Hold the Line: Tinkering with Wire - Virtual Workshop

Course Description

About this course

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

Ellen Wieske

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 (where she is the assistant director), 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 Assistant Director at Haystack since 2003. You can see more of her work on her website at dowstudiodeerisle.com.

Materials & Tools 

Students will need to have the following materials in preparation for this online workshop. If you do not already have them, a suggested item and/or a vendor from which you can purchase these items has been provided below. Click the vendor name (in red) to be redirected to a page where you can find or choose the item. The quantities you need for each item are listed first. Please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. Please order these materials as soon as possible due to longer than usual turn-around times. We recommend not opening the item packaging until the day of the workshop.

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 




Ellen Wieske


November 14 -15, 2020


1:00 PM -3:00 PM


2 days

All Levels
Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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