Learning to Weave Wire - A Twisted Serpent

This isn't finished yet and I have a wonderful story to go with it... but wanted to share the progress as of today.  I built the frame and used the weave I spoke of in the first post... a simple looping action but rather than a one to one loop, I used three and two.

Please remember that what I'm showing are weaving techniques as I create pieces and learn.  These are not full blown project tutorials, but I do hope you can use the information to inspire your own creative projects!

1.  Anchor your weaving wire (26 or 28 gauge is best) by creating three single loops around the outside frame wire.

2.  Loops four and five should cross both frame wires and then do three more single loops around the outside wire.

3.  Repeat this pattern all around your frame wires.  You can, like I did, choose a logical and attractive point to break the weaving pattern and do simple coiling around both frame wires, then continue the weave pattern.

You will notice that I'm actually using three frame wires here... I add the third wire into the weaving pattern in the middle section of my Serpent. ;)

In this section, I stop the three to two loop pattern and move to a one loop pattern over each of the three wires.

1.  Starting at the inside frame wire, anchor the weaving wire by creating three single loops, moving the wire to the right.

2.  Cross the center frame wire and weave down, between the center frame wire and the right side frame wire.  Bring the 26g back up between the first and center frame wires, completely encircling the center frame wire.

3.  Bring the weaving wire across the right side frame wire and make a complete loop around the outside frame wire.  Bring it under and back up between the first and center frame wire, then down between the center and right side, to completely encircle the center frame wire.

4.  Bring the weaving wire under and up the outside of the first frame wire.
Repeat this pattern as far up your piece as you desire, when using three frame wires.

This is what it looks like so far.  I haven't anchored the focal bead yet, but have it positioned for a visual inspection on my pendant.  Here's a peak at the whole thing... remember, it isn't finished!  So I hope you come back to see where this goes.

Enjoy your wire craft and have a beautiful day!

Learning to Weave Wire - A Twisted Heart

Okay so this is the latest project of mine... learning this technique
takes time but is full of joy!  I hope to inspire you to give wire weaving a try.  My next post will be out soon with some details but until then... enjoy the eye candy ;)

Learning to Weave Jewelry Wire - Basic 1 to 1 loop and coils

Continuing with the previous project, I wanted to show you what the same weave looks like but this time, it's basically a 1 to 1 loop around the frame wires.  This is also nice if you are making a track of sorts or a 'cradle' to wrap around the edge of a focal bead.

I'll be back to show more soon ;)
Click the image to enlarge and get a close look.

Learning to Wire Weaving - A Basic 2 to 1 Loop

One of the first things I learned when weaving wire is... make your frame bends first if you are using a larger wire.  After the wires are weaved, they can become very difficult to bend, especially if they require a twist or sharp curve around your focal bead.  Maybe others know a better way of doing this, but for me, this seems to be the first step in a project.

In this photo, I've spiraled around a focal glass bead with 16 gauge wire and I'm using a 26g wire for the looping or 'weave'.

1.  I've anchored the thin wire at the beginning of the frame by doing a simple looping wrap over both frame wires.

2.  Where the frame wires begin to separate, loop twice around the 'outside' frame wire, then come over both frame wires, down the inside frame along the side that faces the bead.

3.  Come back up through the middle and loop once around the 'inside' frame wire, then under both frame wires, returning to the outside of the frame.

The looping is always going in the same direction and this motion is repeated all around the focal bead.

I do two loops around the outside wire and one loop around the inside wire because these wires are spiraled around the bead and this seems to create a nice uniform pattern, keeping the loops even with each other as I move around the frame wires.

It's an easy first weave to practice.  As I wrote in the previous post, it's very important to work with a comfortable length of wire for the weaving.  I use three feet at a time.  Work slowly and carefully, managing the thin wire so that it does not kink or bulk while looping around the frame wires.  Make sure the loops are snug and laying flat along the frame.

After you do three or four 'rows' of loops, you might use your thumb and finger to push the loops close together to keep them uniform and neat.

