The Stories Behind Two Fabulous Pieces by Barbara Whitehill

Woven Bracelet by Barbara Whitehill.  Jewelry photography by Steve Rossman

This is probably the most intriguing post I’ve published in some time.  After I shoot a client’s work, I’ll often ask if I can post a piece or two to this blog.  If it’s okay with the artist,  I’ll ask for a little background.

After I shot this woven wire bracelet by good friend Barbara Whitehill, the story she told just floored me.  I expected to hear that she learned the technique in a class under the guiding hand of some seriously talented wire guru.  Instead, she described a very different scenario.  I’ll let Barbara tell it:

“I really love a challenge and wanted to push myself to try wire weaving and combine it with my other love, precious metal clay. So I went to Home Depot, purchased some clamps, read the book Woven Wire Jewelry by Linda Chandler and Christine R. Ritchey and jumped in.   Once the weaving was complete, I came across a beautiful vintage button that had a wonderful woven texture. I made the mold and made 4 pieces.  I then used an “Oreo cookie” method of sandwiching two pieces on each end with syringe clay.  Then my voice said “you could use some practice setting stones”… so in for a penny in for a pound, I set the trillium stones on each end.”

Octopus Treasure by Barbara Whitehill. Jewelry photgraphy by Steve Rossman.

Barbara tells her stories better than I ever could.   Here’s the concise history on this wonderful necklace:  “The Octopus came about with my second time taking Jonna’s Naturalist’s Cabinet class.  It was so liberating to already have done the concept and learned techniques from a past class so I could really jump into the creative aspect. I asked myself what curiosity could I put into my box… What sort of creature intrigued me most… And that is how the octopus was born. I will tell you at one point my creature was fighting me and I had a vision of almost pulling his little clay body out of the box and tossing it onto the table…. Almost like how they throw them onto the ice at hockey games. I have been saving a beautiful Tahitian pearl that I wanted the octopus to hold, so it all came together in the end with Jonna’ s encouragement and expert advice!”

These two pieces were shot in my Escondido studio, with Barbara helping to guide the shoot.  And just ’cause I can, here’s the cabinet Barbara created during that first class she mentioned…

Naturalist Cabinet - Leaf- nd nest by Barbara Whitehill.  Jewelry photography by Steve Rossman

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One Response to The Stories Behind Two Fabulous Pieces by Barbara Whitehill

  1. RuthKuroda says:

    I liked Barbara telling her story with her lovely pieces. Nice detail photo shots.

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