My first guesting on a morning show made me realize that teaching in less than 5 minutes is not enough for someone to learn to wire write. No matter how many details that I was able to share during the segment, it will be close to impossible for a beginner to be able to finish his/her very first wire-written project.
When I was interviewed by the host before our appearance, she asked:
“Kaya ba ito gawin ng beginners?”
I realized that wire writing seems an intimidating craft for the following reasons:
- It’s not every day that we get to cut, fold, and twist wires using pliers or hands.
- Wire working requires the crafter to be able to visually imagine her end product. Besides knowing how to sketch, one should also know how to hold an image in their head.
- Handling pliers and wires are not hands-and-nails friendly.
- First attempts to work with wire are trial-and-error projects.
One way to lessen the intimidation of working with wires (or any materials and tools) is to know more about them.
The great thing with our current era is that information can be easily accessed – as long as we have a computer and an internet connection. It’s not as hard as 10 years ago. We don’t have an excuse to say ‘I don’t know anything about it.’
Besides articles and video tutorials on the internet, I highly recommend books – both physical and digital ones. There are thousands of books that are published and being published on arts and crafts nowadays. And don’t narrow your list that talks about wires and pliers. You will learn a thing or two if you also read books of other crafts (I solemnly swear by this).
(Side note: I’ll make a separate post on books that I recommend for wire working and starting a craft business.)
Attending workshops – even ones that seem to have nothing to do with wire and pliers – is also very helpful. All arts and crafts use the same basic skills, which are the use of imagination (holding an image in mind) and fine-motor skills (synchronization of hands and eyes). So, again, don’t narrow your list to anything wires and pliers related.
Keep in mind that one workshop session doesn’t make you an expert right away.
You still need to follow-up what you’ve learned (and read) with mindful practice.
Mindful practice means that while you are doing your craft, you have to be aware of the things that you want to correct or improve. If your work is the same as your first attempt, you need to step back and assess first.
It also helps to ask for feedback from people whom you trust to have an eye on the arts or making crafts.
The process of self-improvement will be difficult because it will hurt our ego. But it will be worth it.
Don’t hammer yourself with brutal criticism every time you are making. What I mean by criticism is comparing your work to others, and accepting the thought that you are not good enough. If you keep these things in mind, you will definitely have a hard time improving the craft that you want to master.
So ask yourself this instead, did you enjoy making it?
If yes, go ahead and make more.
If no, it’s okay. Move on and try to master a new one until you find something that you definitely enjoy.
But of course, us crafters do not settle for just one craft. We enjoy making, what ever tools and materials that we can grab.