Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley, the authors of Making Wire & Bead Jewelry
I’ve done a lot of interviews over the past two years on this blog, and I figure y’all are getting a little tired of my questions. (Okay, I’ve been in Asheville, North Carolina, for six years now, but “y’all” still doesn’t sound right from me even when I type it.)
So, when I was ready to interview Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley—owners of the business Wired Arts, fabulous teachers, renowned jewelry designers, and the authors of the new book Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques—I came up with what I think proved to be a better idea: Ask Janice and Tracy to interview one another instead.
They were remarkably good sports about what a skeptic might have perceived as my avoiding work on the weekend.
Enjoy the interview, and click here to go to an earlier blog post with two project PDFs from the book (one from Tracy and one from Janice, naturally) and a collection of preview photos of projects in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry.
I encourage you to buy the book at your local bookstore or bead store, and of course it’s also available via Amazon and BN.com.
Okay, first question: Tracy, what was your favorite part of writing Making Wire & Bead Jewelry?
My favorite part of writing the book was knowing that I could put out what I consider to be good, solid techniques in an easily followed format.
I also wanted to reach more students than I ever could in the past, and now those people who do take classes with me finally have a book to go home with that they can use as a reference in their wireworking ventures.
Question: What do you hope people will take away from this book, Janice?
Thanks for asking, Tracy! To me the most important thing is technique. Because the book has so many step-by-step images, the processes are easy to follow visually, making this the go-to guide for wire-bending techniques.
Wire-Wrapped Bangle, a project by Tracy Stanley in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry
After technique, the rest is just plain wire-bending fun!
Rock and Roll by the Sea necklace, a project by Tracy Stanley in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry
Which of your projects is your favorite, Tracy, and why?
My favorite project to make is the Rock and Roll by the Sea necklace. It has a little bit of everything in it, from my favorite—a double loop wrap—to coiled eye links. It’s hard to get bored making this one because there are so many fun components, and every necklace you make looks so different depending on how you combine the components, beads, and charms!
My favorite piece to wear is the Wire-Wrapped Bangle. I wear mine every day. The specific one I wear every day is made up of all metal beads. This bracelet is so comfortable and it goes well combined with other bracelets.
How about you, Janice: What is your favorite project you created for the book?
It’s hard for me to choose. My two favorite techniques are making spirals and basket weave. For that reason, I would choose my Beach Pebble Bracelet and Wire Pod.
Beach Pebble Bracelet, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry
As far as everyday wear, I choose my Beach Pebble Bracelet. It has simple techniques that I would use every day, especially the spiral. The spiral, one of the common forms found in nature, is one of my favorite techniques.
While we were writing the book, I made a Beach Pebble Bracelet, and it has only left my wrist once since then. That was at the Denver airport. I took it off for the TSA and promptly forgot it!
Some jewelry is just meant to be yours, though. The Denver airport was on its game and got it back to me in no time, so it’s safe and sound on my wrist again.
Wire Pod pendant, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry
And basket weave—I have always been a fan of pods. With the Wire Pod project, you learn the basket weave technique, which is a soothing and tranquil process. All the while you’re creating a pod form, and then you get to stuff it with your favorite beads. It doesn’t get any better than that! [Editor’s note: The Wire Pod pendant is one of the projects posted as a PDF to download in this earlier post.)
So, tell me a little bit about how you began wire bending?