1. Collections are jewelry items that are thematically related in
some way. A continuous concept, design element or metalsmithing
technique moving throughout 20 or more different pieces would be
considered a collection. This does not exclude the items from being
worn in suites (necklace, hair ornament, and earrings).
A grand suite or "parure," is a matched set of jewelry consisting of
Necklace, earrings, bracelets, ring, and brooch, where the
design and metalsmithing techniques are all perfectly
matched to each other. This should not be considered a collection
but could be part of a collection.
2. My former professor Mary Hu weaves with a 30 gauge, 22k gold wire
over an 18 gauge, 18k wire. Very expensive but she says it works
very well for her. I have woven with 22k in a 28 gauge and the
malleability of 22k makes the work much easier than anything else I
have ever used. Hoover and Strong offers a spring-tempered gold wire
that might work well as the support rods.
Good luck and send pictures I will put them in to the image bank of
use in the magazine.