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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wire scoring..how to direct the fold in metal.

I started with a piece of 26 gauge Nu-gold, a yellow bronze alloy. It was cut to the length I had envisioned , annealed, then textured in a Big Shot with a Sizzix folder. This was again annealed. The concept of wire scoring is to use the design bent into a wire to direct the folds and therefore the shape of the finished piece. My vision for this was a leafy looking pendant with a sinuous curve on the high point.

Using stainless steel wire about 18 gauge hand bend to a pleasing form.

This step requires a piece of strong tape..masking or duct tape is fine, and a firm piece of metal..I use a bar of aluminum..an anvil will work or even a bench block.Lay the metal down first, position the wire along the metal and cover with one layer of tape,burnishing the tape to tightly hold it all together. Them take a large hammer and strike along the length of wire very strongly. The wire will push the metal and harden it along the wires length. Then remove the tape and wire, and again anneal the metal. Heat it to an incandescent red allow to cool slightly the quench in cold water.

 I choose to trim the piece to a point at this stage and began bending along the curve with my hands. After every few bends I annealed the metal and it stays workable.
 This is the result. The form is beginning to rise along the fold by forcing the metal down in the valleys.
At this point it was annealed again and I chose to hammer the edges to add texture.

The form is nearly complete. Only drilling and edge finishing was done after this. I sanded the top of the curve to highlight the color and filed the edges all around to remove any sharp edges. Then the center was polished and the whole was waxed with Renaissance Wax.

Adding a jump ring and chain completed the pendant. For more details on this and other forms of Foldforming check out the book Foldforming by Charles Lewton-Brain.
This piece and other foldforms are available through my etsy shop


  1. AWESOME...It sounds so simple but I have found from trial and error that there truly is a learning curve. Thanks for the blog.

    1. Ain't that the truth! haha! well worth the practice I think. The results are beautiful <3

  2. Wow - can't wait to try this. Using the wire is news to me (and I thought I had read that book - will have to go back and look again! And see what else I missed - lol) Thanks!

  3. Wow! This is fascinating Harry. I have no background what so ever in this type of work and love to see how you work!

  4. The finished piece looks great. As always, thanks for sharing your expertise with us, Harry

  5. Wow Fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing :0) I'd been wondering how I could do this without a hydraulic press and now thanks to you I know. I'm going to have to have a try at this. Thanks again.