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In the beginning...

One of the questions that is often asked is, "how did you learn to do this?" That is a long story, or a short one. It depends on how you look at it. The simple answer is that I'm self taught. The longer answer is that it's a very complex and nuanced art that I spent many hours studying, piecing together techniques, researching, and above all practicing. My first attempts were poor, to say the least. I was learning at what seemed a snail's pace, and unfortunately I didn't spend enough time researching materials. I started out with regular aluminum craft store wire, which doesn't have much going for it. It breaks easily and doesn't hold it's shape well. The learning curve was steep, but I was determined. As you can see from the example below, I definitely was very low proficiency at the start.

But, I fell in love with wire work, and I knew that if I persisted in my efforts, I would have to improve. I began to find more and more information in groups on Facebook, and by following artists who were absolutely amazing. I learned from some of the best in the business, and I was fortunate to have an adviser and now good friend, who saw potential in me and gave her best advice. So I have, in a sense, been a student of: Lonely Soldier, Nicole Hannah, IMNIUM, Diane Karg Baron and others. I can attest to there being a clear difference between learning from someone with a high level of proficiency and professionalism, as opposed to learning from those who are very early in their journey. Moreover, the process of learning wire work has much to do with determination and practice. And practice. And also practice. And then, more practice. If that message doesn't sit well with you, then I'm afraid, dear reader, this is not the hobby for you. At this point in my career, I have to laugh when people mention how "talented" I am. I went through miles and miles of wire, and many long hours of getting it wrong over and over, trying and failing, and trying again to unearth this "talent". Now, that's not to discount that I may have some natural design and composition abilities, but the weaving? You aren't born with that ability, it's really all just down to hard work. I always tell people, "you can't do this art unless you really REALLY want to do this art, because it takes a lot of effort to learn." Below is an example of the kind of rings that I make now, and I hope that you are able to see the progress from the last shot to the more recent one. Remember when you're feeling defeated that your hidden "talent" may be just a few more hours of work away.....