"Crafts Out of Necessity"
The wirefloss became
enormously popular as
raw material for crafts,
both for practical items
and decorative ones.
People made it into rings
and earrings and necklaces.
They sent the scavengers
back out for more, and
the scavengers cracked open
consoles to find color-coded wires
in all the shades of the rainbow.
People made platters
and baskets in patterns.
They wove sculptures
to hang on the plain walls and
break up the unrelenting expanse
of grey and white station.
The scavengers offered up
bits and bobs of wreckage --
old insignia pins, coins, buttons,
nuts and bolts and washers.
People incorporated those
into their crafts as well.
There were, too, a few chunks
of crystal from the comet traps,
or shiny nuggets of nickel-iron.
People sliced those and made
earrings and pendants, or carved
the prettiest lumps into rings.
The traders began to notice, to say,
"Oh, that's pretty, where did you get it?"
"I made it," said the crafters.
And the traders' eyes narrowed
with keen interest as they realized
that the people of the Lacuna were
making things quite different than
what could be found in the Arms,
beautiful things that might sell.
Jewelry and other small art objects
made excellent trade stock if you
had a market for ornaments.
So Astin took some to Trunnion,
where the Alta Familia coveted
bits of memorable jewelry
Anne Goede was more ambitious,
stocking some of the larger sculptures,
but then she specialized in luxuries
and doubtless knew gallery owners
who would buy such things.
"What else do you have?"
the traders asked when they returned.
The crafters showed them necklaces
made from aeration balls, ceramic discs,
and fish spine beads. There were shards
of broken dishes made into pendants
and buttons and beads of all kinds.
"We'll take some," the traders said,
and they did.
* * *
"Crafts make us feel rooted, give us a sense of belonging and connect us with our history. Our ancestors used to create these crafts out of necessity, and now we do them for fun, to make money and to express ourselves."
-- Phyllis George
Culture comes in material and non-material flavors. Material culture is all the stuff people make -- jewelry, dinnerware, tools, objects of art, etc. -- to express themselves and make their lives easier.
Wire weaving can be used to make all kinds of arts and crafts. There are tips on choosing wire, but it's important to remember that many wirecrafts arose from people using whatever they had. Today's expensive colored craft wires began as yesterday's discarded telephone wire.
Kumihimo is one type of wire jewelry.
You can make all kinds of things from junk such as bracelets, earrings, and rings. Here is a charm necklace. These are chain bracelets. This pendant is made from scrap metal melted together. Here is a necklace made mostly from nuts.
Telephone wire can be used for more than jewelry, though. African crafters make lovely baskets like these. Learn how to weave wire bowls and baskets.
These hanging sculptures add color to a room. So does this wall hanging crocheted from wire.
Meteorite jewelry comes in various styles. They may be sliced, whether plain nickel-iron or with peridot inclusions. Small attractive nuggets are often turned into pendants or rings with little modification.
Ceramic balls are used in aeration and filtration systems, and can make interesting jewelry. Ceramic discs are used in many appliances. Fish spine beads are used to separate wires.
Ceramic beads and buttons may also be scavenged from tiles or made from shards of broken pottery.
Jewelry has been such an important trade item throughout history that it is possible to map ancient trade routes by tracing beads, gems, and other ornaments.