Wednesday, 23 June 2010

W is for Wire and Wolf - abc-Wednesday, Round 6 - 'W' / Alphabe-Thursday - 'W'

Photo of Wolf from Wikkipedia

The letter 'W' is this week's stop on our journey through the alphabet with two great memes, Mrs. Denise Nesbitt's abc-Wednesday and Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. I feel that I have strayed far afield from the main theme of my blog, jewellery-making, and really must have at least one word that is jewellery-related. That is why I am starting with my jewellery-word, Wire and will end my post with the more controversial word, Wolf.

This is a close up of a pair of earrings that I made out of sterling silver wire
and different kinds of yellow glass beads. I used a simple wire-wraping-technique to put the beads together and hang them on the earwires.

Wire is metal string in different thicknesses/sizes called
gauges. The gauge of a wire is numbered so that the thicker the gauge, the lower the number. Wire that is 24 gauge is thinner that wire that is 16 gauge. This may seem confusing, but wire gauge has a long tradition, based probably upon the number of times the wire is drawn through smaller and smaller holes to make the thinner sizes.

One way of making different kinds of jewellery is to use chain, which is essentially wire that is bent into links, that are put together.

This is a bracelet that I made with this antiqued brass chain, red beads and
olive green pressed glass leaves to make it look like rose hips.

Another use of wire in jewellery-making is 'wire-wraping'. Metal wire, such as brass, copper or sterling silver wire is literally 'wraped' around and/or through holes in stones, pearls or glass beads to be linked together with all parts, decorative and functional, in order to build necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

This is the same pattern earrings, but with green glass beads and red copper leverback earring-findings, instead of the white and shiny silver earwires. The colour of metal is also a design-choice. The red copper is a warm tone together with the emerald green beads.


My second word, 'Wolf', has almost as many possibities as last week's word 'Viking'. The Wolf, has both friends and enemies, which is why I decided to get my jewellery-making-lesson over with first, before I let the wolf pack loose.

A pack of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, photo: Wikkipedia

The Wolf is a mammal, a carnivore and a predator, that has a long history parallell with humans. The Wolf or related species, is said to be the ancester of all breeds of dogs. The Wolf is genetically so close to dogs, that Wolves can and do actually mate with them. The Wolf has been feared and hated to such an extreme degree, that its numbers have been reduced to near extinction on the Scandinavian Pennisula of today. The lone wolves that wander in the mountains between Norway and Sweden are not in large enough numbers to even be called 'packs of wolves'. It is the wolf's history of not just taking wild prey such as deer in the forest, but also killing non-prey animals such as red foxes, dogs, sheep and raindeer, that have fueled the hatred of many generations of lifestock-owners.

Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), photo: Wikkipedia

Here is a photo of a howling wolf.
If you click here and go to the site on Wikkipedia,
you can click on a link there to hear wolves howl or click here.

To listen to a rallying cry click

As a mother, I am called upon to read fairytales about animals like the Wolf in Little Red Ridinghood. This is the one tale that most people remember as adults. Like all folktales, there are many versions, but two main literary versions. There is Charles Perrault's 17th-century tale that ends with Little Red Riding being murdered by the wolf, and then there is the Grimms brothers' 19th-century version, that allows a hunter to rescue both the grandmother and the child by cutting open the wolf's belly. (See Maria Tatar, The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales, 1987.)

This is an illustration of the Wolf meeting Little Red Ridinghood by Gustave Doré.

And here the artist Svend-Otto S. has depicted the same scene.

If given the choice, which predator would you rather meet up with while wandering in the woods, a wolf or a bear?

(This photo is from the book Rovdjur, by Magnus Elander, Staffan Widstrand and Johan Lewenhaupt, 2002)

Which kind of predator would you be least afraid of ?

(This photo is from the book Rovdjur, by Magnus Elander, Staffan Widstrand and Johan Lewenhaupt, 2002)

Svend-Otto S. illustration of the Wolf in Little Red Ridinghood

Personally, I don't think that I would like to meet a bear. In spite of a world full of children stories, with sweet characters like Winnie-the-Pooh, Bamse and with all of these cute stuffed toy teddy-bears, I think I'd rather take my chances with a wolf rather than with a bear.

Here are some of the children's stuffed Teddy Bears:

I keep thinking about the dammage that a mere swipe of a bear's paw can do. A few years ago, I read a newspaper article about a Swedish bear-hunter who was attacked by a bear that was just about to bite off his arm. He only had a split second to do this. He had the presence of mind to punch the bear hard on the inside of the back of its throat and be able to pull himself free and save his arm.

I think I'd rather meet up with a Wolf!

