Greetings for the New Year - 2014, I hope it will be a wonderful year for you and yours and that the new year will bring you many new and delightful things, including new things to learn.
Check out the Winter-Spring Newsletter for information on upcoming classes. This winter-spring I am venturing into metal jewelry. There are 6 new classes in wire smithing as well as several favorites from past season.
Wire Jewelry Throughout The Ages
The Origins of Wire Jewelry
The origins of wire jewelry date back at least to the days of Moses in Biblical times. In Exodus, chapter 27, Moses is directed to create specific wire work adornments for the garments for the priests of Israel. In particular, the breastplate of Aaron was to be made with stones set in gold filigree.
The arrival of the Hebrews in Egypt due to famine in Israel, and the appearance of woven strips of metal adorning Egyptian coffins both occurred around 1900 B.C. It is thought that it was the Hebrews who introduced the Egyptians to the craft of wire work.
The Development of Wire Jewelry
The Phoenicians of early Greece made metal wire by hammering metal into thin sheets and then cutting the sheets into thin flexible wires. They are credited with the development of wire making. The peak of Greek wire jewelry occurred around 300 B.C. with wire adornments woven into the breast plates of their soldiers and with wire jewelry which included flower shaped beads, beetles and shells. (To learn more about the history of wire jewelry click here.)