Thu | Oct 17, 2019

Art of wire-bending, worth the work

Published:Sunday | September 22, 2019 | 12:13 AMJessica Harrison - Gleaner Writer

Twenty-four-year-old Jamie Thompson spent his younger days not being sure of what career path to take, but being pretty good at the sciences and using his hands to create, life would have it that he is now a radiographer and the creative mind and hands of Wired Edge Ja.

“In 2014, I saw a bit of wire on the living-room floor and I thought to myself that it would be a great idea to spell my name from it. My dad has a lot of tools because he’s very ‘handy’. So I think I did a bit of Googling; it turned out well and I wore the bracelet to school,” he recalled.

Since then, the news of his craft spread like wildfire and people would just randomly ask for name bracelets. Wire-bending turned into a real business when Thompson met André Whittaker.

“That connection started out with me being the photographer at one of his events. Time passed and he asked me to be the wire jewelry arm of Edge Accessories Ja. It just blossomed from there,” he said.

The process starts when someone contacts Thompson with an idea. He then chooses the right kind of wire to use and works out the lettering.

“Sometimes it gets pretty technical. For example, an ‘a’ beside a ‘g’ flows differently if it were beside an ‘f’ or an ‘e’. Wire is also pretty unforgiving and if bent the wrong way at first, the finish won’t be as clean as I’d like. Earrings are a little easier, but it still takes time in terms of precision,” he recounted.

TOP CHALLENGE

A top challenge that stares in the face of every creative who uses raw materials to make magic, is finding quality materials locally.

“Once upon a time, I was bending paper clips because it is so hard to find good material. They have binding wire for everything else, but to find some silver wire that won’t get tarnished over time is a task.”

Now, he uses stainless steel wire, despite the fact that it is hard to bend and requires a great deal of effort.

“But the finished product is absolutely beautiful and definitely worth the work,” he said.

Support and advice

“My mother, my best friend, my girlfriend, and André Whittaker; That’s my support system. They really do motivate me to create and pour who I am into each piece. When the ‘nine-to-five’ gets hectic, they remind me that I still need to pay attention to my craft. My mother especially, she is overjoyed each time I make a sale or land a photography project,” he said with a smile.

Thompson left a bit of advice for other creatives:

“Believe in you and your capabilities. If you have an idea, run with it, because you never know who or what God will put in your life at any given time.”

jessica.harrison@gleanerjm.com