I'm Benjamin Hajnal from Hungary. I’m 14 years old studying in grade 8 and my main hobby is preparing wire jewels. I started this hobby in December 2007 just one month before my 11th birthday, after I had borrowed a booklet about wire jewellery from the school library. Since then I have improved my skills in many respects.
I started with steel wire and big clamps which helped me educate my hands, because steel wire is much harder and therefore much less tractable than brass or copper wire.
Nowadays I prepare jewellery from copper and brass wire which are tractable. I also work with silver plated brass wire which is covered with 925 silver and sometimes with pure 925 silver. I process the wires with different types of clamps. I also plate the majority of the jewels with a special flattening hammer (in German it is called Patschhammer) which makes them nicer and resistant to deformation. I solder some of my jewels and I use silver solder for this. Unfortunately only brass and pure silver wire can be soldered with silver solder. Copper has much different colour than silver, therefore its colour would be in big contrast to that of the silver solder. As to silver plated wire, it would lose its silver layer during soldering due to the high temperature applied. I use different kinds of beads, corals and semi-precious stones to my jewels.
Please find this link to my Picasa page with my wire jewels.
After I had developed my skills in wire jewellery making, my interest turned to other crafts, as well.
When I was 12, I felt a strong desire to learn how to work with stained glass. I was lucky enough to learn some of these skills from a wonderful person, Mrs. Erzsébet L. Szabó, who is a famous artist of all kinds of glass art.
Please find below the photo of the stained glass plate that I made then.
At the age of 13 my interest turned to wood. Even earlier I dropped in on a joiner’s workshop sometimes when coming home from school, just to look around. Then I asked the master joiner if he could teach me after school. He agreed and I learned and worked there for more than a year.
Being in love with wood, last summer I went to Zsobok, a small village in Transylvania, to learn how to carve wood. Each summer there is a one-week-carving-camp there for adults. Fortunately the master wood carver allowed me to join them as the only child. I enjoyed carving much. Please see here the plate I carved there (my first wood carving!) photoed by a journalist who visited the camp.
I also share here the whole article by the journalist of the daily of Kolozsvar (a city not far from Zsobok).
While carving, I realized how important the good tools are. My master in Zsobok explained to me that he had prepared his tools himself. I had a strong desire to do the same.
After I had returned from Zsobok, I looked for a good tool-maker on internet. I was lucky again. I found a fantastic master tool-maker that accepted me as his pupil and as his help in his work (of course, only in the afternoons, after school). Please find below some pictures of two knives I made there. The one in the first photo is also my own design.
This year I also began to learn drawing, because I want to obtain the skills to draw the objects that I have in mind. I think my skills have improved much since then. Please see below some of my drawings.
Though my time is not infinite and therefore I can’t do all my beloved crafts at the same time, together with school, I try to make use of all opportunities to go on.
Sometimes I am invited to teach wire-jewellery making which I always accept and enjoy. This way I taught this activity in cultural houses where there were both children and adults learning and also in the Pető Institute where there are disabled children living who enjoyed jewellery making much.
By now I have also started my own wire jewellery making course in which mainly young ladies participate.
This summer I intend to participate in the wood-carving camp in Zsobok again.
I love my school, but I can’t wait to be free in summer to have more time for the crafts.
Should you have any questions about the technique of the crafts I do or these crafts in general, please feel free to contact me .