Going through my old wire lace folders brings back so many memories! Making wire bobbin lace was a wonderful experience. It helped me master a very complex, traditional craft and then look at it from a new perspective as I chose to use a very nontraditional material to work with. It ultimately led me to jewelry making at large – and I really should get back to it. The satisfaction of creating something beautiful out of almost nothing is simply indescribable.
I was perusing Pinterest today, and was so pleasantly surprised to see a picture of my wire bobbin lace earrings pinned and repinned 20 times (I know, peanuts for some, but it’s HUGE for me). The only sad part is that the 20-times repinned picture linked to a blog that took my photo and didn’t bother crediting me for it. Oh, well – that’s the risk inherent to anything put online, I guess.
Anyway, the first thing I thought when I saw those earrings of mine was that is was funny. Because I have been thinking about getting back to bobbin lace making, and to jewelry making in general, for weeks now. I took a break from working with resin when I was pregnant and then, obviously, I kind of took a break from my former life when Baby Bubba was born, period. But my fingers have been itching for a while. Maybe I am ready.
If Bubba’s naps are 30 minutes each, and he naps 3 times a day, these should only take 5 days to make! Ha!
Pity babies are everything but predictable. Maybe jewelry making will have to wait a tiny bit longer. But thanks for letting me inspire myself, Pinterest!
I finished these earrings back in December but didn’t get to photograph them until yesterday.
The lace is made of chocolate-coloured sewing thread woven into a simple half-stitch ground. I simply love the beautiful contrast of the brown lace against the rich yet fresh grass green background of the earrings.
In the beginning, there were three seemingly random materials: sterling silver wire, resin, and thread.
The lace-maker in me patiently twisted and braided the thread into a piece of bobbin lace just like my great-grandmother used to.
The eager metal-smith in me carefully shaped and finished the wire to form a durable and comfortable ring base, which the free-spirited chemist in me happily filled with custom-dyed resin.
Where past meets present; where tradition meets modernity; where science meets art — that’s where everlasting lace lives. I love knowing that there’s much more to this minimalist ring than what meets the eye.
I made the earrings below sometime last October. It was sort of an experiment but it turned out so well that I felt confident giving these to my sister-in-law for her birthday. We aren’t very close and I continue to hope she liked them. Regardless, though – making them was so wonderful! The second I gave them away I knew I’d have to make more.
Not too long ago, I made and fell in love with these earrings:
I must confess, though: I was not prepared for the number of compliments I would receive whenever I wear them. It’s exciting and scary at the same time to hear myself respond, “Thank you so much! I made them myself.”
When we visited with our friends a couple of weeks ago, Lesya, our wonderful hostess, was shocked to find out that by “making them myself” I meant weaving and braiding them from scratch, starting with nothing more than a thin wire. Had it not been for her, I would have never realized that there are many people who associate the term “handmade” with a simple assembly of pre-made pieces. Thanks to Lesya, I learned that I need to emphasize the complicated process of bobbin lace making that goes into each piece of jewelry that I make.
“I would love to make something just for you – have a look around my shop, and pick whatever you like,” I suggested like I often do to say thank you to my friends. Deep down I knew that to properly thank her for the magnificent seven-course Ukrainian feast she prepared for us, I probably owed her a diamond tiara. At least.
She got back to me the next week, and said she still liked the earrings I wore to her house the best. She was curious, however, if I could make a pendant using the same design.
I had been thinking about and planning to make a pendant to match these earrings for weeks! Lesya’s request couldn’t have made me happier. I finally had a reason to make it. I immediately sent her an email with different colour and design choices, and based on her answer, I made this pendant:
But before I could secretly wrap it and mail it to her as a surprise present the following day, she contacted me again, and asked if I could make her pendant to look just like my earrings. Well, of course I could. And so, in two days, I had two pendants ready, one cuter than the other:
Ultimately, Lesya picked the first one. The original Lesya pendant. I can’t wait to give it to her this weekend at our favourite Indian restaurant.
And what will happen to the other pendant? Well – I will try to find it a good and loving owner. Do you know anyone?
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the pristine waters of the Adriatic Sea, nestled between the coasts of Italy, Croatia, and Greece.
I remember its surface calmly shimmering in the early morning light and I can almost smell the air already saturated by salty moisture as I spread two beach towels on a narrow pebble beach. The ten days an adorable and intriguing young man and I spent laying there side by side getting to know each other five years ago belong to the nicest memories my now-husband and I share.
I can still hear the soft waves shyly sliding up onto our beach. When you close your eyes, I swear the sound of their subtle yet incessant movement will soon make you believe the sea is alive and breathing right next to you.
Along with sterling silver wire, there are these and many other memories woven into the simple design of this intricate lacey pendant. The brilliant azure, steel and smokey colours of Czech glass beads woven within make the owner feel like she is wearing a piece of the Adriatic right by her heart.
I am in love with the romantic feel the combination of braided and twisted lace creates! At the moment, my mind is swarmed with literally dozens of designs I’d like to make. Not to mention, this pendant would look nice as matching earrings, and the earrings I made last week could be just as well be translated into pendant. So much versatility!