This year Plumpton has gone out of his way to provide a Spring offering in the spirit of the season. No Easter egg hunt for this pussy cat. Nothing but freshly killed mousie will do. Another Spring has arrived just in time.
I have a new project in the April-May Issue of Step By Step Wire Magazine! The African- inspired Spiral Frenzy is an elegant-looking necklace that rests just above the collar-bone.
It’s made from units of spiraled wire that fit into one another. Then you get to play with the butane torch and make the copper turn pretty colors!
The April-May Issue has lots of other great projects and articles. Pick up a copy in your local bookstore or buy one here.
Want to make earrings to go with the necklace? The instructions ( and loads of other great looking projects) are in Easy Wire 2012. You can order a copy here.
I signed up for Lori Anderson’s 7th Bead Soup Blog party and my reveal date us April 13. My partner is Miranda Ackerley who runs MirandackArts. Miranda obviously takes these bead swaps seriously because she sent me SO MUCH STUFF. I mean, they had to drive a truck up to my house (only kidding).
Lots of stones
Some beautiful crystals
Chain and some metal stampings
Some semi precious beads
Some glass and shell beads
And a lovely focal and clasp.
Here’s what I sent Miranda
A sterling clasp I made
Some vintage buttons, leaf dangles and chain
Some of my small lamp worked beads and tumbled glass shards
And a focal set I made from glass my friend Sandeye gave me.
And that’s not all; I was interviewed by a new on-line called line magazine A Garden Life, about the jewelry I made from sidewalk finds and found objects.
Click on the image to open the article in Adobe Reader. Or you can view the web page here.
Elwood: It’s a hundred and six miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Jake: Hit it.
OK, maybe our trip to Wolf Myrow didn’t start off with snappy dialog, but I was game as soon as a friend suggested we take a break from Clay ConneCTion 2012 in New London and head to Wolf Myrow in neaby Providence RI. “And don’t wear good clothes,” he added. I had never been to Wolf Myrow before, but I’d heard about it and was eager to go.
Some background: The U.S. costume jewelry industry was born in Providence, Rhode Island 1794, when Nehemiah Dodge, a local goldsmith and watchmaker, developed a gold plating process that opened up the jewelry market to mass production. Providence became a major player in the costume jewelry industry and, at one time, employed thousands in its factories. In fact, New England was once filled with factories from the looms of Lowell to the textile mills of Lawrence and the paper mills of Maine. Hardly any factories exist anymore but one can spot the abandoned buildings with their stone walls and multi-paned windows near the cities’ outskirts close to rivers and railroad tracks.
Wolf Myrow is a left over from those heady manufacturing days. It buys and sells jewelry findings and beads, mostly discontinued or old and items left over when a factory closes. Poking around the vast Wolf Myrow inventory gives a feeling similar to exploring your Grandmother’s attic; the sense of mystery and discovery is heightened by the plain paper packaging and boxes that hold most of the items offered for sale.
We approached the ware house from hilly street on the edge of town, parked the car on a narrow gravel driveway and entered through a heavy fire door. The air smelled musty and old. We made our way down a narrow hallway over ancient wood floors worn smooth from years of use. Then I entered the main room and felt like I had walked into a store in Diagon Alley.
It was crowded with rows of towering rusty metal shelves and every shelf was piled with cardboard boxes bearing faded type written labels. I saw a yellowed newspaper lying on a massive dark wooden counter next to an antique cast iron scale. I felt like I had walked back in time.
And everywhere I turned, I saw a door to another room. There are so many rooms that they kept the lights off to save electricity, but the light switches were clearly marked in case anyone wanted to shop there. Each room I entered contained rows of old metal shelves piled with dusty cardboard boxes.
I walked into a room and switched on the light. I felt like I was the first person who had entered that room in years. As I made my way down an aisle I stopped for no reason, pulled a box off a shelf and opened it. I saw scores of a brass stamping that reminded me of a brooch an aunt wore when I was a child, a memory I had forgotten.
When you open a box, you might pull out copper bracelet blanks. Or brass chain. Or glass pearls. Or Swarovski crystals wrapped in crisp paper packets.
Customers are required to purchase items in bulk and most things are sold by weight. If you go with a few friends, you can swap purchases with one another and come away with an assortment of products . The staff is nice and extremely helpful.
Press here for a link to the website and catalog that will give you an idea of that Wolf Myrow sells. But take it from me, there is no substitute for a visit to the warehouse in Providence. Thank You Nehemiah.