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His business hangs on a wire

Craftsman Eduardo Oliva creates gold- and silver-wire jewelry that spells out customers' names at O.C. Fair.

July 27, 2011|By Britney Barnes, britney.barnes@latimes.com

"It was something different that you didn't see around," she said, assisting Eduardo with his English.

Eduardo was in his early 20s at the time and it wasn't easy at first. He had to practice his cursive over and over again to perfect the romantic script before he even got near a wire.

Eduardo uses four different pairs of pliers to manipulate a square wire into the shape he wants. It took him hours at first, but now he can make a necklace — his best-selling product — in five minutes.

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"It takes time," he said. "It takes a lot of time. It's hard to do this."

Even with 30 years of experience under his belt, Eduardo said he is still learning and always practicing. He has tried new styles, but eventually ended up back with his original style.

Still, he said, each piece of jewelry is unique, even though he makes them the same way.

Although he learned the craft from his father, Eduardo didn't pass it down to his daughters.

"We didn't feel it was the thing for them," he said, adding that he believes women can pick up the craft — they just don't want to.

But Eduardo isn't worried about the tradition being lost to the next generation — or leaving the family.

"We have nephews," he said.

Check It Out

What: Creative Wire Crafts

Where: Crafters Village in Park Plaza of the O.C. Fair, 88 Fair Drive

Prices: From $7.95 for an initial ring to $75 for a bangle

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