A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, August 5, 2013

(not so) Heavy Metal - part 2 - Metal Wire Weaving

And we're back!!  You guys ready to play???  (ok I know some people don't like calling it "play" but dang....I just have too much fun to consider it "work"!!)

Metal part 2 - Metal Wire Weaving

Got your pile of bits?  Your wire?  Here's what else you will need:

A wooden board (plyboard works just fine - the size will depend on the end result you want. That will make sense as you read down today)
Nails - again the number you need you will need to determine for your desired results
Hammer - I use a rather big on...takes less effort for me
Pliers - I like needle nose ones as it lets me get into smaller places
Popsicle Stick

Now to get started --

Since a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words...I'll be quiet and show you the set up first...then the explanation will make more sense I think.

Ok now it will be simple to explain.

If any of you have done pin weaving this will make all kinds of sense. Same concept just on a different scale.

Step 1 - Hammer nails into the board.  How close together or far apart is up to you but I put these apx. 1/2" apart.  Hammer the nails in at an angle so that the heads are pointing AWAY from the middle where you will be doing the weaving. Also...only hammer them in about half way or so. you want them to be easy to remove when you are done weaving.

Step 2 - Attach a long bit of wire to the nail at the top left corner. (enough to go back and forth to fit your project.  measure the distance between your two lines of nails - the center part. Multiply that by the total number of nails in both lines.  Then add apx 6" to give yourself some wiggle room and enough to tie the wire off at the end.)

Step 3 - Pull the attached wire across to the next line of nails and wrap it around the nail opposite the nail you attached the wire to.  Just around behind the nail, not a complete wrapping loop. Check out the photo to help that make sense.

Step 4 - Pull the wire back to the first line of nails and wrap it around the nail next to the starting nail.

Step 5 - Repeat all these steps until you come to the last nail.  Wrap the wire around the last nail enough time to keep it stable.  You will be "messing with" this wire quite a bit so you want it good and secure. It will help if you wrap the last nail and also do a couple of times around the wire just next to the nail.

Now you have the base of your weaving...the warp I think. Some of you weavers can correct me if that isn't right.

The next part is the weaving of the wire across this base.  (woof or weft I think)

Step 6 - Attach the wire to the base wrapped wire right at a corner nail.  You can also attach it with one wrap to the nail as well if you like.  

Step 7 - Weave the wire back and forth until you get to the other line of nails. DO NOT PULL TIGHT!!  You just want to make a curve in the wire to get ready to weave back in the other direction each time. This is when the popsicle stick comes in handy (see photo). Again - weavers - help me out here.  Does this have an "official" name? The pliers also are VERY helpful in pulling the wire over and under and through.

WHILE you are weaving, at random spots, attach small rusty bits - a washer, key, buckle, etc.  I even added some rusted chain.

Step 8 - When you get to the end, attach the weaving wire to the base wire and the final nail where you end up.

TA-DA!!!  Woven Wire!!

I'll give you a few days to work on this. It took me longer than I had originally thought.  Please comment with any questions as you go along.  I'll be checking in regularly to answer them.  Then on Thursday, I'll post photos of how I used this technique in my own art work.

OK, now for the caveats just to protect everyone.  This IS rusty wire (if you have chosen to go that route). Be very careful. I suppose you should wear canvas gloves (I didn't - but then my tetanus shot is up to date!) So...do whatever you feel you need to do to protect yourself.


  1. Ha,ha. If I had a hammer....

  2. LOL! Now that song will be in my head all day!

  3. Great idea, and that song? Do you hammer in the morning?

  4. Mia - for this bit I was hammering for morning and evening!


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