Wire Lace

Wire lace bobbins and wire.

I gather the bobbins have holes and little hooks near the top?

Yes the bobbins do have a little hole at the top of the shank… through which you can attach the wire to “start” you off with the winding … then there is a little screw “eye” (opened slightly with pliers) for the wire to “run” through as you can’t of course put a half hitch on it as you would with thread!  I converted my Downton bobbins (which had been sitting in the cupboard unused for quite a few years) and have since got DH to turn me more as they have worked superbly… not much weight to them (which is what is needed for wire lace work) and they are a nice size to hold when working “up in the air”.  The wire needs to be enamel coated copper wire rather than just the usual brass craft wire as it won’t break as much…  Dick Smith’s sell “Engine Winding Wire”…..  it comes in various weights but only in red, red, or red!
The Dick Smith wire weights are:
0.25 (30 gauge)
0.20 (32 gauge)
0.12 (36 gauge)

I like to work with 32 gauge and if I use any finer …33, 34, 36 I work with it doubled.  When Lenka was here I bought a reel of real Silver wire but haven’t used it yet … keeping it for a special something but not sure what yet…  LOL!  I get my wire from a place in England which turned out to be in the town where I went to High School (!!!) and will be stocking up (for the AGM 2007 workshops) next June when I am over there.  However Dale Rollers on of the Thread Studio here in Perth has been getting it in although she charges $11 per reel.  She does now have quite a nice selection of colours…..  Don’t know if it’s in her online catalogue but her website is: http://www.thethreadstudio.com/

I will try to get some more magnet closures for lace day on Sunday.  There
is a reason I didn’t photograph the ends and closure – and that is because
my wire is not very neat at the end.  I must try to tidy it up before
Sunday.  I tried the hook and loop that Ethel showed us, but failed
dismally.  And for those of us with only two hands, the magnets are easier.

When I did a workshop on wire lace, we were told to use a rolling pin and flatten the piece of lace with it, on a hard surface before attaching any of the beads,

Have you looked at Rosemary Shepherd’s jewellery?

When I did her workshop she emphasised the need to poke ends well into the middle of dense areas where possible – she seems to get rid of most of them in her clasps. She also recommended patterns with smooth edges – no outward pointing picots!!! (Apart from sticking into you they also tend to get bent!)

To start I hang the bobbins on the same as usual bobbin lace and to end – I tie off my bobbins as per normal thread with a reef knot … trim closely and carefully with small wire snips then I use the fine side of an emery board to get rid of the sharpness of the wire so it doesn’t scratch my skin. I haven’t had any scratches yet