Rita made me do it

Last July, I wrote about my welcome return to the Rhode Island polymer clay guild here. At that meeting, my friend, Judy, showed us how to create ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) using polymer clay, stamps and paint. I had a lot of fun in the following weeks going off in my own direction with what I had learned that day. I created some painted polymer clay bracelets, very different from anything I had ever created before.

Something else happened at that meeting which also changed the course of my jewelry making.

My guildmate and friend, Rita, brought in a stunning, handmade wire necklace from her amazing collection of jewelry. Rita makes her home in the Washington, DC, area and summers every year on the coast of Rhode Island. She returns every summer to welcoming hugs and smiles all around, to be a part of our group once again.

It’s amazing how something can happen one day that changes everything. Even though I’ve had that experience quite a few times in my life, it constantly surprises me.

As I drooled over her necklace all day, I felt a spark being re-ignited inside of my creative soul, my passion for wireworking, born many years ago during my early days of making jewelry. At that time, I wanted to include crystals in my necklaces but couldn’t figure out how to do that because they didn’t have a hole in them for stringing. As I mused upon that predicament, I happened to come upon a book about wire wrapping at the local bookstore. Being so long ago, I’m sorry to say that I completely forget the author’s name and I donated that book to the library in one of my moves. Anyway, distractions come up in our lives that can pull us completely off a given path so after a couple of years of wire wrapping, I veered off that path to try something else. I’m ecstatic to have found that path once again. It’s like finding a secret garden hidden behind an ivy covered gate, a garden discovered once long ago and secretly yearned for without consciously knowing it.

This necklace was born of my resurrected passion. It’s constructed entirely of copper wire and chain with raku and crystal beads, pearls and a polymer clay focal bead. I dipped it in liver of sulfur to antique it and then polished the wire with fine steel wool.

It’s great to be playing with wire once again…

“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.”

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh


13 comments on “Rita made me do it

  1. Bobbie says:

    All I can say is, “Karen, you have done it again!” Your muse is sure around a lot lately. Beautiful executed necklace Bravo! Please tell me what brand of jewelry tools you are using.

  2. Sandy says:

    Karen, that is stunning. You make me want to pick up my pliers!

  3. artandtea says:

    Thanks Sandy! Yes, yes, please do! 🙂

  4. Judy Shea says:

    My goodness, Karen.. is there anything you do that doesn’t turn out just gorgeous??? I know the answer…. No! Sizzling seems to be the word I’m going to use for this, cuz it’s one hot piece. That first picture is just amazing; feels like New Mexico… well done once again.

  5. artandtea says:

    Judy, you are so good to me! Thank you for your kind words, my friend. And you are right on – that piece of pottery is from Arroyo Seco, NM. 🙂

  6. Amy Crawley says:

    Another stunning piece Karen. Great job!

  7. artandtea says:

    Thanks for visiting, Gabriella, and for commenting on my necklace. Much appreciated!

    Many thanks, Amy!

  8. What a gorgeous necklace! I am sure that Rita won’t mind being blamed for it.

  9. artandtea says:

    Thanks so much, Shaiha! 😀

  10. maryanne says:

    I love your necklace, Karen! It’s beautiful. I’ve taken up wire wrapping in the last several months and I have to say I really enjoy it. I love combining it with beads, too.

  11. artandtea says:

    Thanks so much, Maryanne! Isn’t it fun? Enjoy playing with beads and wire!

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