Sunday, April 26, 2009

Learning about String Art


It seems that string art jewelry is showing up everywhere just this week. Maybe it's something in the water. I spent my jewelry time this week experimenting with it, and am sharing 3 of the 5 pendants I made. The others are just as nice, or possibly nicer, but they already have new homes, and I'll get their photos for my records later.

Here are some of the things I learned:
  • Nice quality sewing or machine embroidery thread works really well for this technique.
  • Spooled thread is easier to manage than embroidery floss, regardless of what the tutorials all say.
  • Variegated thread is lots of fun to work with and gives really interesting effects.
  • The direction of the coil makes a difference in the way the thread lies and has a BIG impact on how easy it is to get it to look nice and stay in place.
  • Because you are wrapping in several different directions, sometimes the coil direction will be against you, and you'll just have to learn to work with it.
  • Generous application of sealant is important to durability.
  • The tension on the final wrap before the knots is critical.
  • Getting the coil uniformly stretched without wobbles is the very hardest part -- still working on that one.
  • String art is still fun, 45 years after freshman geometry class.
I'll be experimenting more next week because I bought a few spools of thread on Friday and can't wait to try them. I also bought some steel wire for frames, to see how that works. The dark annealed finish is interesting and should contrast nicely with the gloss of the threads.

Technical details: 18g hardware store copper wire for the frame, 22g colored craft wire and/or niobium wire for coils, 28g copper wire for the herringbone bails, Sulky brand #30 mercerized cotton sewing thread in both solid and variegated for the string weaving.

Are any of you playing with this? Want to talk about it in the comments?

Thanks for looking, and don't forget to look at all the beautiful stuff over at Year of Jewelry.

6 comments:

Mei (WireBlissMei) said...

Hi! I use wire instead of string. Check it out in my blog here - http://wireblissmei.blogspot.com/2009/04/peruvian-wire-art.html
Not sure if you are member of yahoo groups but this art is a topic of discussion there. Maybe that is why its everywhere in the net :)
By the way, my name is Mei and I stumble upon your blog this morning. I am more into wire jewelry...addicted to it...:D

Sandi said...

Mei, I think we are friends on Facebook. I really like the way you have embellished the wire with pearls and beads to make it so feminine.

I too usually work in wire, but I am also enjoying playing with colors in this technique. I have an idea for a wire version that is a little different that I will be trying this week. Thanks for visiting -- I hope you will come back and we can talk more. I'll keep looking at your work.

CamilleSharon said...

I'd love to include a link to your blog on my YouTube page. Let me know if that's okay with you.

Sandi said...

Camille, I'd be delighted for the link. Thanks,and thanks for getting me going on these again.

Jodi Bombardier said...

Sandy,
I love these! I love the symmetry of them and the look is so neat and clean. Now I have to learn how to do this! Bravo, My Friend, great job!

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