6 Tips for Weaving with Wire

Award-Winning Woven Wire Jewelry

The first time I remember really noticing jewelry woven with wire was when Marie Scarpa’s gold and stone brooch graced the cover of Lapidary Journal. That was September 2004 when her piece won first place in the pins and brooches category in the Jewelry Arts Awards. She used 14k and 22k white- and yellow-gold wire with precious and semiprecious stones. Weaving with wire is a specialty of hers, and her work is stunning.

Then I found Marilyn Moore’s work, and I was really smitten.

Marie Scarpa's gold and stone brooch (Lapidary Journal, September 2004) and Marilyn Moore's leaf brooch (Step by Step Wire Jewelry, Summer 2005)
Same Technique, Different Looks  
Leaf Bracelet I try to include at least one woven-wire project in each issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry, as it’s truly one of my favorite techniques, both doing it and the finished product. You can get a number of different looks from weaving. In Kaska Firor’s leaf bracelet, she did a beautiful open weave, for a light and airy look.

Leaf Bracelet by Kaska Firor (Step by Step Wire Jewelry, June/July 2010)

Cristina Amador and Deborah Gray-Wurz wove their pieces tightly, for a very strong and sturdy ring and bracelet.

Opposites Attract by Cristina Amador (Step by Step Wire Jewelry, February/March 2010) and Silver and Spice by Deborah Gray-Wurz (Step by Step Wire Jewelry, April/May 2010)

Opposites Attract Sugar and Spice
Loops Ring And Jodi Bombardier combined wire weaving with wire coiling for her dimensional ring.

Loops Ring by Jodi Bombardier (Step by Step Wire Jewelry, February/March 2010)

Tips for Weaving with Wire
  1. Be sure to use a fine gauge, 26 or higher. Weaving work-hardens the wire quickly, so a heavy gauge would be impossible.
  2. Keep your working wire neatly coiled except for a few working inches to prevent kinking. Or, work in lengths no longer than 3 feet. Also, try pushing the weaving wire through the warp wires instead of pulling it.
  3. Keep your wraps snug and tight against each other for a neat weave.
  4. When weaving a frame that is angled, it is best to start at the narrowest point weaving to the widest point.
  5. Always pull the weaving/coiling wire snugly around the frame to help prevent the wire from bulging, kinking, or buckling on the frame.
  6. Be sure to maintain tension with your wire while weaving. Having a tight weave will give your jewelry a beautiful uniform appearance.
Japanese Lantern FREE Japanese Lantern Project

Practice your wire-weaving skills with this elegant Chinese Lantern pendant by Joyce Zborower.  It's constructed of two separate, but identical, halves. The central wire is threaded through small holes drilled into the framework of the wire weave and through two small beads. 

Download this free Beading Daily project today!



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