Gustave Doré shows Little Red getting into bed with the Wolf
who is dressed as Grandma.

Let's be fair to the wolf. Even wolf-cubs can be cute,
and this one looks like a sweet puppy!

(This photo is from the book Rovdjur, by Magnus Elander, Staffan Widstrand and Johan Lewenhaupt, 2002)


Best wishes,

First Commenter:
of Duck and Wheel with String

Jenny      Matlock

For more W-words at Mrs. Nesbitt's abcWednesday please click here.
For more W-words at Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday please click
To read an excellent Alphabe-Thursday-post about wolves by Jeff Campbell, please click on Jeff's Wolves
Read an amazing bear-story by Melinda Cornish here.


Lin said...

Hmmmmm.....a bear or a wolf?? I'm with you--I'd be more scared of a bear. They are a LOT bigger!

Ann said...

Love all the jewelry shots. Those heart earrings are really cute.
As for the wolf, I don't know how I would feel about them if I came face to face with one but I do like pictures of them. I have several hanging in my house.

Secondary Roads said...

I'm returning your visit, and like what I see. The ABC meme looks very interesting. I'm going to check that out. Loved the stories of wire and wolves.

mbkatc230 said...

The yellow earrings are just beautiful! So bright and fun for summer. Interesting information about wire wrapping, I love to learn new things. As for wolves, I would much rather meet a wolf in the wild than a bear. Wolves are generally quite shy around people. I think they are very misunderstood, and have always been one of my favorite animals. I would love to see a bear in the wild, but only from a safe distance! Kathy

Anonymous said...

The yellow earrings and the hearts earrings? Just yummy! Love them!

Alesa Warcan said...

What a wonderful and awesome W post. : j

Are you making Chain link?!

The earrings are quite cute!

Hmm... I'd rather meet a bear. But in most cases wolves and bears will leave people alone. So I'm imagining a hungry wolf and an angry bear. I'm, still going with the bear. Wolves hunt in packs...

Duni said...

I can think of one more 'predator' that is even more dangerous = the human.

Those yellow earrings and the red with the hearts are fab!!!

Anna said...

Lin Thanks for stopping by! Yes, bears can be really big. It is their size that scares me too. I looked at your blog a few minutes ago and see a lot that I would like to read. Thanks for putting up the 'Red Cat Society' badge. I will let you know when I get the 'official' one done. WillOaks-Karen would like me to do a larger size.
Ann Thank you for your kind words about my jewellery. You see why I started with my little jewellery-show first!
Secondary Roads Thank you so much for visitng. Actually, I wonder if you could say hello to your sister, 'Clara', for me. I have noticed that she has not changed anything on her two blogs since May. Is everything alright? Hope that she is just on a nice vacation-trip.
Sorry. Have to take a break here!

Anna said...

Kathy Thank you for your kind words about the sunny yellow earrings. I am going to try to list them in one of my Etsy-shops today. Please take a peek at:


and even:


When I started writing this post, I did not really know what I was going to say about wolves. I have read texts by disgruntled livestock-owners and hunters whose dogs have been killed by wolves, that I thought that I would not take sides at all. But then I thought about children's literature and all the times the wolf plays the bad guy and the bear is a cuddle-bun, which is not what they are in real life. I decided to defend the wolf because it is on the verge of extinction here in Scandinavia while the bear, which is a bigger and more dangerous beast to have a run-in with is alive and well.
Grace Thank you for the compliments on my earrings. I will even list the heart-earrings in one of my shops today or tomorrow. So please take a peek when you get the time.


and even:



Gotta take another break here.

Anna said...

Alesa Warcan My cheerleading squad is back!!! And as you can see I am very late this week. You would not believe what my offline-life is like right now!
To answer your question:
I did not make the 10mm antiqued brass chain link that Elisabet is holding in her hands. I bought it from Diana, an Etsy-pal of mine who lives in Boulder, CO and has a wonderful shop for jewellery-making supplies Mountain Shadow Design on Etsy.
But she bought the chain from a manufacturer and I don't know their name. I have tried making a shorter chain out of silver links, but I am still taking baby-steps when it comes to my own silver-smithing. I need better equipment and more practice before I can start selling advanced silver-pieces. But I am getting there!

As far as the choice between a wolf and a bear, it is a hard question. It is a choice between pest and cholera. I can understand that some people will choose the bear. If it is a cute black bear like the ones you might meet along Skyline Drive and you can get back into your car. No problems.

