Weaving in metal

Our names are George and Elizabeth Jones. I am a physicist and
part time goldsmith and Elizabeth is a Geologist, silversmith and
designer. While completing a law degree in Peru, Elizabeth,
studied the art and crafts of precolumbian cultures. As a native
Peruvian, she learned basic metalsmithing, weaving, repousse and
patinas as part of the traditional cultural training passed on to
the younger generations.

Welcome to Orchid About this ‘weaving’, is it weaving techniques
with metals? Please tell us more.


Hi Lorri Sorry I took so long to answer. Yes we do two types of
weaving. First the basket type of weaving in metals and lately,
we have incorporated the metal loom weaving which produces raised
images much like the loom weaving techniques. My mom is a superb
weaver but due to macular degeneration she is almost blind. I
wish you could have seen her work. I have found that this type
of weaving can add a dimension to a creative mind. Thanks for
asking Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth,

What kind of loom are you using to weave metal? Also, does the
loom have to be modified in any way? Can one use fine silver,
sterling silver, or gold wire. If so, what gauge. I just
acquired a four harness table loom and would like to dress it
with metal wire and attempt to weave small pieces.
Thanks. Ray

Dear Elizabeth,

I am also interested in metal weaving. Do you have pictures of
your work and your Mom’s work? Do you have a website? How did
you learn this technique? Thank you for your help. Pam Welborn

For those interested in weaving in metal there is available a
book for jewelers entitled " Textile Techniques in Metal" ,
author Arline M. Fisch, Published by Lark Books. Excellent and
lots of pictures…


I would refer you to a terrific book - “Textile Techniques in
Metal” by Arline Fisch. More than you could imagine that you
would wish to know on the subject. A beautiful book. Judy Hoch,
Colorado artist and admirer of Fisch

Ray, Sorry I have taken so long to reply. What happens is that
my mom has come down with Alzheimers and its taken some changes
in our lives. Anyway, regarding the weaving, we have sold all
our pieces except one my aunt has in Peru. I will get a photo.
As for the looms, we have used table top small metal looms
because metal tends to kink. We use fine silver and 18 karat
gold because Peru has so much gold and silver that 14 karat is
illegal and sterling is not readily available. I know that there
is a book called Textile Techniques in Metal by Arlene Fisch and
I also have seen many examples of exquisite work done by Mary Lu
Hu in Metalwork. Our work is more like real weaving, with relief
done by using a variety of stitches . So our work, which is
inspired in Inca motifs (but does not have to be), is truly loom
weaving- and therefore succeptible to great tears and occasional
pride. As for gauge, I have used 30 for samll, delicate pieces
and 26 or 28 combined with heavier gauge for basket or coil
weaving. Not having my looms here, I did some coil weaving
similar to basket weaving incorporating the symbols used in our
textiles. But as it often happens, my work of the spring show
was duplicated using vermeil by a person that shall remain
nameless. What can you do? Some people copy so much that their
pieces end up like jigsaw puzzles with no cohesion. If I can be
of more help, please let me know. Elizabeth

Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to reply to my inquiry.
Sorry to hear about your mother.

I would love to see the photos of your work. I have a four
harness Leclerc table loom. When you say a metal loom what are
you referring to? Do you dress your loom with 28 or 30 gauge
fine silver and also weave with the same gauge? How does one
avoid the workhardening of metals? Ray

Hi Rawennek Sorry to take so long… I have used 32 gauge fine
silver wire and I have used in in the same manner that yarn is
used, I guess when you learn this early, it becomes almost second
nature. I am assuming you have done weaving. If you have, you
can do patterns using different colors of gold or combinsations
with silver or you can use stitches to show figures in relief.
I picle my silver to give it that ultra white appearance that we
use for filigree (?) . If you have any questions, or if I am
being vague, please feel free to contact me again. I will send
pictures of my, my mom’s work or work from one of my relatives
soon. Thanks for asking. I guess I am freaking out. I am
working on my ppieces for next year slides and I hear some of you
are picking out the ones you have…Ayyyyyyy I am so behind
It will get better, I know. Elizabeth