Passion {the bead kind}

by Cindy on March 3, 2010

I have a feeling that if you’re reading this, we have have something in common.  Alright, maybe not all of you, but 90% of you?  We are passionate about JEWELRY, and beads and all of the great things that go along with this obsession. 🙂  For me, the heart of this passion is working with (you guessed it) wire!

If you ever wondered how I got started working with wire (okay – please indulge me), I’ll share a super quick history.    It was almost 5 years ago, and my then 3rd son was about 9 months old.  I signed up for a wire class and was rather disappointed.  The class was taught by an older gentleman who loved wire, but had his own idea about jewelry.  We made an interesting bracelet and ring or two, but not the fundamentals that I was hoping for (earwires, wrapped loops, etc).  Here’s one of those pieces….

One of my absolute first wire projects

One of my absolute first wire projects

A few months later I took a basic wrapped-loops kind of wire class at a local A.C. Moore.  Now I was in business!  Boy was I proud to make an entire chain of beads and finish a bracelet!  This was when I had no idea about lampwork, just look at these pink beads… but I would soon learn about handmade glass beads and would be hooked!  I started frequenting the Bead and Button forum, where I met  Kerry …. a friend from the very early days!

My first wire-wrapped bracelets!  Isn't it great to learn how to make a wrapped loop??

My first wire-wrapped bracelets! Isn't it great to learn how to make a wrapped loop??

This passion eventually led me to the opening of sweet bead studio (thanks to the help of my oldest son for the name!) and this blog – in 2007.  In a few months I’ll be celebrating my 3rd anniversary of blogging…and if you visit those early posts (actually posts up til last year), I didn’t have a lot of visitors or blog comments. 🙁  I have learned a LOT since then…and really met many of you in the past year alone. 

The great thing about wire is that there is just about a zillion kinds of wire and ways to work with it…. oxidized sterling silver wire (my favorite), copper wire and steel wire…. which led more recently to another new passion, working with metal…..  Do I sound a little obsessed?  My family thinks I am. 

Oh the things you can make with wire!

Oh the things you can make with wire!

A little wire here, a little wire there...

A little wire here, a little wire there...

I just have to throw in this picture… would you believe I have bowls like this on my desk.?  When a new idea strikes, I grab a roll of copper wire and see what takes shape.  And of course, writing tutorials require plenty of testing…

....they say practice makes perfect!

....they say practice makes perfect!

I start a tutorial with a pad of paper and a spool of copper wire...

I start a tutorial with a pad of paper and a spool of copper wire...

And fast forward to March of 2010…here’s one of my latest wirework bangles.  I love adding twisted wire for a bit of texture and interest.

Copper bangle with lampwork by Moon Stumpp

Copper bangle with lampwork by Moon Stumpp


Sold, thank you!

Well there you have it… if you stuck with me to the end of this post, I guess we do have a passion in common after all!  I have the Artbead Scene Carnival Bloggers to thank for this month’s word:  Passion!


{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

esther March 3, 2010 at 3:43 am

what a great story Cindy!! your work have changed a lot!! you have your own style , very unique! i love when you work on metal too! you inspire us so much!

hello gorgoeus March 3, 2010 at 5:25 am

Hey Cindy, I LOVE seeing your creations and am always inspired by them.. i am just starting out making jewellery and am only at the “stringing stage” but you ALWAYS tweak my interest to “jump” to wirework….maybe one day soon….I HAVE started to practice creating simple looped beads with plated wire, but need a LOT of practice in a LOT of areas!!! But firstly I need to get to grips with the different wire gauges and what they can be used for!

Do you have a link for the forum you mentioned….would be nice to “listen in” on the chatter that goes around.

Keep on inspiring gorgeouss! ;o)


hello gorgeous xxx

veronique March 3, 2010 at 5:34 am

Oh Cindy, you make my day ! Thank you so much for sharing a part of your wirework history with us. As for Esther, your work inspires me a lot, i can say i discovered the pleasure to play with wire with Nina Bagley and you.
Thanks for these beautiful photos too.