You can click each of these images to enlarge them and take a better look.  Have fun!  I'll be back with another post soon.

Learning to Weave Wire

This can be one of the most unique and beautiful wire techniques, however it can also be the most frustrating and tedious to learn... there is no getting around the fact that it takes practice and a whole lot of patience.  I've been working on learning it for a few months now and learning how to keep the wire neat, tight and attractive... many sighs and in one case, tears, later, I think I'm finally starting to understand what it takes.

I want to share what I learn with you to help get you over the very frustrating starting points.  It looks a lot easier than it is and so I give huge credit to those artists who seem to do magic with these techniques, they truly have learned and applied a worthy skill of wire craft.  There certainly are many others who have opinion on how 'best' to do these techniques so I encourage you to explore and read as the things I'm covering with you are from my own personal experience, there may be better ways... please share via comment if  you'd like as I'm also, still learning.

Beginning Tips:
1.  Use a small gauge wire to do the weaving, 26g and 28g is what I use.  Use a larger, more sturdy wire for the frame of your piece.

2.  Use a manageable length, I use 3 to 5 feet at a time.  I don't hold my wire coiled up like I've read in other places.  I use the wire length loose, like a thread.  Weaving with more than 3 to 5 feet at a time becomes difficult to manage and the wire hardens as you weave, so a longer length, I've found, causes kinking and breaking along with just being hard to handle.  Working with one foot of wire at a time, will get you no where fast... a foot of 26g wire, weaved around 16g seems to create approximately 1/2 inch of weaved work.  Three feet of 26g wire seems to create just over an inch to 1.5 inch at a time of weaved work, depending on the size of the frame wires and the pattern of your weave.

3.  If you work with your weaving wire loose like I do, be careful of your eyes, the wire can still be a bit difficult to handle when you are first beginning and I've come close to poking myself in the face.  Either use eye wear or just always be mindful of that loose end.

4.  Keep the weaving wire working in the direction of it's natural bend (as it came off the spool).  Normally I take a 3 foot length of wire and gently 'straighten it' by pressing it between my fingers.  Coming off the spool, it has a natural loose coil already on it and I find this hard to work with, so I take the moment to press it into a straight piece of wire.

5.  Keep a controlled but slight tension on the weaving wire as you work.  Push it snug to the frame wire and use your flat nose pliers when the wire becomes short and hard to push or pull tight.  Don't continually 'rub' your wire straight as this will cause hardening, making it brittle.

6.  Work slowly and neatly, ensuring that the weaved loop does not overlap the previous one... this is the hard to do part, but keeping patient and making sure each wrap is snug and flat against the frame wire will make for a better and more beautiful piece when done.  This will be effort anyway, so make it worth it.  There is no 'fast way' to do this technique, so prepare yourself, before you begin and make sure you work in good lighting.

7.  Pay attention to your weave, what direction you are working in and what count of loop you're on... this will matter because eventually, you will 'end' one length of wire and have to 'begin' a new length of wire to get through the distance of your frame.  Learning to keep focus will keep your weave uniform.

8.  When working with a frame that has angles or joins, it is best to start your weave at the most narrow point of the frame and work into the wider spaces.

I hope this helps for now and I hope you continue to return and read as I intend to post a few more articles about wire weaving and how to learn this beautiful technique.  I will also be showing a few different weaving patterns and some simple projects that you can try.

New! Blue Ice Wire Wrap Cuff Bracelet Tutorial

I had a wonderful time creating this... it just took MUCH longer than I thought it would, but I hope it's worth the wait.  I like to use regular craft store items for these projects for several reasons, one being that you can easily find the exact items needed to complete the tutorial project and they are within reasonable dollars.  No fear of purchasing precious metals or finding rare and exotic beads, just run to the local hobby / craft store and get started!

This is a whimsical and fun wire wrapped cuff, designed so you don't have to worry about technical abilities. While it takes some time, the wrapping techniques used are simple and can be accomplished with minimal skill... only a will to continue and not give it up. ;)

Click here to purchase the tutorial.