Sunday, 24 February 2008


It may surprise those of you who know me well enough to know that I'm totally anal and incredibly self critical, but I don't actually mind imperfection. I mind screwing up something I shouldn't - but I don't get mad at myself just because something isn't perfect. Everything's a learning curve and learning curves inevitably have fuckups - whats the point of trying things that you know you can do perfectly? where's the challenge? So... I can probably complete a 'perfect' necklace or bracelet using wrapped links and connecters. Because due to the nature of the day job, I do that a lot. I'd therefore get pretty peed off with myself if I screwed up all my wrapped links on a bracelet. But trying something new, half the fun is in seeing yourself improve. And being afraid of trying... well yes you could go through life doing everything perfectly because you never tried anything new but... your comfort zone would get boring very quickly.

Therefore this is an imperfect pendant, and up for rewiring. But the interesting thing about it was that as I was working my way down the weave, I could see the technique improving, and looking at it after completing it, I can see how to redo it so the mistakes start to be corrected. I don't know if it will be perfect on the second try. More likely, it will be closer to perfect on the third.

Pretty isn't perfect. Anyone can make pretty jewellery. There's very few people make perfect jewellery (and I don't count myself among them). One lady that does however, is Eni Oken and it was looking at one of her pendants that resulted in my trying this particular technique (I was orginally going to try crocheting). The pendant is here and check out her gallery as well - she's amazing - at the very top of her area. She also has a lot of tutorials. I've occasionally been tempted to buy the whole pack but I'm very much a figure-it-out brain and following tutorials seems like... cheating. Plus I'm spatially strong enough to be able to see how things are put together most of the time. Stupid, but it seems only a step away from all those jewellery people who only ever complete set projects and therefore never develop jewellery craft into jewellery art. Which is absolutely fine as a hobbyist - making magazine-published projects for yourself and presents for your family can be satisfying, but if you're going to aim to be a professional then originality is needed. Design and figuring out is important to me.

Imperfect Pendant

...two hours later...

OK second attempt. Still not even remotely approaching perfect - but significantly better than try #1

It was going reasonably well. So I added a bead. A reasonably adventurous choice of bead for the technique. Which screwed it up more than it otherwise would have been. Other than that, I changed from working with one really long piece of wire, to separate pieces for each 'row' (you can see the ends sticking out - I didn't tuck them in properly when I wrapped them around the beads as I expected to be undoing it again). And consciously remembered that wire loves curling. Its its natural state - no need to fight it.

For attempt three I'm going to take that slightly further I think and coil each piece around a pen to match the number of arcs in each row. Although later, because I'm getting tired.

...4 hours later... after a nap

OK - I'm actually reasonably happy with it now. There is still some slight problems but they should be fixable without restringing.

And perception of size works better on a bust - it's about 2 inches top to bottom. Yes that's my work bench, yes I'm messy. So sue me :p

The mesh size I used is quite a bit bigger than is usual for this technique which I think makes it harder to get perfect - each section has longer pieces to develop kinks! Its more usually seen as a cabochon bezel wrap with very tiny arcs/swags/whatever you call the graceful curves!

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