Eni Oken is a prolific jewelry artist and zentangle master! Her work is elegant, ethereal and totally wearable, so it's no real surprise she was the first to inspire me to begin my journey with wire.
I admit it. I fan-girled. Hard. I scoured her website for tutorials and to ogle her available jewelry, and with each new lesson or design she released, I was totally enamored.
I discovered there are two popular uses for tutorials, and one is no more or less important or valid than the other:
- To offer users an opportunity to create without the pressure to design. Whether or not for sale or personal enjoyment, lessons allow freedom from creative stagnation.
- As inspiration for original work, a jumping-off point for the imagination.
And both of these uses are important in furthering the creative process for anyone who utilizes lessons provided by others. Don't let anyone tell you the work you create, whether original or not, is in any way "less".
And believe that these lessons are valuable tools to grow your arsenal of skills.
The bracelet pictured here is one I created using the technique learned in Eni's lovely Net Bezel tutorial, then embellished with my signature layered weaves. For the first year, however, I had no signature at all. And that was okay. My work looked very much like what she provided in her lesson (minus the elegance and finesse, of course).
But I created.
And I created.
Now, some ten years later, I've found my voice, or am still discovering it, at any rate. And this is due in large part to the willingness of Eni and other like-minded artists who share their creative process with the masses.
Every tutorial I purchased and used, by Eni or Iza Malczyk, IMNIUM or Lonely Soldier (to name a few), was simply another tool in my drawer, as important and useful in my progression as my pliers, my wire, the beads I use... even my own two hands.
I owe a great deal of thanks to these talented stars in the wire wrapping world.
So thank you.
Thank you for the gift of creation, for the freedom from stress and the pressure I (all too often) placed on my shoulders. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to find my own voice.
I hope you find your voice too.