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Holding Wire for Weaving
by Judy Ellis, Wirejewelry.com
Wire Jewelry Tip for January 13th 2016
Holding Wire for Weaving
by Sarah Thompson
In following along with some of our previous posts about wire weaving, our contributor Sarah Thompson gives us a few great tips today on how to hold your wire when beginning to weave!
Our natural tendency is to pinch the small gauged wire between our thumb and forefinger to guide it as you weave. This is fine, but you will find that your hand will cramp up over time. This can make weaving unpleasant. I use an alternative method inspired from crocheting.
Start your weave to anchor your weaving wire to the base wires. Hold your woven form to the inside of your palm with your weaving wire between your thumb and fore finger and resting on the back of your hand. Pull the form across your palm underneath the pinky and across your ring and middle finger, let the weaving wire follow the same path as it is pulled along with the form. You are now set up to start weaving.
The idea is to allow the wire to run through your fingers while you guide it with your middle finger. Your hand can be open or loosely closed in a fist, but the most important thing is that we are not clenching the muscles in our hand.
The other benefit to holding the wires this way is that I can use my fingers to tap the small gauged wire as I am weaving. This gives the right amount of tension to wrap the wire tightly around the base wires as you weave. When my wire is in the back I tap with my thumb, then as I move to the front I can use my forefinger to tap. We normally pull the wire to tighten; this uses your arm muscles which are more difficult to control, using more force than needed to tighten the wire which can lead to your wire breaking. By tapping with your fingers you are using a minimal amount of force. This dramatically cuts back on your wire breaking.
In the beginning holding the wire this way may feel awkward, so I want you to first focus on learning the weave and getting it right. Hold the wire in a way that is natural to you. Then once you are comfortable with the weave come back and work on how you hold your wire. This will make it more manageable to learn, and soon you will find that it has become second nature.