Wire Art Jewelry by Mel: I started making jewelry over 10 years ago, even longer if you count some jewelry I made with my father while I was still in grade school. I am basically self-taught with the experience of working with several great artists and teaching. My degrees are in art and psychology from a small liberal arts college. I moved to California to go to grad school, but never made it. I started creating jewelry as my main source of income there and began working for a company (whose name I cannot legally mention) making jewelry showcases for department stores. So, you may have seen my work without even knowing it, since they did not incorporate the artists names. I moved back near Chicago a few years ago and continue my passion for art, working from a studio in Wheaton.
Hilarious but true fact: in a month you’ll be able to buy this jewelry 3 blocks from my house — small world!
Freshie and Zero: Hello. I am Beth, a.k.a. “Freshie”. I wish there was an exciting story about how I got my nickname, but there isn’t really. A few years ago, my manager at work just thought it rhymed with “Bethie” so she started calling me that and it wasn’t long before my coworkers and friends adopted my new name as well. Zero is my Jack Russell Terrier and yes, he’s totally nuts.
I strive to create jewelry that is pretty, modern, and classic. I mostly use simple geometric shapes and I constantly push myself to create new ways of making a feminine piece of jewelry out of these simple forms. Each piece is handcrafted using a hammer and wire and the end result is a mix of delicate sophistication and bold elegance, from the dainty wire outlines to the more solid silver hammered discs. Occasionally I add touches of semi-precious gemstones or pearls, and have started doing more wire wrapping lately to add to the delicate and edgy irregularity that I love.
Tammy’s Treasures: I’m a self-taught and totally addicted metalsmith. I adore trying new things with different metals and wire. All of the items you see here are lovingly and carefully handcrafted by me. I strive to create beautiful jewelry that will last the wearer a lifetime.
The Haunted Hollow Tree: This is an original mixed media of pyrography, water color, and casein paint.
Most commonly known as “wood burning”, pyrography is the traditional art of using a heated tip to burn or scorch images onto natural materials such as wood or leather. It is a challenging medium to work in because the permanent nature of burning requires constant precision and missteps are not easily corrected. It is very much like drawing in a sense, but done with a hot wire tip instead of a pencil. The different tonal values and subtle graduations are created carefully by varying the pressure and temperature of the pen tip.
Ruth Jensen: I’m enthralled with the transparency of wire. It’s perfect for revealing the extraordinary beauty, transience, sometimes humor of what appears to be ordinary. I make each sculpture one twist at a time, without patterns or molds, using bazillions of pieces of straight wire. I “see” the shape I want, and make the wires come together in that shape, like putting a puzzle together. (I love puzzles.) My pieces are meant to intrigue and delight the viewer, to combat the overabundance of dull ugliness in the world.