Once again, I found mixed-media inspiration amongst artists working with other materials. This past weekend I cuddled up with my pup and a steaming hot mug of hot cider and watched Mary Hettmansperger’s new Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop DVD Low-tech Metal Apps: Wire, foil, mesh & screen.
I loved this DVD just as much as her first, but this one definitely made me want to jump right up and create something. Most of the metal Mary works with is available at the hardware or craft store, but I didn’t want to wait even one moment before starting to work some metal into a project.
I grabbed a couple spools of different gauge copper wire, some raku-like seed beads, and a little baggie of vintage military sequins (all the circumstance without too much pomp), and started working on this upcycled candle holder. I hope to make a row of these for our Thanksgiving table—I’m a sucker for Mason jars.
I’m ecstatic when I can take supplies I already own and work them into some other creative outlet. Even if this isn’t a piece I’d replicate for my next open studio, it makes a difference in how I live—creatively. To be able to take these little lessons we learn and apply them to living our most artistic life is a gift I will remember to be thankful this Turkey Day.
- Tape measure
- Wire (approx. 18 gauge for the hanger and 26 gauge for the twists)
- Sequins (or buttons)
- Round-nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Measure the diameter of your jar top.
- Cut a length of 18 gauge wire 3x the length of your diameter.
- Starting with the middle of the wire, wrap the wire around the jar 1 1/2 times with the ends ending on opposite sides of the jar. Create a loop on one side and twist the remaining wired around the loop to hold it in place. Repeat on the opposite side of the jar.
- Cut a length of 18 gauge wire for the hanger. Create a loop on each end of the wire with the pliers and secure them in the loops on the sides of the wire loops on the jar.
- To create the beaded twists, cut a length of the 26 gauge wire about 10-12x the length of your diameter.
- Create a knot in the end of your wire and then thread your beads and sequins onto your wire. Place a knot onto the other end of your wire to keep the beads and sequins from falling off.
- Slide all but one of your beads away from one end. Move this remaining bead about 2 inches from the end, fold the wire over, and twist it.
- Pull down another bead about 1/2” away and twist the wire again. You should have a “y” shaped wire with a bead on each end.
- Continue this process with the rest of the beads and sequins until you have used up all of the wire. Wrap the twisted wire around the jar and secure by twisting it together where the wire meets.
That’s all there is! If you’re interested in adding wire, metal, foil, or screen to your mixed-media art, take a look at Mary’s DVD which is also available as a download if you’re ready for some instant inspiration. You may just find yourself jumping up from the couch to go create like I did!