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Some Excellent Staffordshire Photography


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Found here: http://davidrowan.org/conservation/the-staffordshire-gold-hoard/

 

 

 

I was discussing in an earlier thread, how some of the work described as "twisted wire" does not in fact have that appearance under high magnification... rather, that it appears to be beaded through some kind of tool. 3rd picture in the above link shows this most clearly, what I was talking about before.

 

 

31_untitled-1_v2.jpg

 

 

 

So now I'm curious about the tooling that might have created such shapes, and how a modern re-creationist might approach the problem.

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Beaded wire is on my list to learn how to do. I have seen a couple different methods , but not tried any yet. The easiest is to imagine taking a piece of say 16 gage steel sheel and putting a 60 degree chamfer on one side. Do same on another piece.

Now take those 2 pieces and fix together so the 2 chamfers are opposite so they create an inverted V shape.

Use this tool to "roll" the beads onto the wire.

 

Hope this helps,

Thx for the pics, and I hope we all get better info than I just supplied!!

Ted Bouck

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Those are some amazing photo's, thanks for sharing them!

 

I've been woundering does anyone know if the sword pommels are hollow? the way ones dented makes me thing so... if someone had the weight of one would be even better? ^_^

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The pommel caps are indeed hollow, the tang is supported generally by a hilt plate and then the cap is riveted to the plate beyond the sword/hilt junction.

 

 

 

 

Ted, when you say "roll the beads onto the wire" I'm having trouble visualizing what you mean. The most straightforward thing I could think of was a pair of pliers, with the tooling shape set into them, then used on a wire of your choice - but those are some tiny tiny beads, and the shapes too nice to be a crudely filed in shape, imho.

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Is it possible that instead of rolled into shape, that they were cast in that way? I have seen a few ways to draw wire, but casting them from some sort of mould might give them that shape and consistently, to be finished and refined with tooling. Just my thoughts...

 

John

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I've no earthly idea. The magnification on that piece is so great, though, that I doubt you could get gold to flow in an adequate length before you started getting voids.

 

 

 

At the Nat Geo museum in DC, they've got a video talking about a lot of the filligree work - with reenactors playing craftsmen. They show gold formed into thin sheets (supposedly from coin, according to the curators) and cut out with shears into thin square wire, then twisted.

 

 

There is some work that clearly is twisted, but this particular example, and several others around the display, are clearly something else. I would put those small beads at half a millimeter or less, in some cases... the "waists" even less. That's why I thought they might be crimped into shape somehow, but I'm lost on how one might effectively make that sort of tooling.

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Chris, and Gang,

 

I have Leahy's 'Anglo-Saxon Crafts'

He said there two methods. One was a kind of vice jig. That you fed in wire, and hammered it to make the beaded wire.

The other is a type of rolling swage that was rocked back and forth over the wire, manually forming the bead.

I'm sure Mr Leahy will come out with an updated book, once he gets done figuring out the SH.

 

I have been playing with this a bunch. I have about a hundred garnets flattened out. I was thinking about doing some in copper/gold plate with the real garnets, once I figure how best to do their final shaping. And decide on a workable design.

I have also been doing quite a few experiments with resin enamel. I can see that will work well as a sub for the garnets.

Getting the color just right, and what kind of underlay, or texture is best, are tough things to work out, but I'm working on it. I have been in love from the first moment I saw these fittings. Pic200.JPGPic207.JPG

I will post a little tutorial once I get it all worked out.

Unless you beat my to it Chris :)

 

Mark

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You mean "if" he ever figures out the hoarde. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the remainder of his life's work.

 

I was not aware of that book, and I think I will be ordering it this week. Does he mention how the swage or vise patterns are made in the first place? I suppose a hardened tool, punched into a softer swage material, might do, but I'm not quite sure. I'd love to see an example in use, and if the book does not include an illustration of it, perhaps on reading his description I'll be more enlightened.

 

 

 

Those are some awesome looking garnet chips - you should be able to work those into shape pretty well with a cutoff wheel on a dremel, I'd think. Good luck with your attempt.

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Here is some info on beading of wire I googled up:

An article on post-Roman manufacture in Europe, who did what, when, but no pictures:

http://humanidades.cchs.csic.es/ih/paginas/arqueometalurgia/Descargas/DESC_SITOA/Sitoa_Pr1_whitf.pdf

 

Experimental reconstruction, now we’re getting somewhere: Ülle Tamla and Harvi Varkki “LEARNING THE TECHNOLOGIES OF MAKING BEADED WIRE” in Estonian Journal of Archaeology, 2009, 13, 1, 36-52

http://www.kirj.ee/public/Archaeology/2009/issue_1/arch-2009-1-36-52.pdf

 

This is the best of the lot, descriptions, photos, everything you’d need:

“The Reverse Engineering of Anglo-Saxon Beaded Wire” by Dennis Riley

http://daegrad.co.uk/page28.php

:DB)

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i did some wire beading in Wojteks shop, thats not nice thing to do for me :-)

You make it with the knife with double edge - it is wit the blade with groove cut alongside the edge, roling the wire in the oaken desk. You need some routine to produce beaded wire, not a tiny screws :-)

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I love this place... :lol:

 

Mark, you're beating me to it again! I've got a pound of rough garnets, but no time to work on 'em. :( Let's see...A pound of garnets, about 250 pounds of powdered magnetite, all I need is a year off and some gold and I'd be in business! :rolleyes:

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Great stuff Jeff!

