A couple posts ago I mentioned how I have been further exploring the use of fibers in my pieces to add textural and tactile variety. I use a lot of "hard" components---stone, metal, ceramic, glass, etc. So in the ever-present quest for balance, I like to add in some "soft" ingredients, as well.
The problem I have with so many textile-based materials is that they wear too easily. Either that or they discolor or soil, like sari silk, and are almost impossible to wash when incorporated into a larger piece. So I've found myself turning more and more to waxed twines made of durable material, such as hemp, flax, and nylon.
I'm such a fangirl of the magical and talented Rey at greybirdstudio and have always appreciated the way she wraps, weaves, and melts fibers into her intricate, organic pieces. So when she started offering her hand-waxed, dyed Belgian flax twine for sale to other makers such as myself, I squealed with excitement. The process she goes through to create the soft leathery finish is painstaking yet without a doubt worth it. I had the good fortune of snapping up a bundle of it one day---if you follow her work, you'll know how quickly things fly out the door!
The twine is very fine and has a nicely tacky quality to it, allowing it to stick nicely to itself when overwrapped, as I did on the "bead caps" in today's pair. Bonus points that the fibers will not discolor with wear and contact with our skins' natural oils. I took a matched set of beautiful blush chohua jasper---one of my favorites---and knotted and wrapped and knotted and wrapped and knotted and wrapped and...well, you get the picture.
I was at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago last week and was amazed at the ancient jewelry from many of the native tribes of North America. OK, amazed is an understatement. My husband had to restrain me at certain points. But the underlying technique and overall aesthetic of today's earrings remind me of some of those pieces. Art influences art, always!
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