I discovered one of the most fun and unique jewelry materials the other day – Wooly Wire! Eleanor (Nellie) Thomas has the distinction of being the creator and seller of her unique type of ‘Wooly Wire’ – and you can find her shop on Etsy – at https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoolyWireEtc
You can use this fiber-wrapped/spun wire in many of your jewelry design applications, and you can also check out the beads made of wooly wire (as shown to the left). Nellie’s experiments in color and texture have given us a unique line of crafting wire.
Hand-dyed fiber is hand-spun onto copper wire, then permanently felted to keep it fixed to the wire. You can twist, coil, wrap, weave, and anything else you can think of! It’s the best thing since – well, sliced bread isn’t a good analogy – so I’ll say Polymer Clay!
"Fiber wire” has actually been something fiber artists have spun for a while, although no-one ever really thought of the idea to put 2 & 2 together so to speak, and think of the potential this wire would have for jewelry making.
A few years ago, Nellie and her mother (Karen Totten), ceramic bead artist and owner of Starry Road Studio) had the idea to join the two (like chocolate and peanut butter!) Since Nellie was already in love with spinning yarn, the path was clear from there. Both she and her mom have been involved with a lot of art throughout most, with Karen doing airbrush painting, quilting, and other mixed media mediums, and Nellie doing drawing, creative writing, fiber art and jewelry.
Nellie’s major inspirations are color and TEXTURE, TEXTURE, TEXTURE! She says it’s surprising how many different types of fiber textures there are, even from just all the different kinds of fleeces from sheep! There are many, many types of “wool” and other fibers – with even the same types differing based on where they come from. Nellie’s absolute favorite material right now is ‘bfl’, short for ‘blue faced Leicester wool’. In its raw or fleece form, it has very tight, tiny curls which is excellent for producing a lot of texture when she spins it up. Also, it looks very natural and earthy, another favorite effect.
In Nellie’s ‘spinning life’, she loves to experiment with different textures/colors/arrangements when she makes woolywire. She uses devices that dye the wool in color gradients from top to bottom, creating a beautiful rainbow effect, which you can see in the images here.
You’ll want to check out her awesome blog http://www.woolywireetc.blogspot.com/ which describes the entire process she goes through to create woolywire. You can also find on her blog some tutorials by others on how to use woolywire in jewelry. I encourage you to like & follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Woolywire/
The link for her Etsy shop is https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoolyWireEtc
Her Pinterest Page features all the jewelry she has made: https://www.pinterest.com/spinculture/jewelry-by-woolywire-etc/
And here’s a link to a Pinterest page with tons of jewelry/woolywire stuff which has been pinned by others: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=woolywire&rs=typed&0=woolywire%7Ctyped
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy The Art of Paper Beads.
Until Next Time,