 

Alan---hehe, yes whenever I have a few hours to watch some of some tv, I sit there with the garnets, and a diamond file or 2 and some water. It doesn't take a long time it's just painstaking. Some of my fingers are a bit scuffed up.

Yes, I plan to break out the dremel for the shaping. A nice diamond bit and some good cut off wheels should do it. Then back to hand work and a 1500-2500 or so top polish.

 

I want to establish a signature design before I start any of the stone shaping. The colored resin enamel looks like it will work very well for some good mock-ups.

More later, Mark

 

Just searching around, I found these guys this morning. It looks like the resin is working well for them.

http://www.danegeld.co.uk/page11.htm

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Hi Chris,

 

My brief description was trying to state rolling the wire by pushing down and forward with the jig, while wire is perpendicular to the jig. Just like Petr is suggesting. Though I have yet to visual the knife edge and groove correctly yet.

 

Jeffs third pdf has designs similar to what I had previously seen for the rolling fixture.

 

Sincerely,

Ted

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Jeff, I think you've hit it my friend. 3rd link is phenominal... and what I'm seeing in the image I posted up top is a combination of spheical/deep groove beads, and their "type F" conoid beads. I was going to use the term "muffin shaped" for those somewhat asymmetrical ones you see up there, that look like little cupcakes strung together.

 

 

 

Time to study. And order some wire.

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Ok, I read that paper twice, and examined his tooling, and am left with a pair of questions.

 

 

1. Do you think it's possible to gang up a series of plates on his beading file, so that more than 1 bead can be created at a time?

 

2. What materials are suitable for the plates? I didn't see him mention a specific material, but the pictures appear to be steel. I wonder if a softer metal, or even hard wood, would be suitable. Certainly cheaper and easier to make them out of oak, I'd think, though less durable. Maybe easier on the wire itself, since he mentions the spatula needs to be wood or else the wire won't have any traction... perhaps wooden plates are also equal to the task.

 

 

 

 

Let the experimentation begin.

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I just spent 2 hours performing photogrammetry on the Hoard's Flickr photos, the one's with centimeter scales. This wire work is tiny. The biggest starting stock is 0.5mm, and even then it's a little big compared to my measurements. The small stuff is around 32 gauge, with the bead "waists" about half that. I'm off to the shop to try and see if I can make a bead file that fine. A pair of copper dies soldered to a needle-nose pliers might make a workable organarium for the larger stuff, but I don't see how it would be effective for the little ones. I may end up trying that too. Wire is in the mail.

 

 

Wish me luck.

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i did some wire beading in Wojteks shop, thats not nice thing to do for me :-)

You make it with the knife with double edge - it is wit the blade with groove cut alongside the edge, roling the wire in the oaken desk. You need some routine to produce beaded wire, not a tiny screws :-)

 

 

After reading those documents Jeff linked, this too makes a lot of sense... using a hard board below, and the grooved knife above, beads can just be rolled out one at a time, yes? The knife of course dictates the size of the beads?

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May I ask how fine a wire you were beading, Petr? And was there any particular method to making the rolling knife? While a 1-piece tool appeals to me, it seems more easily done by folding something over so you have two ready edges instead of trying to grave a fine line along a thin surface.

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Lots of luck Chris. :rolleyes:

 

That is some tiny wire to work with. When I went up to DC and saw how tiny all this stuff was, it is just amazing that they could see to work with natural light, and no magnification. Was it a family of mutants or what?

 

I lool forward to seeing some of you beaded wire.

 

Mark

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Lots of luck Chris. :rolleyes:

 

That is some tiny wire to work with. When I went up to DC and saw how tiny all this stuff was, it is just amazing that they could see to work with natural light, and no magnification. Was it a family of mutants or what?

 

I lool forward to seeing some of you beaded wire.

 

Mark

 

 

 

And you didn't call. Hmph.

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my wire was about 0,5 mm thick or less, i will try to meassure, once i find callipers.

I dont think folding the knife was made, as its jewellers tool so engraving the groove would be easy for him, and bevels could be done afterwards. Just the opinion

 

That's the way I was thinking. Take a bar of steel with a flat edge, say 1mm wide, and using an onglette graver (or even a square point) cut a line down the center, harden, then grind the outside bevels. You could even make a double-grooved one if need be.

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my wire was about 0,5 mm thick or less, i will try to meassure, once i find callipers.

I dont think folding the knife was made, as its jewellers tool so engraving the groove would be easy for him, and bevels could be done afterwards. Just the opinion

 

 

Yeah, I don't do any engraving, and don't have any of the tools or experience to make them well... but I guess there's a first time for everything. So you think just forging a small knife, and graving the channel for the beads, then finishing the bevels down to even would work historically?

 

 

I'll have to try this later on, making a fine (0.20mm) round groove in a straight line in steel. Seems difficult.

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