Friday, March 16, 2007

Why I wire wrap

Wire wrapping. . .I was drawn to the process because it creates works that are one of a kind. Are there machines that do this? Can anybody tell me? For me, going to Target or the Jewelery District downtown (Los Angeles, CA) and getting a glob of manufacture metal and chips of stone like product just doesn't get.

I want stones and glass that have been rolled in the palm of someone's hands as they imagined how the living earth will unite with a living being. The concrete and conceptual. Heaven and earth. I want wire metal made malleable by the warmth of blood pulsing through veins and distributed to soft yet strong flesh.

I want designs that call me from the past and project me to the future.

That is why I wire wrap.

This cuff was inspired initially by Eni Oken's work. It also was inspired by the concept of Sankofa--a symbolic bird of Ghana that flys forward while looking back.

I didn't have a bracelet mandrel so I used a piece of PVC pipe to mold the base.

First step was to wrap 20 gage copper wire around the pipe 9 time. Then I divided the 9 wire loops into 3 sections, a top, a bottom and a center frame shaped into an oval and sandwiched in the middle. With 18 gage wire I wrapped the entire frame, squeezing the center back so that top and bottom frame meet.

Another length of 18 gage wire narrows the back of the cuff to a whisper. This is the place where memories are so ancient we don't even understand them anymore.

Then I began with the loops and the swirls and the twist, all created in 20, 22, and 18 gage wire. I left the center frame blank a wonderful negative space waiting to tell me how to fill it. This negative space represents the present and the future waiting for memories to be lived.

When the future and the present came to me it was in the form of red jasper. So I caught the three nuggets in copper wire cages. Not to imprison them but just to tether them for a moment until I can catch up with the present and past. More swirls, cooper beads and crystals, so that. . .

I Wear My Memories . . .
. . . here. . . on the pulse of my body, at my wrist or at the top of my arm close to my heart.
The cooper wire swirls and coils are like the arteries of my body, pulsating, alive with memories. . .living to make more memories.
The open spaces of this cuff, where the jasper treasures reside are also open for the possibility of new memories to take root.
The crystals are conductors of light that radiates my energy to and from the cuff.
I wear my memories here. . .with this cuff.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Earth Has Weight. . .

The Earth is where we begin . . .The Earth is were we end. In the Adinkra language system, the earth is the feminine and half of the whole. Combined the Earth and the Heavens are whole.
. . .the earth is where we have weight . . .the heavens are where we can fly. Our bodies endeavor on earth. . .our sprits rest in the sky.
Copper coils embellish the frames and give the earthy weight to this adornment. Rutilated African quartz serve as the balance and anchors in the focal setting of this bracelet. Picture Jasper caught up in a freeform copper setting creates the second element of this piece. The third element is a round slice of batik bone encircle with coiled copper and held in place by tiny cooper beads on one end and fine gage of coiled copper wire on the other end. The hand made free form clasp is also coiled with more copper wire and caught in a handmade copper eye.

All materials in the adornment are what give the earth weight:

Elements used in this adornment:

Jasper: stone of protection, heighten awareness, joy, balancing of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energies.
Crystal Quartz: Intensifies energy, spiritual development, healing, raises consciousness.
Copper: Found in adornments and tools crafted by the ancients the world over, copper has long been a metal of choice. Don’t be afraid of the patina—the green, blue green result of oxidation. Modern snobbery demotes the beauty and practicality of this metal. Those who allow their Sprits to Dance remember. . .and make a choice of copper.

Talking Adornments

When your sprit speaks let it use the Adinkra language of the Akan people of West Africa. The Adinkra language is an ancient symbol system, today it is primarily found in Ghana. At Sprit Dance we have added a Diaspora element to the interpretation of the language. When creating our adornments we conceptualize each piece considering two methods of interpreting the symbolic representation of the Adinkra language. First, we employ the ideal of “Sankofa.” Like the mythical bird flying forward while looking back, we endeavor to fearlessly remember the sprit of the past while employing craft techniques of different times and different lands where the children of Africa have traveled and settled.