Jen March 3, 2010 at 8:16 am

Great post, SBC (That’ Sweet Bead Cindy)! haaaaaaaaa
I took my first wire class from Jeanette Ryan when I was back up there in Alexandria…it is very easy to catch the wire-working passion…spirals, coils, bends, and then that chasing hammer…texture!! whooo hoooo!!! Okay, seriously, you’d be proud of me…I have a dishtowel sitting next to my sink laden with recently oxidized and tumbled rings and bits that are the result of experimentation. I guess I need a pretty bowl to put them in! haaaaaaaaa

Cindy Forrester March 3, 2010 at 8:26 am

Hi Cindy,

I totally love all your wirework…so creative and just awesome!!!!

xo – Cindy

Barbara Lewis March 3, 2010 at 9:01 am

Cindy, I love this post. My son, the musician, can always come up with some awesome name. I think it’s great that we include them in our creative process! Your work is fantastic! Love that you posted the drawings and your bowl of “genius!” This might be my favorite post of all time! Gorgeous jewelry!

Lois March 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

I love the first bracelet! Interesting to me that the last picture is a bangle bracelet not too dis-similar to the first one. Full circle? Love what you are doing and I will be back again. Off to look more around your blog. Lots of luck.

Judy Glende March 3, 2010 at 9:55 am

What a great post! I love all the pictures you shared from when your journey of design started. Wire is one of my favorites to work with as well, it is so willing to change into what we want it to be.
Have a great day!

Janet McDonald March 3, 2010 at 9:59 am

The name Sweet Bead Studio envokes the warmness in the heart as soon as you say it…Sweet name! Smart child! I made a big smile when I saw your bowl of twisties lol. Sweet. Yea I love wire wrapping, and yours is wonderful!!!

sharon March 3, 2010 at 10:09 am

This is such a lovely post, and it gives us insight into who you really are. It is great to see how your work has evolved and grown, and Esther is so right, you have found your passion and your signature style! Your work is always fabulous, and you inspire us always! Hugs!

Cindy March 3, 2010 at 10:17 am

Thanks for sharing your passion (for beads) with us, Cindy! I see lots of budding talent in that first bracelet. You’ve developed your eye and talent tremendously – the jewelrymaking world is better for it! All of your pieces are lovely!

mary jane dodd March 3, 2010 at 11:09 am

your work is so gorgeous… what i loved about this story is the story – your sharing the growth, what you took to, how you work… the pendants are fabulous… i love your sheet metal work so much…

Molly Alexander March 3, 2010 at 11:45 am

What a beautful story, Cindy. Your newest bracelet is gorgeous! I’m glad your passion for wire & now metalwork is still growing, as you have definitely been an inspiration to me and many others. Thanks so much for sharing!

🙂 Molly

Carolyn Mallin March 3, 2010 at 11:47 am

Cindy, you’re an amazing artist. Thanks for sharing how you evolved in wire work.
I’m glad to have “met” you.

Melissa M March 3, 2010 at 11:49 am

Fun seeing your progression! It is always validating to see other artists with scribbles and doodles and experimental pieces all over…I love your bowl of copper doodads; and I absolutely love your new bangle…the copper is so warm and inviting 🙂 Can’t wait to meet you on Saturday!

Becky Caldwell March 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm

What a wonderful post! I feel the exact same…

You have really turned into a truly wonderful and talented artist.

I am so glad that our paths have crossed. I just LOVE your work.

Shelby March 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Cindy, one can definately tell that you are passionate about wire…it shines through in your work. Just try to imagine where you will be with your work in 5 more years. Too funny…your bowl, I have a misc links, experiments bowl too. Your latest bangle is gorgeous! J

Jana March 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Great post!
I, too, am in awe of your work! Wirework like this is on my list of things I want to learn!

Renate March 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Oh, you already know we share the passion and you know I love your wire work! Thank you for sharing how you evolved. I love your bowl of copper links – I bet I could make jewelry using just those!
Sending real big hugs!!

