My passion for experimenting with new techniques as a means of furthering my skills has led me to the world of wire braiding. I have always admired the wire braid work of other jewellers but have never ventured into it before as I imagined it to be a rather tedious task. I have to say, it’s not so bad. I gave it a try today for the first time – all thanks to a desire to play with my new bench vise.
To try my hand at wire braiding I opted for a small project. I did a six wire braid with 20 gauge copper wire. After braiding a length of about six inches I trimmed the ends and shaped two rings on the ring mandrel … and then dusted off my soldering skills at the bench and went for it.
I used a type of solder that is new to me, made specifically for joining copper, which contains copper. It’s always nicer to have it joined in a color of solder that already matches your copper wire than to have to electroplate the sliver colored copper later on to match. It worked great on the first band …. but not so well on the second band. I think that as I was beading my solder wire snip it joined with a stray piece of silver wire solder which resulted in a visible seam. To hide this I just put a wire rosette on the joint. I may very well redo my rosette later but I am happy enough with it as a successful experiment for the moment.
Now … am I brave enough to break out the silver? We shall see…