I've been playing around with wire a lot lately in the studio. When I first began making jewelry, I bought all my findings — jump rings, headpins, clasps, etc. I always admired people's gorgeous wire work and how they so easily twirled wire into beautiful shapes and coaxed texture from something that seemed, to me at the time, so difficult to manipulate.
A few years ago I decided it was time for me to put my own stamp on everything I made. This included creating my own findings. I learned to draw a bead on a piece of wire. Oh my, it was so exciting to see that little piece of wire curl into itself in, literally, seconds when dipped in a hot flame. I've drawn a bead on thousands of pieces of wire and I still love this simple act of making my own headpins.
Then I moved on to the more complicated things. Making my own wire links and clasps and incorporating them into my work. Here's a picture of a clasp I made recently for an upcoming magazine article. It's only a spiral and a loop, but I love it because it's pretty.
I enjoy the process so much now that it's difficult for me to use the pre-made findings still in my jewelry making stash. I think its time to donate them or use them up in class kits. I know not everyone wants to learn metalworking in conjunction with their beading, but I can't imagine not working with wire. The more I learn, the more I want to still discover.