Monday, May 11, 2009

Wire Weaving

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.


Susan said...

Very cool! I love watching crafters take the simplest things and in the simplest way, make something lovely. That's fantastic.

Matthew Burns said...

How cool is that!

lilly said...

Do you need any special weight of wire or can you use a variety. Sounds like a cool craft to learn.Sometimes at the Wind Mill In the summer time they have craft booths but not very many and I don't go often because most of the walkway is gravel and my wheel chair doesn't do well there. So I mainly stick to my crocheting for a craft.

Granny Sue said...

It was fascinating to see how the wire became chain right before my eyes. I think anyone could do this craft, really.

Lilly, he used a fairly fine wire, but you could use a little heavire too--just not too heavy because it has to bendand loop around. But he was weaving two wires at once and it was very pretty. I'd like to try it with copper wire, I think.

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