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Weaving with metal


#1

Hi Rex, Thanks so much for offering to help. I’ve decided to knit
with fine silver, maybe a 30 guage. I want to knit little mesh
bags. If anyone can give me any advice here on anything relating to
that as well as where to purchase the silver for a good price and
any other suggestions, I’m all ears.

I’m wondering how Peter Rowe is, is he ok?

Skye@comcat.com


#2

Hi, there is book that I have called weaving techniques in
metal I think? I have to look it up at home, but it is a very
resouceful book on weaving metal I think it might come in handy for
you. Bari


#3
Hi Rex, Thanks so much for offering to help. I've decided to knit
with fine silver, maybe a 30 guage. I want to knit little mesh
bags. If anyone can give me any advice here on anything relating to
that as well as where to purchase the silver for a good price and
any other suggestions, I'm all ears.

You might try Hauser & Miller. I believe they are in St.Louis. I
used to buy small gauge fine silver wire from them, wound on small
film spools.

Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego CA USA
mailto:brixner@compuserve.com
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/brixner


#4

I would suggest to learn how to keep your tension with some copper
wire (you can get 30 gauge anywhere). Even if you know how to knit
well, to keep your tension with the wire is completely different.
If you knit with heavier gauge, get prepared for aching arms for
weeks, or months, depending how much you will work. If you use the
spool knitting (and not the two needle, traditional knitting) you
will have a little easier job.

I would be glad to answer any other question you have. I knit,
crochet and weave with any size wire. If you are extremely good
with traditional knitting, you do have a great start. Otherwise
your work will look sloppy and very uneven. (Different from
intentional uneven work).

Gabriella


#5

Hello to Skye and all the other Orchidists who expressed interest
in the weaving post. Firstly, as other Orchidists have already
remembered, the book I was trying to remember was Arline Fische’s
"Textile Techniques in Metal" (thanks Steve Brixner). It is an
excellent reference.

Because so many have expressed interest, I’ll try to verbalise my
experience as succinctly as possible in this direct post. Remember
that I do this in titanium so I rivetted where gold and silver may
be soldered.

General description: A brooch/pendant with woven titanium used as
a heat-treated blue background symbolising the waters of the Great
Barrier Reef, onto which was pinned an 18ct yg Australian
Aboriginal motif turtle. Also pinned onto the Ti, were small bezel
set diamonds implying bubbles and sparkles. This was mounted onto
an 18ct yg frame which incorporated a chenier tubing for a chain
and a joint pin and catch for brooch wear. The blued weaving gave
an attractive shimmering watery quality to the design. The piece
was designed in a vertical format - around 6 cms long and 3 cms
wide.

Materials: Straight strips of titanium 0.2mm thick and around
2.0mm wide and as long as you need. I rolled the titanium down from
1mm sheet then cut my strips from the thin sheet to make sure they
were straight.

I prepared 12 vertical strips and rivetted them between two pieces
of 18ct yg plate 2.5mm wide and 0.5mm thick. This stabilised the
strips. The vertical Ti strips, equivalent to the weft or woof, had
just enough air space between them to allow the horizontal strips
to be maneouvred to form the warp. Naturally, I worked with strips
a little longer than I needed. I pretextured each strip with a pink
compound grinding burr to give the Ti an attractive satin finish.

As each horizontal strip was maneouvred into place, I drilled and
rivetted it to each of the outside verticals with 0.7mm platinum
wire rivets. I used platinum because I wanted to make a feature of
the row of white metal dots down each side of the woven Ti. (The
platinum doesn’t oxidise when the Ti is blued.) At first, I had
some trouble pulling the horizontal warp tightly down onto the one
below, but soon worked out that a sewing needle with its tip turned
over into a fine hook helped me pull each warp down tightly against
its neighbour. I’d get one side down nice and tight, drill and
rivet, then pull the other side down to a neat level fit then
drill and rivet that in turn.

