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Artist Spotlight - WireLuxe

Tim and Linda Hartung are the inventors and manufacturers of WireLuxe. Partners in life and business for over thirty-five years, the couple has worked exclusively in the jewelry design market since 2000 when they retired from their first company, a graphic design and marketing firm. Tim, a fine artist and craftsman, has enjoyed casting and designing unique pieces for his jewelry designs since his high school years. Linda has been crafting jewelry since she was old enough to remove her shoelaces to make necklaces. The two continued to make jewelry throughout the years of their first career, but decided to make it the focus of their lives when their daughter left home for college. Believing jewelry design would be small and portable, the two began traveling to shows and seeking new and better options for DIY jewelry designers. Before they knew it, their new business had expanded from finished jewelry to DIY product development and production. As of today the couple has created three lines of DIY products. The most recent of which, WireLuxe, is produced in their own workshop located in picturesque Forestville, CA.

WireLuxe is not the first product the couple has invented for the DIY jewelry design market. Over a decade ago the pair launched a line of high-quality elegant clasps called Alacarte Clasps. Shortly thereafter, the pioneers spotted potential in a material they found during their travels in Europe. After a few modifications to the original product, the two developed their WireLace line of tubular mesh ribbon that is ideal for jewelry and craft design. Linda especially enjoys the challenge of developing a new product, "I like to look at what needs exist in many areas of design and think of ways to solve all of those problems at once; it's like a puzzle for me." The idea for WireLuxe came from decades of experience as designers in the jewelry market. In this case, Linda saw a need in the DIY marketplace for a beautiful, high-quality structure to support beading, seed beading, stone, and wire work. "If you worked in any of those mediums, you really didn't have an option for a structure to work on and showcase your designs," Linda recalls of the time before WireLuxe, "Now, you can start with WireLuxe as a structure, and design with and around it."

WireLuxe is a soft, flexible, lightweight metallic knit wire that comes in fourteen exquisite colors. It is beautiful enough to be worn alone and light enough to be comfortable to wear. The complex knit structure gives WireLuxe its elegant texture, and permits shaping that is easy to do by hand yet sturdy enough to stay in place without the need for additional products. Designers can work in the open weave structure at the center, or on the tight weave structure on the edges, or a combination of both, making WireLuxe one of the most versatile products available to DIY jewelry makers. Every piece that leaves the Hartungs' workshop is painstakingly checked for imperfections, assuring that only the finest pieces make it to your design table. Artbeads is honored to have the opportunity to offer this remarkable product and the Hartungs' other two DIY lines, Alacarte Clasps and WireLace, to our community.

*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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