Monday, May 31, 2010

Viking Wire Weaving: 4 necklaces

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:

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 ( 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?


  1. Love these! Is this something you could teach at the next Fiber Retreat? 8-]

  2. That would be fun! Yes, I think I could figure out a class.

  3. I've recently been making some viking knit and I'm hooked. Love yours. Absolutely beautiful. I'm partial to the copper one. I've only made them in copper, sterling and fine silver though so I can comment on the artistic wire. Frankly, I'm surprised that it held up to the weaving and drawing and would think it should hold up to normal wear and tear if it survived that. Lots of good luck with it.

  4. Thanks, Lois! I think I'm going to bite the bullet though, and order some sterling wire. If I'm going to put in that amount of time, I'd like to be sure the result will last.

    I popped over to your blog, and am now following. You do beautiful work!