Eventually I had a neat tight rectangle of woven Ti with a strip
of gold across its base, and a neat row of little platinum rivets
running vertically down each side. When all my other design
attachments were ready to be pinned on, I carefully blued the Ti by
heating, then fitted the design elements in place. The final step
was to fit the frame which carried the chenier for the chain as
well as the joint, pin and catch mechanisms and voila! A final
polish with the rouge mop and it was done.

One more little thing. When I set the bezel-set diamonds into the
mesh, I used 0.01 and 0.02ct diamonds which I preset in gold
chenier. After determining the height of the setting, but before I
cut it from the chenier, I filed a subtle taper into the chenier.
This allowed me to push the setting into its hole in the Ti weave
and the slight taper kept the setting in place.

I could then turn it upside-down on a lead block and rivet it into
place. I don’t know why, but I had a sudden inspiration to use a
small round burr instead of my usual rivetting punch. The
serrations of the burr’s cutting edge cut into the thinner tapered
metal behind the diamond and opened out the gold chenier like the
petals of a flower. Naturally I made the settings deep enough so
that the rivetting burr didn’t touch the diamond. The lead block
gave just enough support without marring the fine bezel setting
around the diamond. This little touch was unexpectedly attractive
and suited the aesthetic of the piece.

I have photo’s of the piece both in its component bits before
assembling and then as a finished piece of jewellery, which I’m
quite happy to share, but I’m not sure if I can scan and send
images via email. I’m sure there’s a way.

Hope I haven’t rabbitted on for too long, and I hope this is
understandable. Let me know if it’s not and I’ll try to clarify
any queries. Kind regards, Rex from Oz


#6

Try 26 gauge fine silver wire. It’s stronger and sturdier and
seems to allow for more even stitches. I found the 30 gauge just
too fragile. Sandra


#7

Skye I did some weaving with silver and copper wire on a loom in
grad school. It didn’t work out to well and was rather stiff. I
stopped after two pieces. I purchased my wire from a refiner called
Myron Toback. They were the only place I could locate who would
sell 30 gauge and smaller in relatively small quantities. Everyone
else wanted a minimum 25 ounce order on something that would have
to be special made. I got my copper wire from an electronics
supply house. Best of luck Ptock.


#8

Hi Rex and everyone else who answered my questions re: wire
knitting, crocheting and weaving. I’m on my way…Going to start
with thin copper wire and see how it goes.

Thanks for your detailed description Rex, I found it somewhat over
my head, but very fascinating.

I plan on painting on the metal mesh after I knit it. Any
suggestions on type of paint for metal will be greatly appreciated.
Are there any kinds of paints that I can heat up in my regular
oven? Or are there any stable paints out there for metal that I can
just paint on without worry of it chipping off?

Thanks everyone once again,
Skye


#9

Tobak is a retailer in NYC.What he sells varies with who his
supplier is at the moment.

	@mbm

#10

Skye: Metalliferous in NY has all gauges of fine silver, copper
and brass wire. The Fine silver comes in smaller quantities and is
pegged into the silver price, but the brass and copper come on
spools–the 26 gauge were about $12.00 and $10.00 respectively. (I
don’t know how many ounces on a spool, but it’s an awful lot of
wire!)Sandra


#11
 Hi Rex, Thanks so much for offering to help. I've decided to
knit with fine silver, maybe a 30 guage. I want to knit little
mesh bags. If anyone can give me any advice here on anything
relating to that as well as where to purchase the silver for a
good price and any other suggestions, I'm all ears.

Rio charges spot=$5…60 for 1-6 oz: spot+$4.60for 6-10 oz. They
have a a Knitting with Wire Tech Bulletin listes in the catalog .
Thunderbird doesn’t list fine wire in their catalog. I don’t know
what IJS charges, but wouldn’t get anything from them due to a
unpleasent episode with them regarding the quality of their silver.
(Their attitude “most people take whatever they can get”)

I don’t know anything about knitting, but it seems Crochet would
be a better approach to use. From my limited knowledge, crochet
uses less wire and is faster.

