When people hear the word wrap, some immediately think of the constant rhythmic flow of words known as ‘rap.’ But, for some Keene State College students, wrapping is a form of art.
Wire wrapping involves making jewelry with intricate designs and tiny details which allow each and every piece to be one of a kind.
KSC Senior and Holocaust and Genocide Studies major Dylan Renner said he has been wire wrapping for just a few years now.
“I saw a friend doing it [wire wrapping] at a festival, and I asked her if I could try it out. I just instantaneously fell in love with it, which was about four years ago,” Renner said.
Renner said that at first he did not wrap on a daily basis, and it wasn’t until two years later he realized wrapping was his stress reliever.
“I think it was sophomore year, the end of the first semester during finals. I was like ‘I don’t want to study,’ I had to let loose some creative energy and I brought out my wire wrapping,” Renner said.
KSC senior and Sustainable Product Design Major, Alex Tragakes said he has been wrapping for about three years now,very day he gets better and better. Tragakes said that he started wrapping when he saw some friends doing it and got interested.
“I was introduced to wrapping when I saw my friends doing it and I just got hooked,” Tragakes said.
According to Renner, the trend seems to be catching on at many music festivals.
“It’s the culture that surrounds the ‘neo-hippy’ festival going; it’s progressive art within music or more like the physical art,” Renner said.
KSC Senior and Environmental Advocacy Major Nicole LaPointe said she too found her love for wire wrapping at a music festival.
“I was going to a lot of music festivals and a lot of people were wearing wire wrapped pendants and selling them. I like to do a bunch of crafts so instead of buying jewelry I decided to start making it,” LaPointe said.
LaPointe started wrapping just a little over a year ago. Even though she’s new to the wrapping world, she already has high hopes for what is to come when she graduates in the spring.
“I have an Etsy page and sell them online and at festivals, but hopefully I can start getting them in some shops somewhere,” LaPointe said.
Renner, Tragakes and LaPointe are all self-taught artists.
“I go on Facebook and Instagram and just stare at really nice wraps until I figure out how to do something and it’s evolved from there,” Renner said.
LaPointe said she gets her inspiration from her friends and social media sites. For example, she follows different wire wrapper pages on Instagram for when she gets “stuck.”
Renner expressed that the only tools he uses are his hands.
“My main two tools are my hands. The only time I use a tool is a plier and wire cutters, and the pliers are only used on the backs to crimp the ends of the wires,” Renner said.
Renner works with different types of wire such as sterling silver, 14k gold-filled wire and copper wire. He bends the wire uses different weaving and coiling techniques to make the designs.
Tragakes also works with similar materials. He said when he first started wire wrapping he would use copper wire, but as he progressed with his wrapping skills he moved on to different materials like sterling silver.
Renner said he wraps for others as well as for himself.
“If my friends or clients want me to put in the work, I will do it. I will do it for a piece to come out really nice. I use all my skills and all my creative energy,” Renner said. He continued, “Sometimes people want stones based on the medical psychical properties of them. For example, Labradorite is a very protective stone, Granite is strength and Amethyst is a recycling stone. So it’s supposed to take any negative energy that you have and turn it into positive energy.”
Both Renner and Tragakes said they get most of their stones online. “ I go through wholesalers. I go online, on Facebook, there are a million wholesalers, I can tell them that I want these stones, in these sizes, in these colors and these qualities and they’ll have them for you. They’re called parasols,” Renner said.
Renner said that he loves wire wrapping and would want to do it for the rest of his life if he could.
“Ideally I would just like to wire wrap for the rest of my life. I’m a Holocaust and Genocide Studies Major and I love it but, I don’t study because of wire wrapping. Sometimes I don’t go out with my friends because I’m working on a piece and I’m so into it,” Renner said.
He continued, “It’s tough, it’s definitely one of the main loves in my life. It’s my meditation. I’ll go back to my room every night and I just hang out, turn the lights off, turn the music on and just wire wrap until I fall asleep. Honestly it’s the best part of my day.”
Shelby Iava can be contacted at email@example.com