and holding the wire away from my tool and continuing to roll. When the wire is held away from the tool, there is not as much stability and allows flexibility in your wire.

Kristal: Share a secret about yourself that would surprise readers.

Jodi: My parents gave me a motorcycle when I was eleven and when I was twelve, my Dad asked me if I wanted to learn how to scuba dive so I could be his dive buddy. We used to go to San Carlos, Mexico, and camp and go diving. Back then, it was okay to ride my motorcycle on the streets, and my Mom used to send me to the local store for tortillas and jicama. And when I could, I would jump on my motorcycle and just go for a ride. There I was, by myself, a young teen, riding the streets of Mexico on my motorcycle! I remember camping on the "Catch 22" beach. It was the beach where the movie was filmed. There was an airstrip and old buildings built to look like ruins from the war. Of course, those are long gone and there is now a resort on that beach, but I used to ride my motorcycle on the airstrip. And diving was a great experience. My Dad and I had so much fun. Thankfully, we never encountered a shark! I was recertified in 1994 and dove again for a couple more years. Great memories! Thanks for asking this.

Kristal: You're stuck on a desert island with enough wire to make only one project from your book, which one would it be? 

Jodi: No question about it, the Autumn Leaf Bracelet. I think it is truly a work of art.

Ocean Waves

Isn’t it fun to take a peek inside the authors’ noggin to see the inside scoop?  Join me in creating artisan wire jewelry with Jodi in Weave, Wrap, Coil: Creating Artisan Wire Jewelry. Make a few pieces while you’re at it, the holidays are quickly approaching!

Come bead with me.

Creatively,


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Weave Wrap Coil: Creating Artisan Wire Jewelry

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Looking for new ways to manipulate wire jewelry? Discover a variety of weaving, coiling, wrapping, texturing, forging and filing techniques to create truly amazing combinations.

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Comments

Patriciakoko wrote
on Oct 23, 2010 10:52 PM

Am I the only one who wonders when "Beading Daily" became wire daily and wire working daily?   Please get back to blogging about and with beads--even if they have to be seed beads....Beading Daily should be about beads not wire. There are other sources for that.

pearlgirl64 wrote
on Oct 25, 2010 3:18 AM

No Patricia, you're NOT the only one! These comments have been made before and I want to add my voice. Case in point: Today Monday there are 4 blogs on Beading Daily:

- Weave, Wrap and Coil Your Way to Wire Jewelry Making with Jody Bombardier

- The Dos and Don’ts of Twisting Wire

- No Time (or Clay) to Waste! Get Started on Your Holiday Gift Making

- Quick and Easy Cupcake Jewelry in 5 Simple Steps (and, no, this one does NOT qualify as a "beading blog" in my opinion!)

What happened to Beading Daily?! Why aren't these blogs on Jewelrymaking Daily? And - while meaning no offense to Kristal Wick - with all the talented BEADERS out there, why did Interweave choose a selfconfessed NON-beader as an editor of Beading Daily?

I love mixed-media jewelry but while on Beading Daily I want to read about - you got it - beading.

Kristal Wick wrote
on Oct 26, 2010 2:04 PM

Hey gals-

The bead world is bigger than just beadweaving and stringing- our crafty staff loves all forms of jewelry making and gets excited to share it with you. Every now and then it may appear we’re leaning too far one way or another, and we count on you all to let us hear it when we do. But rest assured we’ve got plenty of beadweaving and stringing content planned for the next few weeks, months and years. It is BEADing Daily, after all! No matter how far we stray, we always come back to the beads.

As far as confessing goes, while my seed bead addiction is still in its early stages, I’ve been a beader, bead-maker, author, teacher, internationally award winning jewelry designer, and official Swarovski Ambassador for many, many years. The world of beads is not new to me, and I love helping everyone open their eyes to all the possibilities around beaded jewelry, and embrace a fresh, new beady passion such as I did with seed beading.

Thanks for following along- we’re all passionate about the beading we love. Keep spreading it!

Creatively,

Kristal

pearlgirl64 wrote
on Oct 27, 2010 1:28 PM

Kristal,

Not being a native English speaker, I now understand that I misinterpreted your blog of 16 July as saying you are not a beader. I'm sorry :-( Wish I could remove the offending part of my comment but can't find the edit button as in the forums.

on Oct 30, 2010 7:19 PM

Hi Kristal Wick

I just wanted to say thank you for picking up on wire working. I have enjoyed it so much. I knew there was alot out there to be had thank you for single handingly bring it to beading daily. I have been working with wire for 8 years I never get tired of it and while being a jewelry instructor for Micheal's Arts and Crafts I have a new love for beading and it has renewned that love for it. I love to combined both my loves beads and wire. Thanks agian I think everyone should open their minds up to see the there is a huge veriety out there. So having said that I love this web site and I think it has to evolve from time to time.

KathrynB@36 wrote
on Nov 30, 2010 2:02 PM

This book is definitely on my wish list! :) I can't wait for it!

Minnie59 wrote
on Jan 9, 2011 8:08 AM

Personally, I'm fascinated with wire wrapping. And sincerely, beads AND wire make a great combination! You can do with wire almost everything - and combine that with infinite beading possibilities... wow! Great work, Kristal! And more articles about wire wrapping!!! PS I'm a certified open water diver too... unfortunately my dad didn't even want to hear about a motorcycle :)