Written by Rosalind Ragans, Ph.D.

Iris Sandkuhler, Viking Knit Chain Necklace, 2001. Silver Wire, malachite and glass 43.2cm (17") long. Private Collection.

  • Assortment of wire: steel, copper, brass and color-coated wires of various gauges
  • Needle-nose jewelry pliers and wire cutters
  • Hammer and anvil block
  • Sketchbook and pencils
  • Jewelry Findings: ear wires, pin backs, watch cord, etc.
  • Jewelry files (half-round needle files)
  • Steel wool and/or emery paper
  • Brass and copper cleaner (optional)
Workshop Details »

Published by McGraw-Hill, 2004
Posted by permission of the author

Iris Sandkühler is a San Francisco-based artist. The necklace in Figure 4.25 is an example of Sandkühler’s fine craftsmanship. Silver wires form an intricate net around hanging beads of colored glass and a rich, green mineral known as malachite.

Sandkühler was born in Bingen, West Germany, in 1958. Her family immigrated to Maine when she was seven years old. As a young adult, she attended Ohio State University. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in sculpture and glass, she went on to earn a master’s degree in mixed media drawing and painting. After graduation, she honed her jewelry skills at the Jewelry Arts Institute in New York City. Her unique jewelry has been exhibited in Berlin, Tokyo, and in galleries throughout the United States.

Notice how the loops and lines of wire in the Viking Knit Chain Necklace create implied lines. These lines lead the viewer’s eyes across the necklace. The hanging glass forms also create an implied line that moves the eye rhythmically across the strand.

You will design and create a design for a practical application — a wearable piece of wire jewelry such as a pin, pendant, necklace, ring, hair ornament, bracelet, or pair of earrings. The wire may be bent, twisted, looped, and so on. However, only these “cold connections” are allowed — no solder or glue.

©2005–. The artist reserves copyright on all material used throughout this site.