Visit My Website, A Personal Gallery!

Click on Logo Bar Below, to visit my website!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Designing A Pattern: What Approach Is Best?

Many factors are considered, when a new pattern or design comes to mind, but what approach do you take? I tend to approach my new creation from a 'subject/design' standpoint, as opposed to 'what will my stash allow?’ Either direction takes many winding roads until completion and both can be a perfect way to create. I have been thinking about this often lately and want to share some of my thoughts about each option.

This direction has it's positives and negatives. The positive is that you will more then likely increase your bead inventory! Negatively, it will end up costing you more money then you would have spent, just using what bead colors you have on hand. Having said that, I would like to share this piece of advice about how to acquire the necessary bead colors.

If you have created a pattern, about the subject/design you want to loom, make sure you are narrowing the pallet down to the least number of colors, without loosing detail. Also, double-check your pallet to see if there are any colors that look very similar. I would merge these two, but first see where they lay in respect to the other. Also, every color hue/tint is offered in every finish style. Therefore, if you see a 'luster sea green' that is the same color/hue as the 'matte sea green, then make a choice between the two. More times then not, the finish style won't make a difference in a pattern as much as the color/hue choice would.

Finally, look over your bead count, for each color. There are approximately 200 Delica beads per gram. Notice how many beads will be needed per color. Calculate how many grams are needed per color. There are two companies, I know of, that sell Delicas by the gram, as opposed to most bead suppliers offering 4gram, 7gram or 10gram tubes. Buying by the gram will keep the supply cost lower, if you find you just have to loom a design using colors you don't yet own.

WHAT WILL MY STASH ALLOW?: This just may be the most creative direction to take, when starting a new bead looming. Those who prefer to design, from this direction, must be admired! I personally find this more difficult to juggle, "idea vs. stash". I will admit though, after I am well on my way to finishing up or needing to create the perfect edging, I do switch gears and take this approach. I'll look over what I own and can find those 'Ah Ha' moments very rewarding!

Would it be fair for me to say that bead artists who approach their new creations, from this direction, also have created gorgeous Free-Form and Bead-Embroidery? I am not sure of how these thoughts would play into this approach, because I have not tried either, but I admire those pieces completed in these two bead weaving techniques.

How do you sum up your approach to starting a new bead loomed creation?


  1. Shoot, I never have a problem buying more beads. But with that said, I do try to design with the beads I have on hand. Mainly the color scheme revolving around the colors I have the most of. If I have lots of blues I try to design around shades of blues.

  2. I love it Donna! I also read a reply from Laurrie Austin who said, "I work under the SABLE method; Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy."

  3. Great article Erin!
    One of the first gift I got from MIL was a "small" loom, which I remember using once before putting it away. Now, I need to find that so I can try my hands at looming again. Your works always take my breath away!

  4. And when you do start, keep in touch! I would like to help you in any way I can!

  5. I am inspired right now by a gorgeous Czech pressed glass bead I just bought (300 of them). I have to admit I look at what I have instead of buying more. I have the background color figured out and maybe will buy one tube of beads to be the accent color. I spend waaay too much time when I go to my local bead store, when I should be home looming!

  6. You are cute! I agree....loom more! lol