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Monday, October 11, 2010

Pushing '2D Bead Looming' into '3D'

I have completed the one side, or panel, of this cell phone bag. Included in the picture of my looming, still on the loom, is a picture of my inspiration. This photo was taken by an amateur photographer named Jean Upton. She shares her photographs on Face Book and it was there I found all of her pictures to be gorgeous! She gave me permission to use one in a looming!

Posting this picture, gave me a idea to share some of my thoughts on 'subjects' selected for 'bead looming creations'.

Bead Looming is unlike many other methods of bead weaving. Since the canvas stays at a two dimensional flat surface, a pattern can make the difference. Oh, of course you can add to the flat loomed surface, by embellishing and attaching a focal, but for the most part, it is a surface that stays flat. When you see a looming that bowls you over, it usually is because the pattern and color selection over whelmed you, as opposed to a wonderful hand woven piece that is constructed to defy all beading strategies, standing 'up & out'. Not much use for a well thought out pattern or struggle over the 'right color' bead needed to draw out a subject, as it is in looming the seed beads.

Patterns can be considered in many ways. Maybe a graphic is needed to offer a modern feel, or cultural idea, or out of a need for a pattern in general. I prefer to consider a subject, one that is understood and seen right away. It is through my desire to create photographs in beads, that I have acquired my best 'bead color lesson'.

Programs, which are the norm of use, for many beaders, have their faults. One of the biggest is the program's desire to constantly offer the wrong color for the same color seen differently by the eye! There is no such thing as 'instant perfect pattern', with any bead pattern program! I am versed in them all! Whether they are offered for sale or free on the web. I am also comfortable in using a method I created, before 'bead pattern program creation', using a graph acetate over a photograph. All of these methods, of creating patterns, need to be 'tweeked'. Its' the tweeking that teaches you more.

I am including a chapter, in the book I am finalizing, about bead programs and suggestions for 'tweeking' them. But if you want to get the best education on bead programs, use them! Loom some patterns and see how they play out. Make the changes in your program to not fall into the same 'mishap' again (wrong bead color selection, etc.). Try out creating a 'specific pallet' of some colors you see in the photograph and use the program to create the pattern with only those selected colors! Change up the bead width and length, even if it hinders your pattern width/height. One slight change of the bead number, makes a huge difference in a pattern! (Remember, it's the pixels of the picture the program is reading!)

Above all, apply yourself to use the programs and don't feel defeated if the bead looming does not relate to your mind's eye, as well as you hoped. You did learn something, and now own a gorgeous piece of looming that only 'you' know has unfavored color choices!

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