Hey wire weavers, I've got couple more tips to hopefully make your life of weaving a bit easier especially if like me, drawing is not part of your skills.
I usually start with a stone, develop a plan to wrap it and begin with the wires. I like to have a lot of wire so the stone can lead me, but often I get to a point that I have a couple of options with the wire. This is especially true with a heady pendant and coils. Where should they go and how long do I want them? Enter the pipe cleaner! It's fuzzy wire so it acts like wire and gives you a great visual as to how your pendant will look.
In the first photo, the pendant I am making is coming along nicely, but it is out of balance. I need to fill it in, but where do I start and end? In the second photo the orange pipe cleaner really shows me how an added coil will look. This is especially helpful if, like me, you don't draw very well.
You can also use the pipe cleaner to measure your stone and determine how much wire you need. Simply wrap the pipe cleaner around the edge of your stone, note the ends where they meet, straighten out the pipe cleaner and measure the length which is the circumference of your focal piece. Using the pipe cleaner to visualize the placement of wire in your work will also help you keep from getting kinks and bends in your working wires. Does your piece need a frame? Build a test frame with pipe cleaner.
Never be afraid to try something out. Use pipe cleaners and you won't be putting bends and kinks in your actual pieces!
Do you have trouble keeping kinks out of your weaving wire or figuring out how much you need? I like to work from the spool so that I do not cut my weaving wire until I have finished a weave. However, as I weave the wire would twist and I would have to keep stopping to untwist it and avoid kinks. I keep the tools I am using in a plastic shoe box and found that if I place my spool of wire on it's side in the corner of the box, it unwinds without the curl as I go. No more twists and kinks to slow me down. Give it a shot and see if it works for you.