Wire Jewelry Designer Sarah Munsey Shows Us the Tricks of Her Trade

March 9, 2014

in Fashion

Anyone looking to turn a passion into a paycheck or simply refine a new hobby could learn a thing or two from up-and-coming jewelry designer Sarah Munsey. Her line, Wired for Freedom, features bold and fun wire statement jewelry pieces that enable the wearer to express herself. We caught up with Sarah at home in Coto de Caza, Calif.

Bead making accessories

Q&A With the Designer

What do you love most about designing and creating your own jewelry?

If a certain symbol or word is particularly inspiring on any day of the week, I can make it! But creating jewelry goes beyond myself. I do it to bring a little glimpse of hope to those who need it. I may not know how to fix their problems or what steps they should take, but I can make a difference by creating a reminder for them.

What are some of your favorite materials to work with?

I use plated wire that’s sterling silver or 14k gold-filled. Once you bend it, it’s very difficult to straighten it out again. But, I’m an out-of-the-box thinker, and I’ll use practically anything I can get my fingers on to wrap around. I bought hundreds of skeleton keys from an old locksmith in Oregon and I wrap significant words for my clients around them. Other materials I like are bullets, stones, nails and many objects you can find at a hardware store.

What tips would you offer someone looking to pick up wire jewelry-making for the first time? What tools would they need?

Find your unique style and put your twist on things. Prepare to have calloused fingers and splurge on hand massages. Your hands might not look pretty, but you’ll know that your blood, sweat and tears went into each piece.

Although good tools can be expensive, pliers will be your new besties: small needle-nose pliers and curved-nose pliers. O-rings of all different sizes come in handy. Oh, yeah—stock up on Band Aids, too!

Which piece are you most proud of and why?

Picking just one is like having to pick your favorite child; you just can’t. One creation that I dubbed “Beautiful Mess” is one that nearly every woman can identify with, though. I took all the overwhelming amount of scraps I had left over and mashed them together—just pounded them down, remolded them and created something new. That’s just how life is, right? Our lives are messy and they are beautiful and everything we experience eventually weaves together into a beautiful mess.

Sarah Recommends: Resources to Get Started

  • Get this fantastic book, “The Absolute Beginner’s Guide: Making Wire Jewelry.” It gives beginners the basics of wire types and tools, plus it includes projects designed to teach the fundamental techniques.
  • Visit Wire-Sculpture.com for the tip of the day. You can ask questions and discover specialty tools and designs.
  • Watch a brief introduction to basic jewelry-making tools with the video “Jewelry-Making Hand Tools,” below:
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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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