I have been interested in jewelry and wearable art since the early 80ís, when I worked in a retail jewelry store. While working there I found it interesting that pieces of jewelry that were showstoppers in the display case often didnít look good when worn on the body. It also fascinated me when I became aware that jewelry was more than just adornment, it takes on a meaning of its own.
Jewelry has many connotations. Love is frequently associated with the wearing of jewelry, as is a sense of family and a connection to the past. One of my most prized possessions is my grandmother's plain gold wedding band, worn thin over the many years of wear. I hold it in my hand and I am connected to her in a special way. I feel her feelings about the ring and its meaning, and am given a glimpse into her.
Jewelry can depict wealth and status, showing the world that we possess something that is rare and valuable. Jewelry also lets others see our sense of fashion and design, and allows us to be 'unique' in what we wear. It makes us individuals.
It is this aspect of glass beadmaking and wire working that I find most enjoyable; creating a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art. Each piece I create is unique, and has been made with a love of the materials, the process, and the finished work. When I sit down at the torch, I'm not thinking of what will sell or what is the current fad in the stores, I'm making beads because I love it, and I hope that this shows in my work. I hope you love what I make, too, because its in this sharing between artist and viewer that we can connect and you can learn a bit more about me. Maybe you like a piece because of its color or shape or because it reminds you of something else. That's OK. . . if my work makes you smile, or contemplate, or just feels good, then we have connected.
I have studied silversmithing and wire wrap jewelry techniques at Rose State College in Midwest City. After reading an article about lampworking in Lapidary Journal I knew that lampworking was something I wanted to learn. I found classes at a local stained glass shop and began my hot glass journey. I have taken classes with several nationally known lampwork artists such as Ginny Sycuro, Jennifer Geldard, Cornia Tettinger, Kimberly Affleck, Tom and Sage, Anne Ricketts, Larry Brickman, Dolly Ahles, Kate Fowle-Meleny, Trey Cornette, Dustin Tabor, and Pam Wolfersburger. I also belong to a fabulous group of bead artists known as the Bead-Buddies. I know that I will continue to seek out other classes and lampwork artists because the journey is as important as the destination, and I hope that it shows in my work.
The glass beads I create are from Italian Effetre or German Lauscha glass. I heat a glass rod in a torch flame until it is molten, and then apply it to a wire rod called a mandrel. The mandrel is coated with a release substance that allows the bead to cling to the rod while under construction, but allows it to be twisted off the mandrel when cooled. Layer upon layer of glass creates the design that you see in the finished bead. The bead is then placed in a kiln to be annealed for strength and durability.
Many of the jewelry items I make include wire-wrapping. This technique uses precious metal wire with no soldering to hold the pieces together. This craft has been used for centuries and many fine wire-wrap jewelry items have been found in ancient tombs and archeological digs. Some of my designs incorporate elements from those early jewelry pieces. Scrolls and loops are embellishments you'll see in my work that are rooted in antiquity but are still an integral part of contemporary jewelry design.
I believe that the process and creativity involved with beadmaking and jewelry making are enhanced when shared. I love to teach, and try to schedule classes throughout the year. I also belong to beadmaking groups such as Bead-Buddies, Lampwork, Etc., and WetCanvas, where sharing and showing are wonderful, fun experiences.
|Copyright © 2011 Tina Julich|