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Artist Spotlight - WireLace

Artists, inventors, and jewelry designers Tim and Linda Hartung are the producers and distributors of WireLace. Since 2000 when the couple retired from their first co-owned company, a graphic design and marketing firm, their jewelry designs and innovations have been recognized by the industry as trendsetting and revolutionary. Linda has designed several pieces for Swarovski Crystal Trends shows and is also an Ambassador among a small select group of designers, in the Create Your Style with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS program for the DIY market. Tim has been a fine artist and craftsman since his youth, and enjoys casting original jewelry pieces using the Lost Wax Method.*

Tim and Linda first developed the idea for WireLace when they became infatuated with knitted wire after seeing a sample of it in Europe. Linda had never seen anything like it. "I had no idea you could knit wire to be so soft, pliable, versatile and colorful." Linda knew she had to find a way to incorporate this new medium into her designs. "My mind was whirling after I first saw it," Linda remembers, "I didn't know what we were going to do with it, I just knew I had to have some." The couple met with the manufacturer ordering every color they could make and spent years thinking of ways to incorporate it in their designs. "I had a dozen or so spools of it hanging from a wall in my craft room and I just enjoyed looking at it," and from time to time Linda experimented with the product in her designs.

One day, years after the spools were first hung from her walls, the editor of Beadwork Magazine asked Tim if he knew any place that sold this knitted wire as she had a project submitted to her using it but they could find no place to source it in the USA. Tim knew immediately that she was talking about the WireLace they still had several spools of and he agreed to be listed as the source for it when the project was published. What the editor didn't tell Tim is that the product would be showcased on the cover of the magazine. The Hartungs' phone started ringing off the hook. WireLace had sent the collective mind of the DIY market into a whirl. "At the time, we only had our personal collection of spools to sell from," Linda recalls, "so we went back to the original manufacturer, made a few tweaks to the product, added a few colors, and WireLace has been selling like crazy ever since."

The creation of WireLace has opened up an entirely new world of creative opportunity to DIY jewelry designers. WireLace is a tubular mesh ribbon composed of multiple strands of brass, copper, or aluminum woven together.Each strand is covered in a bonded enamel color coating, which gives the product some protection from heat and water and allows the line to have a wide variety of stunning colors. The line comes in several sizes and a rainbow of colors, making it an ideal product for all types of projects from fine jewelry to avant-garde artistic design. All sizes, with the exception of the 1mm, are tubular, so beads can be strung on, around, or inside the product. The versatility and durability of WireLace make it one of the most diverse products you can keep on hand. We are thrilled to have the privilege of offering this innovative product line to our Artbeader community. We also carry the Hartungs' other DIY products, Alacarte Clasps and WireLuxe, and we think all three lines will get your mind whirling!

*The Lost Wax Method: The lost wax method of casting first began in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome thousands of years ago. This technique is still respected as one of the premiere methods of capturing superb detail in metal. Once an artist carves his or her design into the wax it can be transferred to a variety of metals, and it is often used in dentistry, sculpture, and fine jewelry.

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