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Sarah Thompson Wire Weaving Workshops

February 9 - 13, 2018

Project samples will be on display at Alaska Bead Company in late-November!

 

Crescent Moon Pendant

Friday, February 9 – 5:30 to 8:30

Class Cost:  $55.00

Make a stunning crescent moon pendant utilizing wire weaving techniques. Students will learn basic techniques like hammering, filing and torch work as well as the more advance skill of layering wire to add more details within your design. We will go over the weave in class before jumping into the project.

Prerequisites
Skills taught in Alaska Bead Company’s “Beginning Wirework I” class in which you learn/explore techniques to make wire spirals and become familiar with tools, wire, flush cutting, and work hardening.

 

Cosmic Bangle

Saturday, February 10 – 10 to 5 p.m.

Class Cost:  $95.00

Make a delicate bangle using wire weaving techniques. The beginning of class will be an in-depth focus on the modified soumak weave, with tips on how to make your weave tighter and more consistent. This will lay the foundation needed to have better success in more complex wire weaving. In addition, we will go over the basics on how to use a chasing hammer to flair out the wire, using a torch to ball up wire ends and how to sculpt your woven strips for more dimension.

Prerequisites
Skills taught in Alaska Bead Company’s “Beginning Wirework I” class in which you learn/explore techniques to make wire spirals and become familiar with tools, wire, flush cutting, and work hardening.

Sasha Pendant

Sunday, February 11 – 10 to 5 p.m.

Class Cost:  $95.00

Learn how to capture a faceted stone using wire weaving techniques. Students will get experience layering wire to create dimension and interest as well as some simple symmetry techniques.

Prerequisites
Experience with modified soumak weave (taught in Cosmic Bangle class)

 

 

 

Cascade Pendant

Monday, February 12 (Part 1) – 5:30 to 8:30

Tuesday, February 13 (Part 2) – 5:30 to 8:30

Class Cost:  $95.00

A delightful organic pendant full of twists and turns, every pendant will come out unique and one of a kind. Learn to embrace the natural movement inherent in the wire as you make this pendant. The focus will be learning to use our fingers to guide the wire to create a flowing pendant like water tumbling down a waterfall. I recommend coming to class familiar with weaving fine-gauged wire but will be taking time to go over the weaves as we will be using two different weaves in class.

Prerequisites
Some wire weaving experience.

 

About Sarah Thompson . . .
“My fascination with jewelry started at a very young age. I still remember my first necklace given to me as a gift from my grandmother when I was 4.  It had tiny little teddy bear beads in an alternating pattern of pink, blue, and white.  I loved the feel of it when worn, and was mesmerized by the textures I felt as I ran it through my fingers.  As I grew that fascination stayed with me, and by the time I was 14 I became fixated with beads.  I spent hours in the library and the local bead store learning what I could from books and magazines.  My resources were limited and I learned to find creative solutions with what I had on hand.  As my skills grew I found the most enjoyment in doing off loom bead work.  I loved the diversity and dimensions that I could achieve by building layer upon layer of beads onto a beaded foundation.  But I still felt like something was missing.  As much as I enjoyed working with the beads I found it overwhelming having so many options in bead size, colors, and textures.

I yearned to make more elegant flowing designs, while keeping the pieces delicate and wearable. I dabbled in traditional wire work, but found it too simple and limiting for what I was envisioning.  During my initial attempts at wire work the tools felt awkward and it frustrated me how easily the wire became mangled as I tried to shape the wire, and the more I forced the wire the worst it would become.

Everything changed in 2005. I was visiting Seattle during the Bellevue Art festival; it was at this festival that I was introduced to Marilyn Moore’s work.  I instantly fell in love with her beautiful vases made from recycled copper wire.  I was drawn in by the movement, texture, and sculptural qualities that could be achieved when using wire as a means to weave with.  I walked away filled with ideas of taking weaving techniques and transforming it into jewelry with my own style.  I could see that this was what I had always envisioned my jewelry to be like.  I became obsessed and scoured the internet and library trying to find anything that would teach me how to weave with wire.  I came away disappointed, finding nothing that could help me apply my ideas to the wire.  I wanted precise, intricate, and refined details, the few ideas I did find was very freeform, organic, rustic, and random in the styling; and was bulkier than I wanted.  Over the next 5 years I experimented off and on as I tried to make my vision a reality.  Everything I tried was met with disappointing results.  I got to the point that I was convinced that wire work in any form was not for me, and was ready to throw in the towel.

My success came when I began melding the same concepts I learned from years of beadwork into wire work. The weave became the peyote stitch, once I realized this it was an easy transition into manipulating the weave in a similar manner as I would if I was beading.  I discovered that adding depth and details in wire weaving was better done by layering the wire together one step at a time, instead of trying to do it all at once.  I pulled ideas from crocheting to help me handle the wire better, and sketching to help me plan out my ideas; giving it more structural stability.  I experimented with the sculptural abilities of the wire and how even subtle 3D shaping added to the design.  I loved the simplicity in working with just wire and a single focal piece, yet my design options were limitless.  The more I worked the more I fell in love with the wire.

I learned through trial and error. I had no background in wire wrapping or metal smithing.  I had no preconceived notions of what not to do or even the preferable way to work with the wire.  I developed my own techniques that worked for me.   My hope is that I can give you a new way of looking at the wire, and a deeper appreciation of what can be done with it.

In 2010, I started teaching my wire weaving techniques. My goal as a teacher has always been to give the students a strong foundation from which they can then begin creating their own original designs.  Each of my classes was created with this goal in mind; breaking down the techniques and specific design elements so that they can be learned in a manageable manner.  And I am excited to now be able to share my process with you.

I am the author of "Fine Art Wire Weaving" and have an online Caftsy video "Wire Weaving Bracelets: Basics and Beyond" as well as multiple articles in Step by Step Wire magazine.  I live in Spokane Washington with 5 wonderful children and an amazing husband.  Through their support I am able to pursue my passion.”

See more of Sarah's work at Sarah-n-Dippity.

Workshop Location

Classes will be held at the Pioneer School House, located at 437 E.  3rd Ave (Third Avenue and Eagle Street). 

Cancellation Policy - Important!

Guest teachers are guaranteed a minimum teaching fee.  The decision to proceed with a class is based on the number of those that sign-up.  For this reason, if you have to cancel after signing up, we will be unable to issue a refund (unless, of course, if the entire class is cancelled).  If you find you are unable to attend, you are welcome to find someone else to fill your spot.

Questions?

Give Beadventures a call at 907.258.2331.