Vessel Fever: The Viking Vessel.

I am calling it the Viking Vessel because this little treasure was created with creative use of the Viking knit.  That said, however, it does contain some lace making stitches as well.  I used the Viking knit on the sides the neck and the fluted mouth of the tiny vase, but I used a needlelace stitch on the base and on the rounded top.  I integrated pearls into the neck piece to add some elegance.   Finally, I struggled with whether to oxidize or not, but if you know me you know that is a hard thing to resist as I almost feel that no piece is complete until it’s had a LOS patina added – so great is my addiction to the oxidized/antiqued look in wire work!   So… I decided that I would oxidize but I would take a couple of pics before as well.

 I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome of this – especially given that it was my first experiment in attempting to use these techniques to create vessels.  Since I began my experiment with vessels I have found myself more and more attracted to the idea of exploring wire sculpture.  My head is swimming with ideas!  I am going to create more of these and add some items of interest in the cage.  My other half and one of my jewelry buddies (Jennifer of Wrapsody Jewlery) suggested a bird as this vessel make them think of an old antique bird cage.  I think it would be lovely with some seashells inside… perhaps a nice nautilus style spiral shell of some kind? 

The first two pics are before I oxidized it.

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From Vessels to Beads

My wire work took me off down a little rabbit hole today. As many of you know I have been studying and experimenting with the idea of wire vessels. It seemed natural to me when I was holding the domed lid for vessel number two in my hand to want to finish it off as a bead. The lid looked like a half of a globe so it was easy to imagine it rounded out in the form of a bead. I was, therefore, compelled to create a wire bead today to satisfy that desire. 

This is my first wire bead and it’s a little less than perfect. I was going for a random look with the pearls again, hoping that this attempt at random studs would be more appealing to me than my last attempt on vessel number two, but really I think I was happier with the studs on the vessel than I am with the ones on my bead. Ahh well. There is plenty of time for experimentation and copper is abundant.  I will continue to play with it until I find the right feel that I’m going for. That aside I am pleased with my first attempt to create a wire bead and full of ideas on how to make the next one better!

A Study of Vessels

   For some time I have been fascinated with the idea of vessels.  My friend and fellow jewelry maker, Connie Nabholz, has the most wonderful seed bead vessels which I have long admired.  I found myself wondering what I kind of vessels I might be able to create in wire work.  This was an intriguing thought and it has been  on my ‘to do’ list for probably 4 or 5 years – and I’ve only recently gotten around to taking the leap and trying my hand at it.

   I put off the idea of trying my hand at vessels for so long because it seemed like a very detailed, time consuming project that would take copious amounts of wire to produce – which comes to be quite an expense.   Only recently have I begun to utilize copper wire in my experiments to give myself more freedom to risk experimental projects without suffering such a financial loss.  Fortunately I had plenty of wire on hand when I ran into Mary Tuckers blog, The Angsty Artist.  There I found several vessels, all functional with locking lids and various adornments.   Mary does such beautiful work –  I was absolutely set on fire with inspiration and determination after viewing her vessels.  It too no time at all for me to decide that creating vessels must go from my ‘to do’ list to my ‘must do’ list. 

For my first project, to make it seem more doable and significantly reduce the amount of time invested and move more to the business of form and construction, I went for a bare wired look.  I focused on tying the stacks of coils together to create the vessel and to then create a lid that could be snapped closed to keep the contents from spilling out of it.  I followed Mary’s lead in this department and met with success.  While my first project was not perfect, I manged to meet all of my goals for a first try. Ultimately, I am pleased with my experiment.

Vessel #1

My initial experiment was a success and I found myself only further encouraged to experiment with vessels, which brought me to my second completed vessel.   On my second venture into vessels I decided that with a measure of confidence under my belt I would vow to invest more time.  Part of that investment came in the form of the weaving of the wire.  No bare bones wire in this attempt!  This weave is actually modeled after the Native American pine needle basketry work.  Coiling around a core with the occasional back stitch to tie one coiled coil into the last.  I also added a few faceted Bali silver stud embellishments on this vessel.  I wanted to really round the lid out on this one.  I am pleased with the results.

I have found my venture into vessels exciting and rewarding.  I know that this experimentation is going to take me to new places – some that I can’t even see from here.  I am enjoying the journey!