Wire jewelry in history

The history of wire weaving

About the history of “wire weaving”!

“Wire weaving”, what is that anyway?

Before I start with the story of wire weaving, I would like to tell you what wire weaving is, what this expression means, how the technique works. “Wire weaving” is a very old technique for making handmade jewelry. In principle, it works in such a way that patterns are wrapped or “woven” on or around thicker base wires, with thinner wire. The wrapped or unwrapped base wires are brought into the desired shape step by step Loops, bends, curves, which then make up the piece of jewelry. I personally describe “wire weaving” as “perfected improvisation”: Because you have to go so much with the flow of the individual piece, or rather, go may. Each individual piece is a new experience and a challenge, has its own ways of doing it and its own possibilities, which often only open up during production. With “wire weaving”, the piece of jewelry becomes purely mechanical (manual), made by bending and twisting the wires. This also includes the fixation in the desired form, by wrapping wires with wires, without heating or soldering the wire. Of course there are a few tools that you need for wire weaving. Basically, these are only 4 things: a wire pincers, round pliers, flat pliers and chain pliers. With the help of these 4 devices you can “wire weave”. All additional tools are then only relief, and I want to emphasize that despite all the tools, the technique of wire weaving is carried out by hand. It is also an excellent technique for edging gemstones (in every available form).

The history of “wire weaving”:

Specimens of wire and pearl jewelry, made using the technique of wire weaving, date back to the time before Christ. The British Museum owns jewelry from the Sumerian dynasty, which can be found in the “cemetery of Ur” were found and contained spiral wire elements. These pieces of jewelry were dated to around 2000 BC. From this we can see how long the history of wire weaving has existed. Other jewelry from the ancient Romans show “wire weave” loops and are dated to the time around the birth of Christ. Also from the In early Egypt, silver and gold jewelry existed, which includes hand-woven mesh. The real art of “wire weaving” has existed since the time of the Phoenician Empire, around 1000 BC, where gold and silver were hammered into metal sheets narrow strips were cut and sanded smooth at the edges, resulting in the wire. This wire was then woven into patterns and mostly used on breastplate. The earliest reference to drawn (instead of cut) wire dates back to the 8th century in France. The first commercial wire factory was founded in France in 1270 . During the Middle Ages, knights brought wire to England to produce chain mail for their armor. Gold and silver wire was drawn in France and transported back to England. The earliest mention of wire production in England was in 1465. During this time, “wire weaving” was on attaching crosses or other religious symbols, to lanyards or chains reduced.

In the 19th century, in the time of Bohemian culture, beautiful chains and bracelets were made using wire to attach stones and pearls. This jewelry was very popular with the European aristocracy for over 50 years.

Nowadays, “wire-woven” jewelry is famous for its uniqueness and individuality of every single piece – there are no two exactly the same pieces. And this unique and individuality is what fascinates me about this technique. You never know in advance exactly what each piece will look like. And even if you write down the individual steps during the production of a piece of jewelry, each piece made according to these instructions will look different and have its own character.

I hope that in my “History of Wire Weaving” I was able to offer you an interesting overview of where this technique of jewelry production originated and how it developed into what we mean by it today. In In my next blog I will tell you something about wire (including its effects on the body and the psyche – depending on the type of metal it is) and why I love working with it.