Monday, March 22, 2010

I came across Dianne's work when I was looking for a tutorial on wire-wrapping, I loved reading her replies, it has been a while since I picked up my wire-wrapping and needed a swift kick, her interview brought the passion back to me and I hope you will enjoy as much as I did ! Lets get started !

DM :What is your artistic medium?
DKB: I work in wire, primarily precious metal, but also in base metals, like copper.

DM : Where can your art be seen?
DKB: On the internet, my work can be seen on my websites or
Both pages link to my blog, where the photos of my recent work are posted. I also have photos up on Flickr, and sell through Etsy , my tutorials are available through

My pieces have been published in a number of books and magazines including "500 Earrings" by Lark Books, "Wire in Design" by Barbara McGuire, "All Wired Up!" by Mark Lareau, as well as "Lapidary Journal" and "The Wire Artist Jeweller".

DM : When and how did you first become interested in your medium?
DKB: I was a committed rockhound - it was a real passion for many years. While walking on the beach near my home in 1995 that I picked up an interesting rock. It turned out to be glass. Disappointed, I was about to throw it back into the lake when I thought "Hey, this would make an interesting piece of jewellery." The only thing I could think of to lay my hands on quickly was sterling silver wire. I made a pendant and then immediately had all kinds of ideas for other pieces, so I just kept going.

DM : Once you decided to pursue your art, how did you start off, trial and error, books, classes, videos, formal schooling?
DKB: I started off with trial and error, and later decided to take formal jewellery and silversmithing classes so I could learn the language of jewellers. Those classes drove home the importance of being precise. As a bonus, I met my husband while taking the classes :-).
DM: How adorable !

DM : Out of what you tried, was there any particular thing that you would recommend to someone just starting out?
DKB: Pay attention to the finishing! File and tuck in the ends of the wire, close your loops tightly, beware the death grip, which can leave plier marks. I often tell my students to remember The Sweater Test: It doesn't matter how beautiful the design is, if your piece catches on a sweater because you haven't paid attention to the details, it's junk.
DM:  Take it from me readers, words to live by !

DM : What do you enjoy most about working with your medium?
DKB: I love the variety of work I can produce, from something wispy and delicate to something substantial and solid.

DM : What do you find the most frustrating?
DKB: It's easy to create a really substantial piece using sheet metal or with casting. It's much more difficult in wire. Depending on what I'm working on, it can take a long time to finish. That has a dramatic impact on the price I have to charge for the piece, which makes it harder to sell.

DM : Where do you find your inspirations for what you create?
DKB: Nature, architecture, historical periods like the Gothic Era, calligraphy, and sometimes I draw inspiration from my personal life.

DM : Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:
DKB: One of the pieces that is close to my heart is a pendant called "Mother and Child". I made it after suffering a miscarriage in May 2009. At the end of April I was surprised to discover that I was pregnant. I took the pregnancy test on the Monday, and then made a visit to my family doctor on

Wednesday to start the process of finding an OB and to schedule an ultrasound. On Thursday I started bleeding. After spending several hours in Emergency, I was sent home and told to come back if the bleeding got heavier. By Saturday, I was cramping severely, so I went back to the hospital. While waiting for blood tests, I suffered the miscarriage.

My head spun at how fast it all happened: I hardly had time to even get used to the idea of another baby. (My husband and I already have two beautiful children.) What got me the most was the fact that I had originally planned to delay taking the pregnancy test until Thursday. Had I done that, I would never have known I was pregnant.

I believe that every pregnancy is a soul connection between the mother and the child. It's a connection continues regardless if the pregnancy is terminated, miscarried or goes full term. Losing the baby was terrible, but it has helped to think in terms of still being “Mommy” to an angel who didn’t quite make it to Earth.

The pendant is my expression of that soul connection: it clearly shows the baby growing safe and secure in its mother’s belly. The baby is abstract, and looks a little like an angel wing. So for me, it works on two levels: celebrating the ones who join us, and remembering the ones who are growing up on the other side.
DM: I fell in love with this pendant and I found this subject to so touching and close to my heart.....

DM : Have you ever experienced artist block and how did you overcome it?
DKB: Definitely! I deal with artist block by taking a break for a while. I'll change gears completely. For example, a little over a year ago, I was feeling uninspired, so I switched over to doing photography and joining a photography group. As a result, my photographic skills improved immensely. Eventually, I started noticing ideas for jewellery seeping back into my consciousness, so I picked up my pliers again. And, as a bonus, I also started taking better photographs of my jewellery!

DM : What is the biggest mistake you have ever made as an artist? What did you learn from it?
DKB: I should have started selling tutorials much earlier than I did. For years I got emails from people asking me if I had a pattern for such and such design on my website. At the time I found it really frustrating because I wanted people to buy my jewellery, not copy my designs. Instead, I realize now, I was ignoring a target market and that making a living from your artwork can come from multiple streams.

DM: Which I am grateful, I have enjoyed many of your tutorials ! When you do this one, I must have it ! I love caged pendants and make many different designs but always looking for another great tutorial (hint hint)

DM : Would you please tell about your studio set-up?
DKB: At the moment, my studio is set up in a very cluttered space that includes my bench, my computer desk, my filing cabinet, my photography setup, and a couple of bookshelves filled with beads and wire, and reference material. My bench has an area for soldering, my vice and a rolling mill perched on one end. It's currently covered with all kinds of projects, both finished and unfinished. My pickle pot is in the basement. One of my new years resolutions is to clean up and organize the space so I can work more effectively in it.

DM : When is your favorite time to create?
DKB: I create whenever I can. Most of the time now it's during the day while my kids are in school, or after they've gone to bed. It's not unusual for me to work until 12-1 a.m.

DM : What advise would you give someone starting out in this medium?
DKB: Don't be afraid to waste wire - experiment, even if you end up throwing things in your scrap bin. It's the only way to truly get a feel for what it can and can't do. Also, save your early pieces, because that way you'll be able to see how far you've progressed.

DM : Are there any artist that inspire you or that you admire?
DKB: I adore the work of Mary Lee Hu. Her pieces are wonderful, full of symbolism, mystery and texture!

DM : Tell us a bit about yourself.
DKB: As I mentioned before, I met my husband through a jewellery class. We've been married for 7 1/2 years and have two boys. I love watching my kids play: both are very inventive and creative. For the past ten years I've been teaching wireworking through community colleges in Toronto and Haliburton (Ontario, Canada). After years of being asked "Do you have a pattern for this design?" I finally started selling tutorials in 2007. When not working on jewellery or tutorials, or spending time with my family, I volunteer with The Metal Arts Guild of Canada. The Guild publishes a magazine about the Canadian metalworking scene three times a year, and I'm currently serving as the Editor. My life is so busy that I joke about sleep being overrated! LOL

DM :Anything else you wish to share?
DKB: I'm really happy to have found other people who are as passionate about wire as I am. The internet has been a great tool for making connections, and I've been very lucky to meet several fellow wire artists in person. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my work with your readers! Thank you!

DM: Again Dianne, thank you for sharing all that you have with us ! I look forward to more of your wonderful work and tutorials and we hope 2010 brings you all the joy you deserve !

Till tomorrow...keep creating, 
Tina aka Daily Muse


EyeDesire said...

Wow! Amazing wire work!!! Delicate work of art!!

proof american eagle coins said...

what is wirewrap?

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