Category Archives: Weaving

Wire Weaving

I have been having a good go at weaving wire this summer and have even ordered a wee batch of coloured wire for myself! Brilliant start.

What I have just finished is a purple necklace which I had weaved round and round a paint brush. Yes you can weave around anything these days.

The close-up detailing of the loops I think are pretty fancy. The necklace consists of a continuous looping technique which can be worked without needles. I have added small red bead embellishments to create more visual interest and intricacy.

Here’s another sample I have worked on which I am hoping to turn into some earrings.

Wire can be worked in so many different ways as I have discovered from looking at so many different designers. For instance Teri Howes uses a very similar technique to what I have just used. Processes Howes use include wire crochet, wire knitting with two needles, and wire knitting on a spool.

Howes’s inspiration comes from textiles, pattern, geometry, architectural and sculptural forms. Her designs are so intricate and delicate in appearance which I particularly like. Very feminine.

The jewellery looks reminiscent to that of the Victorian period: full of lace-like pattern. It is as if Howes draws with the wire.

I like the way in which Howes does not use machine when creating these delicate pieces. A quiet rebellion against the mass-produced products we buy these days.

Judith Brown is quite similar to Teri Howes in the way in which she also weaves and hand stitches in wire. She is a British Designer Maker and her jewellery possesses a delicate feminine note. Brown learnt how to sew and knit from an early age with her mum and thus, textiles has played a big part in her work.

This piece comes from Brown’s Vintage Lace Collection.

This dramatic bracelet is a combination of knitting and twisting techniques and is made of fine copper wire embellished with tiny glass beads.

Another designer who excells in using wire is Welsh wire sculptor John Bivel-Fauvel.

Large Jellyfish

Bivet-Fauvel is inspired by cultures from history (old and new) and nature, both from land and sea. Instead of just copying , he attempts to capture the quality and essence of nature. All his works are made from found and inessential materials: “the wire I use comes from inside slot machines, electric motors, transformers and any other sources I can find”, thus, all his pieces consist of recycled materials which I really like.

Octopus

His technique is knitting, initially using a knitting machine. However, for more difficult forms he rapidly began to construct his own frames, made all from reclaimed materials of course, to create his sea creatures. The range of work by Binet-Fauvel can be as small as tiny prawns to the great octopus which possess 1-metre long tenticles.

Small Jellyfish

Bivet-Fauvel uses his knowledge of sea creatures to make woven bags inspired from mussels and clams. In addition he creates headgear, body pieces and creatures.

Mussel Handbag
Spiral Form

Form observing works from other designers, I have understood more about how to create 3D forms, thus, hope to create some more experimental samples. Perhaps begin knitting and crocheting to achieve different patterns and holes in the piece.

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Tie a Knot in Your Friendship

The other day, bored, I stumbled across a website about friendship bracelets. Inspired, I began investigating patterns of all sorts. Such an array! The craft began in Central America  and then became popular in the US during the 1970s. These bracelets consist of a lot of weaving and knotting which is a form of macramé. In keeping with tradition, the person who has been given the bracelet must wear it until the warps fray and drop naturally to praise the effort and love for the friend who made it, thus the bracelet is a symbol of friendship.

Bracelets I’ve made!

I’m hoping to integrate this type of knotting and weaving into some of my work as you can use such beautiful colours and pattern. I could maybe use recycled materials such as plastic bags, cut-up t-shirts, increase the scale etc. Just some suggestions.

Oh and if you are wanting to learn some basic knotting here is something to get you on your way 🙂

All friendship bracelets are made using two basic knots: forward knots and backward knots:

Forward Knot

1. Strands side by side.

2. Pass the left strand over the right to create a 4 shape with the threads like below.

3. Then take the left strand under the right and pull upwards to the left to tighten the loop. Do this same process one time more to finish your forward knot.

Backward Knot

1. Strands side by side.

2. Take the right strand over the left strand just as below.

3. Then take the right strand under the left and pull upwards to the right to tighten the loop. Again every knot consists of two of these loops to prevent the bracelet from curling. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!

Bracelet Patterns:

TAISHA

This simple bracelet should start you off nicely.

You need 4 different coloured threads (1.5m/60 inches long) to create this chevron pattern.

I have used: Sap Green (S1 and S8), Cyan (C2 and C7), Olive Green (O3 and O6), and Jungle Green (J4 and J5).

1a. (Row 1)

Forward Knots

Fold the 1.5m/60 inch long threads in half and tie a knot. Pass a safety pin through the loop or any other device that will keep the end secure whilst you work. Separate the threads into order, mirroring the colours on each side like above.

1b.

Begin at the left-hand side and forward knot thread S1 around C2 like above.

1c.

Forward knot thread S1 around O3 like above. Pull tight so the knot sits against the first knot. [REMEMBER EVERY KNOT CONSISTS OF TWO LOOPS!]

1d.

Forward knot S1 around J4 and tighten. Well done your half way finishing this row! You will see that S1 has moved to the middle:

1e.

Now move to the right-hand side and make a backward knot with S8 around C7 like above.

1f.

Backward knot S8 around O6 like above.

1e.

Backward knot S8 around J5 and tighten against the others to form the second half of the row. After tightening it should look something like this:

1f.

Finally to finish the row make a backward knot with S8 around S1.

2a. (Row 2)

Backward Knots

Start the second row at the left-hand side, making forward knots with C2 around O3, C2 around J4, and finally C2 around S8. Make sure you pull each knot tight up against the first row.

2b.

Shift to the right-hand side and begin backward knotting C7 around O6, C7 around J5, and finally C7 around S1. Tightening each knot up against the first row.

2c.

Make a backward knot with C7 around C2 as below and pull tight. Well done you have now finished your second row!

Adjust the knots to create even V-shapes in your bracelet , so it looks something like below.

Follow this exact same principles to complete your bracelet. Starting on the left-hand side thread into the middle, then move to the right-hand thread into the middle again and knot in centre. When finishing each row you should have each side mirroring colours.

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