Being sexy is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it

Bobert
Carmel,CA


#12

Gabriella,

I didn’t know weaving with wire was possible, but the idea is
intriguing. I’m not very good at knitting, but I -can- crochet, and
I would love to learn how to do this. Any suggestions? Anyone?

thanks,
Wanda


#13

get arlene fisch’s book “weaving techniques in metal”–it is the
end as far as techniques are to be learn have fun

polly


#14

Just practice on copper or inexpensive craft wire till your
tension is good, and you develop a set of new muscles. Get prepared
for bleeding fingertips. Spool knitting would be the easiest.

Gabriella


#15
 I didn't know weaving with wire was possible, but the idea is
intriguing. I'm not very good at knitting, but I -can- crochet,
and I would *love* to learn how to do this. Any suggestions?
Anyone? 

You can crochet with wire too! Use LARGE needle (diameter -
otherwise it doesn’t look very impressive and it takes forever!)
You can use brass, copper, nickel, sterling or any of the other
colored wires found at your local craft store.

Have fun!


#16
I didn't know weaving with wire was possible, but the idea is
intriguing. I'm not very good at knitting, but I -can- crochet, and
I would *love* to learn how to do this. Any suggestions? Anyone?

Wanda - Check out Arline Fisch’s book “Textile Techniques in
Metal”. There is a section on loom weaving with wire. There are
also descriptions of free weaving (using a soft board and T-pins)
with metal strips.

Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego CA USA
mailto:brixner@compuserve.com
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/brixner


#17

Wanda, I highly recommend Arline Fisch’s book Textile Techniques…
previously mentioned in this forum. If you would like to get a
little taste of weaving with metal try taking a relatively light
gauge of copper sheet (26 ga or less) 4 x 4inches. Use snips to
cut it into 1/8 inch strips leaving the square intact at the top
1/8th inch (i.e. don’t cut all the way through the square). This is
your warp, handle it carefully, the edges are sharp. For your
weft, cut different gauges of wire at least 6 inches long. Mount
the square to foam core or other secure surface, using push pins.
Carefully bend up every other strip (say number 1, 3, 5, 7, etc
counting from the left) and lay the wire across horizontally, then
bend the strips back into place capturing the wire. Next, bend the
alternating strips up (numbers 2, 4, 6,etc) and lay the next piece
of wire across horizontally. Bend those strips back into place
and repeat until you get to the last 1/8th inch of your original
cut square. Fold the last 1/8th inch of the strips up (or down)
over the last wire weft. Ta Da!! You can finish off the piece by
bending the weft ends into sprials or other fun shapes, hammer
them, etc to keep them from drawing back through the warp. You
also can sandwich your woven masterpiece between two 4 by 4 inch
cut metal frames which are cold joined with rivets or whatever,
or… Have Fun, Mia (in S. Calif where according you my 4 year old
son, it’s grasshopper weather…) Oh yeah, I remember what my first
weaving teacher told me… “You have to be warped to weave…”


#18

hi you will love crochet in wire! i’ve been doing it now for
about 3 years…i have some examples up on my site,
http://members.aol.com/patmcaudel/2index.html come by and
see, and if you have any questions, i’d be glad to help.
actually i do use small steel hooks, from 0(biggest) to 9
(smallest) to make a fine meshy look. but i also have been
using the larger hooks for contrast, the problem with using a
larg hook lik a G with 30 gauge fine silver wire is that if it is
a bracelet, it will not hold up to wear… it will bend and fold
on it’sself. i usually make bracelets in 26 ga fine silver.
you can still mix in gemstone beads…just pre string them on
first.

hope this helps
pat


#19

Sounds intriguing! I did get Arline Fisch’s weaving book, and it
looks great too. My mind is -reeling- with possibilities now, and
I can hardly wait to get started… Thank you everyone who
answered!

Wanda


#20

Hi Wanda,

    I didn't know weaving with wire was possible, but the idea
is intriguing. I'm not very good at knitting, but I -can-
crochet, and I would *love* to learn how to do this. Any
suggestions? Anyone?

The last 5 or 6 issues (maybe more) of Lapidary Journal have
articles by Pat Moses-Caudel (an Orchid member) on crocheted
silver wire items. The April 98 issues has an index (p 113) to
all authors & articles in the 1997 issues.

Dave