Willy Wires Maine-made jewelry and ornaments featured in the Down East Good Things from Maine shop.
In 2004, Willy Reddick and her husband moved from a town outside of Boston to the midcoast, buying an 1850s house and barn in Belfast. That’s when she really felt her artistic talent take root. “Maine, to me, is a nurturing place,” she says. “The pace of life is slower, which gives me space in my head to experiment with ideas and try new things.” Reddick had already been making her Willy Wires jewelry and ornaments for half a decade at that point, designing and handcrafting each piece individually, with materials ranging from sterling silver to copper to anodized niobium to recycled metal cans to colorful glass beads. But when Reddick turned her old Belfast barn into an airy studio where she could fully immerse herself in her work, her creativity flourished. “I feel as though I was born an artist,” she says.
Because she neither solders nor uses a jig when making jewelry and ornaments, each piece is truly unique. “I love to make things — lots of different things,” she says. She also hand-paints prototypes for the toy industry, produces paintings of her own, and does white-line woodblock printmaking. Her artwork regularly shows in galleries and museums around New England. And between all that work, she also manages to find time for purely personal projects, like knitting or making decorative felted animals. “Okay, I confess,” she adds. “I have an insatiable urge to make things.”
Many of her ideas for new projects never come to fruition, but not for lack of effort. “There are not enough hours in a day to make all the things I’m thinking about,” she says. “Making things gives me pleasure that I’ve found to be necessary for my well-being.” When she isn’t creating art or jewelry or ornaments, she’s often gardening or baking — and for an occasional break, she loves heading out on Penobscot Bay in a wooden rowboat with her husband, bringing along tea and scones for a snack.