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Hold the Line: Tinkering with Wire

Wire is a wonderfully direct material. Utilizing few tools, it is possible to make a variety of objects from small jewelry scale to large architectural elements with the same information. In this live, virtual workshop students will be working exclusively with black annealed steel wire, which most resembles a pencil line.

Beginning with a brief look at the material wire, its role in history, how it has been made, and its application as a 3-dimentional line, this workshop will demonstrate lots of techniques as well as highlight working methods based on Slovakian Tinkering.

This course will consist of two sessions (Saturday and Sunday).

Class will be held live via Zoom during the designated time frame. A link to the Zoom room will be sent via email. 

Each session will be recorded and you will receive a password protected link to the recordings that expire after 30 days.

Please read the Materials & Tools tab! 

Meet the instructor

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Ellen Wieske is an artist and educator who works in many materials. Primarily a metalsmith, she received a BA from Wayne State University and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, both in Michigan.



She has taught at Haystack School of Crafts, Penland, Arrowmont, as well as universities and colleges across the United States. She has also taught 4 summers in Provence France.





Ellen's work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her wire workshop techniques have been documented and published in the book "Weekend Crafter, Wire" released by Lark Books in October 2001.





She maintains Dowstudio, her studio/Gallery with potter Carole Ann Fer, in Deer Isle, Maine. She has also been the Deputy Director at Haystack since 2003. You can see more of her work on her website at dowstudiodeerisle.com.



Materials & Tools

The following supplies will be used for course demonstrations and objectives. A suggested item and/or vendor has been provided below for reference. Click the vendor name (in red) to be redirected to a page where you can find the item. The quantities needed for each item are listed first. If ordering, please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. We recommend not opening an item's packaging until the day of the workshop. Student participation during or in-between class sessions is strongly encouraged but not required - observers are welcome.

Students should bring

You will  also want to have the following common studio items available: 

  • safety glasses 
  • steel hammer - for hammering iron wire
  • rawhide, wood, or plastic mallet
  • file - for filing iron wire
  • sandpaper
  • vice - if possible 

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