While the water raged over the dam outside during Migration Celebration, I was inside the park center at Little Beaver State Park
learning about a craft I'd never heard of before: wire weaving.
One of the presenters with the Society for Creative Anachronism was working on something, and I was curious. What was he doing? He was making wire chains! He offered to show me how to do it, and of course I had to try.
Basic tools: some wire, a pair of nail clippers and a pencil. He started me off and I went along fairly well, although my work looked not nearly as lovely as his. The technique was surprisingly easy--over and under, in a way that kind of reminded me of knitting. When I'd woven a few strands around the pencil, we "pulled" my piece of weaving through a hole in a wood board. Then again, through a smaller hole. Again and again the wire weaving was pulled through smaller and smaller holes, and the end result:
My little piece of chain!
Here is what it looked like in the end, a small length that could have been a bracelet if I'd kept at it a little longer. Amazing. It took me about 15 minutes to make this section, and I was a raw beginner. Someone adept that the craft could probably make a necklace-length chain in no time at all.
I've been looking online to find out more about how to do this but haven't had much success. I did find this excellent YouTube video that explains a little of the history of the craft; although the method on the video was a little different from what I did, it's basically the same thing.
I'll need to find the SCA people again for another lesson. What's cool about this: not expensive, not difficult and a result in a fairly short time. A Medieval craft that even us lefties can manage! If you're looking for something new to try, check out this medieval craft.