Wrapping objects for adornment with precious metal wire has been practiced for thousands of years. It is believed to have been originated by the ancient Phoenicians. A wire wrap serves as a casual and sometimes rustic jewelry setting. In addition to decorating an item wire wrapping offers some protection to the wrapped object.
When I set out to wire wrap a piece of sea glass I strive to make a soulful piece of jewelry that not only has an organic beauty but that also has a lot of strength. To achieve a durable wire setting I have made an unusual choice in wire gauge selection.
Before going any further let me explain about wire gauge. The thinner the wire the higher the gauge and the thicker the wire the smaller the gauge. For instance 26g is ultra fine while 10g is very thick.
Wire wrapping is commonly done with thin or light gauge wire from 24g-20g (.5mm-.8mm). After experimenting with thin gauge wire I was curious to see what would happen if I used thicker gauge wire. My initial attempts were extremely frustrating. However, I was determined to create an unusually strong wire wrap! After much trial and error I evolved a method using 16g wire ( 1.3mm) and now Out Of The Blue Sea Glass Jewelry is renowned for the quality and strength of wire wrapped sea glass jewelry.
Wire wrapping with such a thick gauge requires real skill and a great deal of hand strength. 16g wire has a solid tactile quality and hammers beautifully. I start with dead soft sterling silver wire and work harden and burnish it as I go along. The result is an heirloom quality piece of wire wrapped jewelry that with proper care will be enjoyed by for decades.
Erie, Pennsylvania Here We Come!
We are pleased to announce that Out Of The Blue Sea Glass Jewelry will be making the scene at the second Great Lakes Beach Glass & Coastal Arts Festival this coming Memorial Day Weekend in Erie, Pennsylvania.
This festival is organized by our good friends from Relish Jewelers and Santa Cruz Sea Glass. I am honored to have been invited to present a lecture at this event. We will also have a booth where we will be displaying and selling our handmade jewelry.
Our fun loving friends in Erie go all out when planning any event! In addition to vendors there will be live music, an educational lecture series presented by local and regional experts, shard and bottle ID, wine tasting, local craft brews, the 2014 Best Beach Glass Find Contest and more!
Where: Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pennsylvania
Dates: Memorial Day Weekend 2014 - May 24 and 25
For more info check out our our event page on Facebook
Sorting Sea Glass In Natural Sunlight
From the archives: This blog post was originally posted elsewhere several years ago.
I love matching sea glass earrings! I find it to be very relaxing and comforting. I think this is because we collected 99% of the sea glass in our collection ourselves in Rincon, Puerto Rico. Sorting through sea glass evokes countless beach walks with our canine companions.
I match earring pairs on our outdoor dinner table and always spread the sea glass out on a white table cloth. I find that it is essential to do this outdoors in the sunlight so that I can see color and frost variations. I have never even attempted to do this indoors! After strong cup of coffee, a cup of green tea or some chocolate espresso beans I am ready to start the process!
I gently spread sea glass onto the table and start to organize pieces that are similar in size and shape. It can take a while to get the first match. After that it all seems to flow. It is like playing the card game concentration. I leave the table set up throughout the day and keep coming back to it to look for more matches. By evening everything gets put away and the table is moved back to it's place in time for dinner.