30 July 2007
I have several basketry works in my store by a wonderful artist, Holly Modine, and I'm often awed by her use of natural forms such as deer antlers and cholla cactus skeletons in her pieces. Basket weaving is generally considered a "fiber art," a collection of media recently (and deservedly) elevated from craft to art status among Those Who Know.
Once again, I have found a way bring a seemingly unrequitable obsession to my jewelry and come up with something I love. Eni Oken, a wildly unique and fabulous jewelry designer, has created an essentially new jewelrymaking form by adapting basketry concepts and techniques to wireworking. I made the pendant above using one of her tutorials, adapting it to a front-drilled turquoise slab and using 24-gauge on 20-gauge sterling wire. Eni recommends using 28- or even 30-gauge wire for her intense, fine wirewrapping, and after wrestling with a few pieces I understand why -- but it's hard to find. So I'm on a quest, yet again -- I think I've found it *at a good price* at Artbeads.com, but if anyone knows of other sources, please let me know.