Kayla March 3, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I loved reading this post because it reminds me of myself and probably every other jewelry designer out there! LOL
Lots of trial and error 🙂
I hope to get into wire working soon so this post was very helpful believe it or not! I can’t wait to see what my first project is going to look like(I think your first is SUPER fabulous FYI).

mary newton March 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Well, if you’re obsessed then I must be POSSESSED! I can’t get enough of wire and metal. I had a great time in Richard Salley’s class and I was in awe of Thomas Mann. Only one day at Adorn Me but I brought a lot of knowledge home with me! I love this new bracelet!

Sally March 3, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Hi Cindy!!!!
I too love, love, love wire! My husband thinks I’m crazy because I keep a spool of wire on the kitchen island. Also, I have that faithful bowl of coils, springs and odds and ends, you never know when you may need those past ideas. The bracelet is gorgeous!

Jeanette March 3, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Yes, my family thinks I am obsessed too. Perhaps I am..but I look at it as having a passion. I am so fortunate I found something that gives me so much lucky am I, are we!

Leslie March 4, 2010 at 1:57 am

I too have been bitten by the wire bug. I love bending wire to see what I can come up with. Your bowl of “misfits” is like a pot of gold. I see so many lovely treasures in there. And your latest creation is…Wow! Gorgeous! It really shows the beauty of the wire with just one stunning lampwork piece. Bravo!

Susan March 4, 2010 at 10:08 am

I enjoyed reading about your adventures in wire. I too love working with wire, because if you have wire you can make almost any thing. I just got an email a few days ago from Step By Step Wire mag…regarding the Weekend with wire masters, being held in Dana Pt. California, in October and would LOVE to go!

Lyn Foley March 4, 2010 at 10:28 am


Loved hearing about how you got started – you are a fast learner, a natural at wire. You are an inspiration. Really love that all wire bracelet. Thank you for sharing your passion.

Pattie March 5, 2010 at 12:58 am

Ahhhh Little Mama,

You know that old advertisement, “you’ve come a long way baby!!!!” Well you have!!! Your wire and metal work are always soooo inspiring!!! Your gifts are many and I thank you for sharing them with us!!! There are many times when I come over for a peek at the way you have wrapped, bent, hammered or cut something, when I find myself stumped!! 🙂

Pattie 😉
Mazatlan Mx.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor March 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Oh Cindy, not only do we have the same name, but we share the same passions! Had to laugh when I saw your bowl of copper findings. I have the exact same thing only my copper findings are in a metal basket. When it comes to making jewelry, one passion leads to another and then intertwine. Like your metal, beads and wire, my polymer clay and wire are the perfect compliment to each other. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

mary harding March 6, 2010 at 2:36 am

Great post about passion. I love the way you twist the wire around the wire in the last bracelet. Your affinity for wire shows from the first piece you made. I am glad you shared your passion journey with us.

Jan March 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Cindy, that bowl of little wire pieces and charms is so motivational. What a great idea. Beautiful twisted copper bracelet with the lampwork.

Jen March 17, 2010 at 9:27 am

When you originally posted this, while I drooled over your gorgeous wirework and laughed along with you at your earliest pieces, I was totally motivated to break out the copper and get a bigger “practice bowl” started. And I did! Looking at the comments, a lot of people were inspired by your scraps…isn’t that funny?! 🙂 It’s going to be a day of play for me…including some additions to the scrap pile!

heather March 17, 2010 at 11:27 am

Thank you for sharing your passion with us Cindy! I love your work and look forward to seeing each of your new creations.

Erin Prais-Hintz March 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Passion makes beautiful things…
Your passion has ingnited passions in others. I think that is the best sort of flame to pass around.
Thank you for your inspiration today and every day, Miss Cindy!
Enjoy the day!

Michelle Mach March 19, 2010 at 9:27 am

What a wonderful story! I love your wirework–it’s so whimsical, yet very wearable. Thanks also for sharing your sketch and bowl of wire parts–I do that too. Of course, my wire bowl is considerably less full than yours! 🙂

Gina Whitlock April 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Could you custom make a set of your spinner beads. They are fantastic and I would love a set.

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