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This necklace was entered in the "wirework" section at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney 2010. It won 1st prize, and was selected for the "Standard of Excellence" cabinet. I have used rectangular Brazilian agate beads, and 18 gauge black coated copper wire, woven together with 26 gauge wire. Plaited tiger tail is used for hanging it round the neck, with a 20 gauge wire clasp, and some tubular toning carnelion beads are "sewn" on with 28 gauge wire.


This necklace won 1st prize in the "knitting, knotting, crochet, macrame, plaiting" section in any fibre including wire at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney 2010.

This was a first attempt for me at making plaited wire jewellery. Initially I plaited 22 gauge wire. Wire is not like thread to plait, and I found the result rather too open and untidy. Wire is very hard to force under and over another piece of wire neatly and close together. In my trawls of the net looking for techniques for round and flat plaits in 4 and more strands I found reference to braids of varying numbers of strands. Braids - the sort I found, anyway - do not weave over and under every strand, just the centre ones. You can easily do a lovely even close braid in wire, even tighter if you make the strands double, ie for a 10 strand braid (which this is) do a 5 braid with each strand doubled. And it looks like a plait.

So - I made 2 lovely 10 strand flat braids in 22 gauge coated copper wire, one in gold copper red orange and magenta colours, 2 strands of each. And one in black, 10 strands of wire but again using a 5 strand braid technique with each strand doubled. I looked up a nice macrame knot and joined them in the middle. Disaster! The braids were not flexible enough to pull the knot close enough to look ok. I then spent a long time unknotting and straightening my braids, and joined them in a simple Josephine knot. This meant one side was black and one bright reddish, 2 braids each side. Ok by me. Now what? I curved the red braids over each other to make 2 enclosed shapes. I had to put some beads in somewhere, this was entered in the beading section. I made some thinner braids, same colours, to cross over the shapes, making smaller shapes, and "sewed"with 28 gauge wire, some red coral beads to partly fill those shapes. I don't do symmetrical, so for the black side I made only one enclosed shape, again crossed over it 2 smaller black braids, and "sewed" with 28 gauge wire some black onyx beads along the crossed braids.

How to finish off the cut wire ends of the braids? Curl them round. Enough braid left to go right round the neck, and of course a 20 gauge wire hook and eye clasp.

I decided to exhibit it agaist a black bust. As many people have worriedly told me, that makes the black side almost disappear, the red side prominent. I quite like that effect.



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Page last updated 4th July 2015.