Thursday, 7 March 2019

Spiral Weave

If I had to choose my favourite design shape, it would definitely
be a SPIRAL! I've always been drawn to the beauty of Ammonites
and I swear the first thing I ever consciously doodled was a twirly-
whirly coil! (Maybe it's because I'm slightly 'round the bend'!).

That's possibly why I fell into wirework too, as it's such a
perfect medium for making them...

So with the approach of Mother's Day at the end of this month,
I have designed a pendant using a spiral form, which after all,
in ancient cultures, represented the cycle of life... So it's a perfect
gift from mother to child.

To shake it up, I've adapted the shape ... nothing too perfect
and round! Nature is close to perfect, but us humans ... well,
need I say more ... !

So here are 3 of my base shapes. These frames are created out
of 1.6mm alluminium wire, but you can create them out of any
wire, in any size to suit your taste.

Next, hammer the outer frames (omitting the joins) to work
harden and flatten them and this will also help the weaving wire
grip to the sides.

Cut a long arm's length of 0.4mm gauge wire and attach near to
the centre and begin weaving back and forth between the space
of the frame.  Make sure you bind 2 or 3 times around the
framework and keep the wire taught and straight to avoid any

Once you've filled the frame (and it might take a couple more
arm's lengths!) secure the end around the top of the frame and
spiral any excess to sit flat against it. For this particular pendant,
I have chosen to glue a small, blue glass mosaic piece to the centre.

Above, is the finished pendant. Very simple and striking when

For my second pendant, I have woven seed and bugle beads
into the frame and glued a broken bead (it split in half, so I
ended up with 2 small cabochon ovals!) into the middle. For the
split bead to sit secure, I created an oval wire frame as a 'nest'

Here is the finished piece!

For my third variation, I decided to weave seed beads and
add more colour into the frame.  Above, is the frame, as seen
from the back, showing how the seed beads are threaded onto
the wire, the wire is then wrapped around the frame and
brought back to the front, for the next row of threading, etc ...

For this beaded variation, I have chosen a resin flat back crystal
and created a wire ring setting to glue and fix to the centre.

And here it is, ready to wear!

These are just a few ideas, but obviously you can weave into
any shape you desire!

Here are a few tips when weaving with wire:
* Don't cut too much wire, an arm's length is ample. You can
always add more, as too much is liable to kink and tangle
* Strive for neat, precise and tight wraps using your fingers
to gently guide, tighten and provide the right amount of tension
* Draw the working wire through your thumb and index finger
after every bind to keep it smooth and straight
* If you get a kink, flat or chain nosed pliers will flatten it out

It's nearly The Big B! (yes, the Brexit Bead Show).
More colourful and much more fun, with absolutely
no politics involved!

Information and Tickets are available from here:

I'll be there talking, demonstrating and running 2 workshops!
So if you're near to Esher, Surrey or can get there on 6th April
it's a guaranteed bead extravaganza!