Tucson’s Top 5 Wire Trends for 2011


I just unpacked the last box from Tucson last month (seriously). You know how it is when you go to a big show, buy so many treasures your credit card is still smoking weeks later and you can’t wait to jump into everything and start sorting, and playing, and creating! Well, I just knew there would be no sleep if I unpacked those boxes right away, so I used up every little ounce of self restraint I had left to wait until a few more pressing “to do’s” on the list were “done.”I found the trends to be more organic, earthy, and very bronz-y this year. Recycling and reusing found object in jewelry creations were at the top of the list and there were some fascinating elements and components I found I simply could not live without!

Wire Here, Wire There, Wire Everywhere

Wire was hot, hot, HOT! The colored wire spools were delightful to drool over. Many of the booths had folks giving demos on creating your own wire masterpieces. Like potato chips, once you start, there’s no stopping. Wireworking pajama parties until the wee hours were plentiful in Tucson! A tradition sure to continue next year.
Free form wire sculpture demos and classes were all the rage in Tucson this winter. It seemed as though this art form was more popular than in the past. Many have moved beyond kits and want to learn how to create custom sculpture pieces with their own style and color palate.

Wire Sculpture Focal Pieces


Mixing Wire Colors

With all the various shades of colors wire now comes in, mixing colors has become even more popular. Using basic wire techniques, you can create jewelry that looks completely different depending on the colors you use.


Aged and Patina Metals

A new product from LillyPilly Designs totally rocked my world! A treasure cove of textured, etched, and patina-ed copper and aluminum sheets. The sky’s the limit on how you could work these into your wire jewelry creations such as resin focal pieces or punched out charm dangles. I can’t wait to start!


Mixing chain with wire in jewelry making has been popular but this year I saw more booths carrying both products together. This made shopping and mixing metals so much easier. I also noticed so many different chain finishes this year, where in the past there was mainly silver and gold. I saw a lot of gunmetal and antique coppers, golds, and rusty patinas. You can match up chain with your wire or use constrating colors for more interest.

Chain, Chain, and More Chain


All in all, Tucson’s metal and wire treasures were breathtaking (you could hear wallets crying)! So many innovative materials and ways to incorporate them into your jewelry-making was worth the trip alone. So, be sure to put a trip to Tucson on your bucket list!

Reprinted from Beading Daily

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