January 28. I was recently invited by Probe.PH to be featured on their series of webisodes, Handmade. This segment allows local makers to share steps and tips on how to do their craft.
It’s less than a 10-minute episode, but since it’s a recorded shoot, I have all the time that I need to share what I know about wire writing. I chose a wire written bookmark as the first project, because it has the easiest design. It helps beginners get comfortable in working with wires and pliers. (Plus, a bookmark was also my first project when I started wire writing.)
So here’s it is, a tutorial on how to make a wire written bookmark.
If you’re able to make a wire written bookmark by following the steps I taught in the video, post and tag Paper Pliers in Instagram, or use the following hashtags:
Even if it’s not a Wednesday, I love to see your bookmarks and to know what you think about the tutorial.
Also, visit Probe.PH’s website to watch more tutorials on other kinds of crafts and arts. My favorites are Crochet Cozy by Margaux of Creative Chaos, Watercolor Painting by June Digann, and Wire Written Topper by fellow wire artists, Mike and Iya of MAIkala.
When I opened again last October, I thought that things would take slow. My husband and I decided to be stay-at-home, hands-on, and full-time parents. We know that there are opportunities for Paper Pliers that we won’t be able to take. We’ll only open the shop online, nothing more. No bazaars, fairs, and other events that would be difficult for us to manage. Prioritizing one leads to loosing others, and we don’t have any regrets deciding such.
But when I was invited to guest on Good Morning Pilipinas, my husband suddenly had a change of heart. He told me to take it. Besides that it’s my first time to shoot live, it’s a great ending year gift for us. Opportunities like these should not be turned down, especially that I’m picking up the pieces where I left this business. It’s a good start.
Thank you Good Morning Pilipinas and Mariane for the feature!
Just like any other firsts, my first video shooting made me feel like my bones were trembling and my heart had a life of its own.
After receiving Gen, the producer’s email on wanting to make a video feature of Paper Pliers, I needed a few moments to breathe. My first thought was “My awkward face will be seen by a lot of people.” Introvert problems. Talking to a lot of people is nerve-wracking, let alone talking to a camera, which will be viewed by an unknown number of audience. Yet, like any challenge that I face in this business, I terrifyingly accepted the offer.
Since my problem was the fear of embarrassing myself because of awkwardness (stuttering, wrong grammar, tongue-tied), I had to figure out a way to solve this. I am a “somehow” a better speaker if I know what I am talking about. The good thing was that Gen provided a set of questions that will be asked during the video interview. Since I’m better in expressing myself through writing, I wrote down my answers first, revised, and rehearsed it repeatedly, while working on orders. Talking to several people at Blissmakerie also helped me practice and somehow build my composure.
September 29. It was really scary at first, but I made it!
Thank you Gen and the crew for the effort, patience (repeat shoots, background noise, the heat), and the heart-warming awe towards our wire products! I’m still regretting that I wasn’t able to get a picture with all of you because this experience is definitely one for the books!
Before 2014 ended, I wrote a list of goals that I wanted to happen for the business. One of them was to have our first craft fair, which was unlocked when we attended DMC’s Handcrafted Arts and Crafts Fair. Woohoo!
Another one was to be featured by a popular magazine, which was achieved last month. Paper Pliers was featured by When In Manila. Yey!
It was January when I read a message from Vince Golangco, founder of When In Manila, asking if they could feature us on their website. It was 1:00 AM; I was about to sleep. But, I couldn’t sleep after what I’ve read. There were a lot of thoughts in my mind, like noise in Divisoria, that I don’t know how to respond.
Of course, in the end I answered back.
Apart from being surprised, pressure sank in. ‘When In Manila’ boasts 4 million views every month – that’s a LOT of people seeing my works. It’s exposing myself to the world. I am not a fine arts graduate, nor I took design courses during college. I wanted to run away because of fear to be accused as a poser, of being a wannabee artist/designer. I felt that I have little experience to show, no textbook knowledge on design theories and concepts – I only label myself as an enthusiast.
But when they asked me to make a ‘When In Manila’ logo inspired wire bookmark – I dropped all fears. I can’t turn my back on a challenge. When something that I haven’t done before is posed before me, I feel blood rush and butterflies in my tummy. I can’t explain why. Maybe it’s the thought of trying to solve something. In this case, figuring out how to manipulate the wire to achieve the design. This had me awake for days.
I started drawing different styles of the logo.
After doing a couple of sketches, I worked on prototypes. Making prototypes helps me study the process of manipulating the wire.
Wire working is an expensive (and wasteful) hobby. Once you’ve made a mistake on just one letter or shape, you have to repeat the process again. From scratch! What you’ve done for hours was nothing. (#HahaHuhu) I learned that from experience.
Since I’m used to working in cursive and calligraphy, I had to practice working in printed fonts.
Another dilemma in wire-working: make sure the wire is not ‘bitin’.
Once I was done with the prototype, I started working on the product itself.
The form of the jeep was really difficult to make because it’s symmetrical. I had to make sure that the both halves are equally shaped.
After hundreds of hours, wires, sweat, sighs, potato chips, and swear words – I was finally done!
When I read Paper Pliers’ first blog feature by Louisa, it was so awesome and unexpected. It was December, and it felt like a superb Christmas and end-of-the-year gift.
So imagine how awesome and elated I felt when I saw my works on When in Manila’s website and Facebook page! It was a Saturday morning last February, and I didn’t have a rehearsed reaction for it.
I know I’ve said it a million times on our social media accounts and thru e-mail, but let me say it again.
Thank you so much for this humbling experience When In Manila and Sam!