In addition to the felt work I've been doing recently, I've also been experimenting with the Viking wire weaving. (The tutorial on how to do this is here: http://tangibledaydreams.blogspot.com/2010/03/tutorial-viking-wire-weaving.html)
This first necklace, so nicely modeled by my daughter Michelle, is made of 24 gauge copper wire. The slide bead is created with Delica seed beads that have been peyote stitched together. I'm living in Arizona, and copper is one of the 'three c's' that the state's economy was based on. (Cattle and Cotton were the other two.) So I decided to go for a desert Southwest feel, with the black and turquoise focal bead to complement the copper.
These next two are made with non-tarnish silver Artistic Wire. That one on the right is a collaboration with gem carver Epaul Fischer (http://www.gemartist.com/). It was a high school graduation gift for my daughter. The phoenix 'Wings' design was inspired by a needlepoint work that my folks had up on their bedroom wall when I was a kid. It read, "There are two lasting gifts you can give to your children. One is roots. The other is wings." So, this was her gift of wings.
And then I got to thinking about the Artistic Wire. It is copper wire, with a coating plated onto it. It comes in a variety of colors, which looks great to work with. But I'm not sure how durable the coating is. So, I decided to experiment. This last necklace is made of 5 colors of 26 gauge wire for the chain, and about 20 gauge copper for the clasp. I wove an inch of each color, and then pulled it through the draw plate. The coating didn't scratch in this process at all, and the sections are still even in size.
I'm wearing this necklace right now. I love the way it looks! But I'm still worried about the durability. I'm going to wear the necklace pretty much non-stop for the next few weeks, and see how it fares. I'd hate to put in all those hours weaving a piece of jewelry, if it won't hold up to normal wear and tear.
Has anyone else experimented with the Artistic Wire? What is your experience with it?