Thursday, March 25, 2010
More Viking wire weaving: internal beads
Ok, so this is kind of cool. I've been exploring the various things you can do with Viking wire weaving recently, and my wire mentor Letitia told me how to integrate beads into the weave. Basically, you string a bead when you're about to make a stitch. When you put the rough weave through the draw plate, those beads are smushed to the inside, and end up encased in the finished weave. This I had to try!
So, for this practice piece I picked up some cheap 'beading wire' from Walmart this afternoon. I did discover that the gold tone is only a coating, and that the coating will scratch off if you handle the wire too roughly with the pliers. So I'm not going to use this wire in a higher quality piece, but it was good enough to practice on. First I did a sample with seed beads. They were visually lost in the finished product. Then I tried a sample with green glass 'E' beads, which are basically larger seed beads coming in at a size 6/0. That worked better, but the green didn't have enough contrast to really stand out from the surrounding wire. So I grabbed some black E beads, and made a choker length necklace.
This I'm pleased with. The beads give an elegant but subtle variation on plain chain. I can foresee experimenting with different sized beads, different gauge wire, various number of loops in the weave (this was a 5 loop weave), and a variety of color combinations.