In Scandinavia there are so few wolves, that there are no real 'packs' like those described in older novels. I was looking for a quote from a novel by Nobel-Laureate, Selma Lagerlof. In her first novel, Gosta Berlings Saga, there is a dark and cold wintry scene where Gosta Berling and a fair lady are riding as fast as they can in a sled to escape a pack of wolves that are following them -- hot on their heels! In order to distract the wolves, one of the characters, maybe Gosta Berling throws a leather-bound book at them, which the grey-four-leggeds tear apart!

But I haven't found it yet, and I don't know if there is an English translation of Gosta Berling. I thought I'd just translate that passage myself.

Anyway, that was one of my early thoughts for my W-post. But I suspect that I may tire people out if I have too long texts for them to read.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

We have had a few wolf sitings in my area and it scares me a little. I think they are beautiful creatures, but not sure I like them hanging around my horses...

jay said...

I don't think I'd want to fight either of them, but maybe I'd have more success with 'reasoning' with a wolf, because they are so much like dogs. Hmm. I don't fancy my chances, even so.

Some good information on both subjects there! On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday this week! :)

Anna said...

Duni You have really hit the nail on the head, Duni! Humans can be the worst predators when you think of the distruction that our species are capable of. This was actually one of my thoughts with this post, but maybe I did not state this clearly enough: the Wolf was an animal in great numbers all over Europe! It was the hunting down and the trapping of wolves by humans, that has reduced their numbers. But even the destruction of land areas where wolves can live has played a part in the disappearance of the Wolf in Scandinavia.
With DNA-tests, researchers have seen that the original wolf-population that once lived in Sweden is gone. The few individual wolves that one finds in isolated areas of Sweden, Norway and Finland, have wandered a long way from Russia over Finland to Sweden and Norway. There is no way wolves from the continent can go north to Sweden from Danmark. So there is no longer any contact with that gene-pool of wolves.

Thank you for your kind words about my yellow earrings and the little heart earrings. I trust your judgement when it comes to esthetic choices. I will list these soon on my etsy shop. And I really should list then on my neglected DaWanda shop too!

Hot Rocks said...

Hi Anna,
I love your yellow earrings! Thanks for your kind comments on my blog today. Yes, I have left entrecard, i just cannot commit to the time anymore. Hope you will still visit my blog from time to time!

Viki said...

That was a great lesson about wire. I never really understood what gauge meant but you explained it very well. Personally, I'd rather not run into a bear or a wolf, ha. Great W post.

jeff campbell said...

Hello Anna...such a wonderful post! I love wolves and you really did a fine job with all the great illustrations and photographs. I posted about wolves back when we covered "N", so you know this is a fine subject for me...and I love the jewelry work...wish you could teach me:-) Thank you for your very nice comments on my "W"....Peace and blessings

Anna said...

Rocky Mountain Woman I left this comment (with spelling mistakes) on your blog:

I can understand if you are worried about wolves harming your horses. But, hopefully these wolves are too shy to get anywhere near them. One would hope that a lone wolf would understand that a horse is too big to handle. But if there are enough wolves where you live so that they can live in a larger pack it could be a different story. A pack of wolves could probably harm a larger animal. But why would they bother if there is enough deer in the woods?

I am no expert. I am sure there are game wardens or people from the park service who have information about your local conditions. I can only write a little about the situation in Sweden right now, where wolves live on the brink of extinction.

My husband gets these periodicals about hunting and agriculture because we own a farm with forest that allows hunting-teams at certain times of the year. These guys hunt moose and we get a portion of the meat for allowing them to hunt on our property. So this is why I have become interested in what kind of animals/game that is wandering around in our woods.

We don't have wolves at all. But a neighbour came really close to a lynx. Lynxes are big cats with short stubby tails and pointy ears. Lynx can climb trees. I don't think wolves can climb trees.

This is not a clear cut subject. I sided with the wolf on this post, this time, but I also do feel badly for anyone whose pets or livestock are attacked by wolves.

I read an article about a hunting dog that was not just killed, but even partially eaten. Wolves in the wild are not dogs even if their share many characteristics. Wolves in the wild are WILD, which means that they are trying to find food to survive! They are quick to attack and kill if they think it is necessary. A dog might think about it first. If he has a loving home, he knows he will be fed.

I hope your horses remain safe and well. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Best wishes,

Jen said...

Whoa - I don't think we'd care for those critters hanging around us either Rocky MW (that's a mighty scary thought!) Terrific post Anna - I like the heart earrings too and I absolutely love those illustrations :o)

Roger Owen Green said...

Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf? I am, for one. They are the villians in children's stories for a reason.

Good post.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Paula Scott said...

