Fierce Bling

I recently caught a jewelry demo by my friend Susan Dilger, where she expanded my jewelry consciousness by making a beautiful bracelet out of steel bailing wire. I've had a buzz of excitement keeping me awake at night ever since. I never would have thought of using that dirty, tough wire to make jewelry, although my inventive cousin, Mitzi Miles-Kubota, made some terrific adornments last winter with stainless steel wire, because silver prices were already becoming ridiculous. It's taken all this time for these ideas to wiggle their way to the surface and incorporate themselves with my own sense of design. I like things pretty and sparkly, and I also like them tough and fierce. Yesterday, almost on a whim, I sat in the studio and put this necklace together, using some nasty old wire from Rick's tool box, and a handful of glitzy CZ pendants. I. Am. In. Love.

I'm seeing all sorts of possibilities for this hardware/bling combination. I'm shopping for more blingy bits, and new tools to make the chain-making process easier. I have visions of recycled glass worked into the mix. And colored stones. And silver. And gold, for goodnessakes. I'll try some stainless steel too, but I adore this dark steel wire, and all the down-on-the-ranch connotations that go with it. This is jewelry for people like me, whatever that means. It makes no pretense. It is what it is. Love it or hate it, I don't care. I'm making more. I feel a surge of power from this particular inspiration, and I need to see it through because I think it wants to take me by the hand and lead me somewhere wonderful.

Rick and I are going to see the Nutcracker tonight. I'm wearing my wine velvet dress, Frye boots, and this necklace. If Taos went to the Oscars, this is what she'd wear. And who knows... maybe she will.


Andrea said…
omg i love it Kim. Gorgeous. Please let me know if you start selling them. Bravo for expanding your jewelry consciousness.
Anonymous said…
There's a steampunk ambience here, too. I love the use of metals other than the ubiquitous silver and gold. You have hit on a guapo idea here! EO
Penny said…
I fell in love with stainless steel and bailing wire a year or two ago because I just wanted to try something different. Don't you love expanding our repertoires :)? The necklace, btw, is gorgeous!

Anonymous said…
love it, kim. reminds me of using vegetable nets as veils on my silk cocktail hats. the artful juxtaposition of unexpected diverse materials is always exciting! love, katy
Anonymous said…
Whoa Kim, really kool. Love the idea of

going "out of the box" of shoulds....but

then thats you!
Ruth at the Oregon Coast
Susan Dilger said…
Very nice, Kim!!!! Glad the demo inspired you!!! Keep it up!!!
See you tonight at The Nutcracker!!!
And BTW, I love the name - Fierce Bling!!! You go, girl!
PA said…
Wonderful! Since I started back doing jewelry, I've been experimenting with things like this and with copper wire (for real things, not just practice stuff) and the found objects/steampunk stuff. Loads of fun and all kinds of opportunities for creative thinking! Polly Anna
Carolien said…
Oh wow it's beautiful! Very subtle in bling but also nice and blingy!
Have fun with the Nutcracker!
Hugs, Carolien
Yvonne said…
Ooh. . . love that!

Have fun (you and Rick) at the Nutcracker. You should look fantastic.

Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
Tough and Sexy is what that necklace says to me. I can't wait ot see all of the cool things you are going to make. Enjoy the Nutcracker. Suzie
Levonne said…
Beautiful necklace. I love the outfit you'll wear tonight. Go with the inspiration. You're an inspiration!
Zoe Nelson said…
Very, very cool. Its so fun to try out new materials.
Lynn said…
Love the necklace...I am a big fan of "industrial Chic"!!!

Deb said…
Would love to see a picture of you in the finished "outfit". Thanks for the creative energy!
Anonymous said…
I would love to see you in your finery for the Nutcracker. Give us one of the Red Carpet Glam shots PLEASE ! April
Anonymous said…
I really like the antiquness of some of the jewelery that's been made in recent years but it always seemed petitte and too feminime to me, and now I know why. You have combined all one needs to have a beautiful necklace that you don't have to worry about falling apart the 1st time you wear it out. I love it! Beth in Illinois
Sue said…
Awesome necklace. Always lots of baling wire around the ranch, I will now look at in a different way. Future jewelry.
Julie K. said…
I make jewelry and I love it when I find something new to inspire me.
m.e. said…
Bright,Fun,Fancy ...But, oh so Strong !!!
this design sure says "I am woman " to me!!!
I'm hoping some of those instructions you're waiting for, might be about creating more wonderful jewelry !!!
m.e. :)
Elaine said…
I agree with go girl. I bought a stainless steel bracelet from Susan last summer for my daughter. She wears it all the time.
Anonymous said…
Love the rugged look of the new necklace.
You are soooooooo creative.
Thanks for all you do.
Anonymous said…
Awesome. Maybe this will springboard your first book. Norine
Anonymous said…
Hi Kim,
Love the new necklace! Are you familiar with viking knit? If not, you might want to google it and see if it might fit in with your new ideas:-)
Diane in Pa
Jamar said…
I love the mix of metals and bling on the necklace. If you'd enjoy further inspiration, I'd love for you to see Daryn Mentock's work from back in 2008 and forward.
I think she started using steel when she took a class from Richard Salley
And I also love Keith Lo Bue
Thanks for sharing your work.

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