A Welcome Message

“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”
– Hermann Hesse

Thanks for dropping by! I have lots to share with you. Take a moment to browse the menu up top (if you’re on mobile, click the little square dropdown button) You’ll find an about┬ásection where you can get to know a little more about me, a gallery of my past work, and various ways to get your hands on a Stillness Wrap of your own! I hang out in lots of other places around the web too, so check out the social media menubar at the bottom of the page to connect with me on Etsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube.

While you’re busy doing all that, I’ll be whipping up some fresh content for you to enjoy! This blog will cover everything from my personal work, to jewelry community news, to the tips and tricks of the trade. I also hope to delve deeper into the philosophy behind this creative culture, to find out what lessons we can learn through working with metal and gems!

Looking forward to exploring and connecting with you all
lots of love,
-Zac

Wire Wrap terminology: Channel Setting vs Weave Setting

Had to bust out the solid gold 30ga for this teeny wire channel setting! Taken through a 15x loupe. This is different from what I like to call the weave setting because the stones are resting in a wire “channel”, not on top of an x-weave like in the weave setting. Though you could say that the x-weave functions as a channel to seat the stone in the weave setting, another difference is that in the weave setting the stones are not touching each other, like they often do in both fabricated and wire channel settings. Let me know if this makes any sense!
Wire channel settings allow you to pack even more tiny stones into a small space than a weave setting, because you don’t need to stitch in between the stones to set them, they hold each other from the top and bottom, and you just have to set them on the sides.. This technique is not for the faint of heart! Give it a shot sometime though if you’re feeling sharp-eyed and patient.

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Learn to Wrap!

FINALLY happened to get my tutorial uploaded to youtube! (in HD too, which is is awesome)
If anyone knows or cares, there’s been some trouble uploading videos from iOS to youtube lately, but the frustration has ended! I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my first tutorial video. I will be collecting these along with some photo galleries over on my learn to wrap page. Check it out, share with your friends, and send me your questions and progress shots! There is a fully written tutorial to accompany the captions in the youtube video description if you click through. Hope this helps!

Checking In, Seeking Flow

Hello all! It’s been a harsh New York winter, but despite the cold there’s been a fire burning inside of me and I’ve been busy like a mad scientist pursuing all of my jewelry goals for the new year! Though I am about to pull my hair out trying to get my first jewelry tutorial uploaded to youtube, I have been cranking out wire wraps at a steady clip so far this year and I love the direction my new collection is going! Lots of really charming little minis are now in the shop and I’m about to finish up the first showstopper of the year! I am working with a theme for this new series, and it’s FLOW of course! By that I mean the visual aesthetic and also the mental state of being in “the zone,” that optimal creative consciousness that almost everyone has experienced at some point in their lives.

If you’ve got the time, and haven’t already, check out this popular TED talk which explains more.

I have found lots of ways of tapping into this state, from wire wrapping, to spinning poi, to brewing a perfect pot of tea! How do you find your flow state? Let me know in the comments! I am super excited that this will be the focus for my new collection, and I hope that it might bring a little more flow into your world!

Interview and Collaboration with Nick and Merrick Noyes

I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with these two very talented brothers. This collab was high on my bucket list. If you’re not familiar with their art be sure to check them out, and you’ll know why I was itching to work with these guys! I think our styles worked together quite well, can you tell who worked on which part? This pendant is currently listed in more detail and available for purchase at Nick’s Etsy shop.

I recently reached Nick and Merrick after our collaboration and asked them to answer a few questions about their work so that my subscribers could get to know a little more about some of the amazing talent in the community right now.

How did you get into making jewelry?

Merrick: I first got into gemstones and minerals. I enjoyed going rockhounding and digging for crystals and I was studying art in College. Painting/Photography/Drawing and Ceramics didn’t quite click with me and I began making very simple art on the side with wire and stones. It was a hobby that I didn’t even know could be profitable. It snowballed and eventually people would ask to buy pieces i’d post on FB. That helped pay for better materials which allowed me to grow and eventually charge more and more for my work as I refined my style.

Nick: I started collecting stones in high school and fell in love with crystals. When I started seeing wire wraps I was fascinated by what I saw, I loved the idea of raw stones in jewelry. When I saw that one of my childhood friends had started I asked for a few tips and went from there. At first I looked at peoples work who had been doing it a while and had no idea how anyone could make something look like that, but through time and practice, and a lot of failure I carved out a little niche for myself.

What inspires your style and motivates you to create?

Merrick: I’m inspired by a lot of the other wire artists, not to mention painters and flow artists. I love seeking inspiration in nature too. Organic shapes in naturesuch as a twisting vine also inspire me to create. I’m motivated by a lot of artists who are pushing the art form further and further.

Nick: There were so many artists that inspired me along the way, but it was really all about finding what was appealing in asymmetry. The curves of plants, or the veins in leaves. I love the shape of sea shells. Nature has been my largest inspiration i would say.

Where would you like to see your work going in the future, or what is the next big thing that you’re personally excited about?

Merrick: I have high expectations for myself to continue experimenting and making things that previously didn’t exist. I see so many artists emulating each other (which I have been guilty of in the past), but we have all collectively only scratched the surface of what is possible. I can’t wait to try new techniques and make truly unique pieces of art. I’m excited to try and incorporate some kinetic elements in my work! that’s been on my mind lately.

Nick: I have been putting a lot of thought into how this will blossom into a true career recently. FB has been an amazing outlet for me, and such an incredible platform to make room for the young entrepreneur. I would love to move away from this “scene” to areas such as galleries and store fronts. I am excited to see where this goes in the next few years. Until this I will try my best to continue to grow and push the boundaries of what I think is possible for myself.

Thanks for checking out this interview, if you enjoyed it please feel free to leave a like and a comment, and share on Facebook! If you’d like to see more of the Noyes brothers’ awesome artwork, you can find their pages here:
Merricks Facebook
Nicks Facebook

Stillness Mini Pendants

I have a thing for minis this year. They’re addictively fun to make. I think it’s partially about the instant gratification of going from idea to final piece so quickly. I also just love the concept of trying to put all the same big pendant design elements into a smaller piece that doesn’t skimp on wow factor or style points, but won’t necessarily break the bank.
I was into origami when I was a little kid, and I remember cutting small squares of paper, trying to to make the tiniest versions of all the cranes and planes that I could. I also love the trend in the borosilicate world where artists have been miniaturizing their functionals, while delivering all the same style and flair as the larger pieces of the past.
My ultimate goal is to make my mini pendants look like I took a big high-end banger with all the fixin’s, and put it in a shrinky-dink oven. That’s right fellas, don’t be scared of a little shrinkage!

Besides the inherent appeal to me, busting out a mini is often helpful when I find myself in a creative funk. Breaking things down into smaller satisfying projects is always a good way to get back into your groove. I often have a more carefree, playful attitude when working on a mini or a simple ring, and that playfulness then lends itself to creativity, trying new things, and ultimately improvement!
The minis have been great for keeping my shop stocked with accessibly priced work for everyone, too. Having a few pieces available in my shop all the time lets people know I still exist when working through a long list of big projects, and helps me connect with more of you beautiful people out there through my work.

I feel like I’m still only just finding my style and techniques in this size range and I’m excited to explore it further, so expect more Stillness Minis while the obsession lasts! I also plan to further explore the topic of creative funks or artists block, and the tricks and habits we use to overcome it in future posts, so fellow wrappers and other artists should look forward to that too.
-Zac