New Free Wire Tutorials – Back to Basics

by Perri Jackson on 01/04/2009

As some folks know, I write jewelry tutorials. I currently sell them through my Etsy site:

I promised some changes for 2009 and here is the first installment: my new free tutorial series, BACK TO BASICS and MORE!

The first lesson: Wire Weaving Basics. This lesson will show you two different methods for weaving wire in a pattern, and some solid guidelines for weaving any pattern. It focuses on weaving in tight closed spaces. Just click the sophisticated lady for a link to the PDF download!


I started because I was asked to share some techniques, and because many of the tutorials I had seen left a lot to be desired. It seems many people are putting out tutorials without giving real value. Many of the tutorials have out of focus pictures, repetitive photos, and big holes in the explanations. Worse, the people putting them out are not experienced enough actually be qualified to teach others – but you don't find out that they really don't know any more than you do until you've paid the money.

My personal problem with many tutorials is their insistence on a 'Dragnet' delivery – remember the old TV show? "Just the facts, Ma'am." Yes, we're here to learn a technique, but that doesn't mean it should read like an accounting book. Come to think of it, I've read accounting books that were more interesting……………I got into wire working because it was exciting to me! Because it NEVER fails to pique my interest, because it is a puzzle with a prize at the end! To my mind, a tutorial should communicate that kind of intense interest in the author.

But I think the greatest failure of many of the tutorials I've seen – free or paid – is their lack of instruction. Now, that may seem like a funny thing to say, but here is what I mean: They provide a sort of recipe for making the project at hand, but they don't give you the benefit of their expertise and experience by letting you know the challenges you may face. More importantly, how to avoid and fix mistakes! In a word: Troubleshooting!

There are so many of these, that beginners and some more advanced students seem to accept certain problems in their wirework, because it is not easy to find understandable, complete, comprehensive instructions for quite simply, doing the work correctly!

I've decided to try to remedy some of that! I know there is no one way of understanding or teaching that reaches everybody, but I'm going to try to add to the knowledge base in a way that actually lets people know what they may be missing.
If you don't like a bit of humor, don't download them, please. I really try not to write dry tutorials, so I crack a joke once in a while. If you like your instructors to be demigods, sinless, blameless, and nearly perfect in every way – don't download them – PLEASE! In most of them, I freely admit to quite a few failings – otherwise, I wouldn't have much to share with you in the way of troubleshooting.

If you like understandable, complete, comprehensive, and of course, DETAILED instructions, with a dash of humor and LOTS of troubleshooting – WELCOME to BACK TO BASICS and MORE!

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan-Ra January 5, 2009 at 6:43 AM

Ooh, Perri, I couldn’t agree more about tutorials. I actually haven’t seen or used very many written by others, since I prefer to figure things out myself, but I do know that troubleshooting is what people really need. I try to have a bit of a conversational tone in my tutorials, but it doesn’t compare to your wonderfully wry sense of humor!


Perri January 5, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Thanks so much Jan! I’m the same way -figuring it out for myself. But when you need help, you don’t want half an answer!!!!!
BTW, for anybody who doesn’t know, Jan is my kind of instructor! I have seen her Viking Knit tutorial available at her Etsy. (JUST FOLLOW TO HER BLOG!)


She gives wonderful instruction, and I think the fact that she’s a really fun lady comes through completely!!!!!



Lori Anderson Designs January 6, 2009 at 7:25 AM

Very nice! Tutorials like this are great!


Kim January 6, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Thank you. I’ve been practicing some of my weaving tut’s , and your ‘basics’ lesson was very helpful. :)
Especially the part about creating a bend and pulling that through vs. the end of the wire.
(things that make you go Duhhh , lol – it seems so obvious now!)


Perri January 6, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Thanks, Lori and Kim! Kim, that ‘DUHHH!’ thing was exactly my feeling!!!!!!


Anna Lee H. in Toronto January 6, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Hi Perri!
Humor rocks and so does your new blog! Will follow you with interest…
~Anna Lee H.


Dianne Karg Baron January 6, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Lovely tutorial on weaving there! Enjoyed it immensely. Your sense of humour shines through :-)


Jamie January 6, 2009 at 6:45 PM

Love your tutorial! I have it saved to look over again and again! Can’t wait for more! ūüėČ

Creations by JAE


Jewelry Elegance by jill January 7, 2009 at 12:42 PM
corra January 7, 2009 at 10:36 PM

Thank you so much for this Perri, and I am very PROUD of you – to have figured out posting PDF downloads!! I managed to download it!!! Bravo!!!!


yoanna January 10, 2009 at 12:07 AM

Thank yoou so much for your tut.


Mei (WireBlissMei) January 12, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Perri! Thanks so much for being such a sharing person and thank you for the tutorial.


BobbiWired January 13, 2009 at 4:44 AM

This is wonderful Perri!! Even wrapping for a long time, there is tons of info that made do the “could’ve had a V-8” head slap..
Beautiful photography to BTW, do you give classes :))


Eva Mari Kirkvaag Bj√łrgum August 24, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I'm not easily floored ( – there is a lot of me – ) but you overwhelm me with your generosity!
Thank you so much for the wonderful PDF!
Best regards from Eva Mari in Norway :)


Virginia Craig. June 1, 2013 at 8:43 AM

This is the kind of information I have been searching for…both in books and tutorials. Your instructions are the BEST!


Perri Jackson June 1, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Glad to be of service, Miss Virginia! Your response is EXACTLY why I created these tutorials. :-) Tell your friends – they’ll love you for it! :-)



Judy July 26, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Excellent tutorial, thanks for sharing.Love your work, awesome talent.


Nina December 10, 2013 at 9:30 PM

THANK YOU for such a wonderfully well-explained and well-illustrated tutorial!

Yours is the best I've come across, and as someone fairly new to working with wire, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the generosity of artists such as yourself who so graciously share their expertise.

Thank you again – looking forward to putting into practice the tips I've learned.




Perri Jackson December 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Nina, thank *you* for the¬†lovely, supportive¬†comment! I’m always really glad when people find value in these tutorials – it lets me know I’m on the right path. I wish you all the best in your future wire -working. Keep exploring and practicing – because, ya know – it’s just plain fun!!!



Casey January 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM

I so agree with all you've said! The few times I've written a tut they had more "what ifs" than instruction and LOTS and LOTS of pictures for the steps also.


Perri Jackson January 24, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Thanks! There are some subjects that actually can become more confusing with still pictures. They¬†work *better* with video if it is available. If it isn’t available, then doing it the old fashioned way still works well, especially for instruction on physical movement. In fact, even with video, there may be no better way to understand what we are being taught. Meaning in our case, to work with the wire in our hands while we read, stopping and starting ¬†while we explore and try to internalize the¬†info. This particular tutorial is kind of like that. :-) Most of my others have far more pictures. :-)


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