Precious Wire Jewelry To Be Shown at an Exhibition in London
More than 200 wire creations some highly detailed, some belonging to royalty will show in London for the 400th anniversary of a wire makers guild.
Creating wire from precious metal is not unlike making fresh pasta: Using a hand-cranked machine called a draw bench, the maker repeatedly forces the metal through the holes in a steel plate until the desired thinness is achieved, a technique called wire drawing.
In the past, such fine wire was used to produce gold cloth for kings and to embroider gowns for queens. More recently it has been used for highly detailed jewelry that appears to have been twisted, woven, braided and even stitched from metal. Such pieces will be among the more than 200 items displayed in Treasures of Gold and Silver Wire, scheduled to open Sept. 29 at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London and run through Nov. 12.
The exhibition has been planned to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers, which continues to use the medieval spelling of wire.