Great "W" posting! Love your wire wraps and the bead and leaves DO look like rose hips. Very clever!
I like wolves. I think I'd rather meet up with a wolf than a bear. Hopefully, I will never have that kind of encounter in my life!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

thank you for sharing photos of your lovely jewelry...and your little helper is adorable :o) It was neat to learn the reason why the numbers go larger as the wire is thinner.

And also interesting to learn more about wolves. My dad lives in the northern woods of Wisconsin and sees wolves and bears where he lives. i would rather see them from afar!

Blessings & Aloha!
I love dogs and I think about how amazing it is that we are able to live with domesticated dogs and that they are so trusting and loving.

Christy said...

I think I am more afraid of a wolf - if I am going to be killed by an animal I want it to happen quickly and a bear seems more likely to have a quick kill.
great post!

RNSANE said...

Anna, I enjoyed your post on the use of wire in jewelry making...very educational and helpful. Your jewelry is lovely. If my finances had not changed so radically with my job loss - and the fact that, at 65, I have so much jewelry I never even wear anymore, I'd buy something.

As for wolves, I find them beautiful. My friend actually has a wolf pup as a pet. There is a breeder her who raises them. He's so cute but different from a dog in that he doesn't bark and it is a little harder to socialize him. I don't know if it is good to raise a wild animal in this fashion. I foresee problems. said...

Check out the unique photo challenge website, every weekday has its own theme and a different photo challenge every week.
The themes are:

Monday - Creative Colors
Tuesday - Macro
Wednesday - 2 of a kind
Thursday - Urban
Friday - Sunset

The winning photo for every theme/week gets their photo published on the website, check it out and ill be glad if you would join :)

Have a good one!

Jenny said...

Anna, what an intriquing link to Alphabe-Thursday's letter "W" this week.

First...that bracelet with the green leaves and red berries. I've looked several times on your Etsy shop. If you ever make those for sale I would be very interested in purchasing one or two. I don't even wear jewelry but I have been thinking and thinking about that bracelet from when I first saw it some time back!

As for your predator question. I will share my first thought to your query...and it was human predators terrify me the most. Even though that is stretching your intent!

Thank you for linking up. I always love visiting here and seeing what you are up to.

You are wonderful!

Let me know if you ever post the bracelets, too, OK?


Jenny said...

I hope my comment posted. It seemed to go too quickly. Let me know if there isn't a long rambly post about your bracelet and I will repost! Sorry.

H said...

I love the rose hip bracelet. It looks so natural.

Bear or wolf? Wolf every time!

Vilt og vakkert said...


The piece your sharming daugther is holding reminds me of ancient Etruscan
jewels, very beautiful!

Melinda Cornish said...

Did you read my alphabe U' post? I met up with a bear....I am way more scared of wolves....I think both are beautiful creatures though.......I love the red heart earrings and your little photo model is a doll.......

Anna said...

Sorry about jumping over some of you other commenters. I need to record this. I'll get back with you later.

Hi Melinda,
I left this comment on your W-post. I am getting to your U-post soon too.

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Dear Melinda,
I have read every word of this post -- and it has made me so weepy and teary-eyed that I can hardly see to type this. If I could go back in time... If I could... I would be hugging all of my family-members and asking them to tell me things. I would be telling them how much I love them. I would be writing letters like mad to relatives that live far away so that they would have those letters to read. I would say things that I never dare to say.

But maybe I would mess up the scheme of things...

Have you ever seen the third Harry Potter film 'The Prisoner of Azkaban'?? Read the novel if you can, but even the film is very, very good, actor Daniel Radcliff's favourite. Hermione Granger has a little gadget called a 'time-turner' that allows one to travel in time. But she only uses it to go back in time a few hours. In the book and the film there is some discussion about the dangers of going back in time.


I would love to see my father again, all of my grandparents and various other people that are no longer among the living.

I need to blow my nose!

Best wishes,

Thanks for stopping by my W-post. I was on my way to your 'U'-post and was caught of guard by the word 'Wistful'. There is a similar word in Swedish, 'Langtan' (the 'a' has an omlaut), a word that can make any Swede shed buckets of tears!

I agree with Mrs. Matlock that you should try writing a story about this and see where it takes you. But a far a 'closure' is concerned. I personally don't want to put a lid on my memories. There may be lessons to be learned, but the problem is that many 'lessons' in life only apply to specific situations and are not always applicable when it comes to newer events.

Wonderful post!!

Russ said...

Anna sorry I am so late on commenting on this post. Everything is so great. I love the wire work you do.
The wolves are a fantastic animal.I would rather meet one of them rather than a bear. I guess I would have to hope it is not too hungry.You have a better chance of driving away a wolf than you do a bear.
Thanks for the information and also the wonderful jewelry.

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