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Friday, July 30, 2010

Looming, Looming, Looming

Working on a large creation can be as satisfying as it can be overwhelming. I have to complete a certain number of rows, before I can move on to the next stage of development. Now there are about 60 rows of 92 beads wide completed.

I'll finish another 15 rows, then I can begin my next phase of including some 3D aspects. That is what will define this image. Right now, I am just laying the roadwork, as they say.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Looming the base

I have completed further rows, of the base for this new design. It may be hard to figure out the pattern, at this point, but it will all fall into place, after you see how I include some 'Bead Tole'.

Looming 92 beads wide can be a feat, but it has been very relaxing to me. Once I load the needle and weft with the proper colors, for any particular row, I 'pop' a few beads between the warps, run my needle through those, then 'pop' more, until the entire row is secure.

The Mirrix works so well, for this width looming, because I am able to loosen the warp tension, grab the entire looming in my hand, and secure a row of beads, opening up my hand as I run across. Then the tension can be tightened again.

Once this base is complete, I can move on to other sections. I plan a number of stages, in this SLN. It won't look anything like this base, once I am further along!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Start Looming in the Perfect Row

As I mentioned in the last post, the other day, I will be offering a 'wip' for this next looming creation. I have completed the first few rows. Notice these rows began in the lower portion of the loom.

I seem to like looming from the 'top down', on most of my patterns. Others have told me they like to loom 'from the bottom up'. I guess it is just a matter of personal preference. However, when you are looming something that will include decreases or increases, then the best place to begin is at the widest part of your design.

Because this is a 'split loomed necklace', my narrower portions will be at the upper level of my loom. Therefore, I began my first row of looming below center. This is my widest part and I can continue down till I reach the base, at the point my fringes will be added.

Notice the loom and how the warp weights are still attached. The weights remain stable, during the additions of the wides part. I will be moving and using more of the weight warps when I start the upper section.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


For the next few days, or so, I will be working on my newest venture,a SLN. This will be a 'Split Loomed Necklace' and I want to share these stages in a WIP, Work In Progress!

My Mirrix loom is perfect for what I have designed. Here is my Loom, strung with 93 warps, with 38 of them attached to 'warp weights'.

Each warp is tied to the lower warp bar. The few I want to keep stable, 16 center beads, are also secured to the upper warp bar. The other warps, 76 all together are also secured to warp weights.

This technique will allow me to be very creative with my looming. I plan on some 'cut work' and 'wavy edges' as well as trying out special designs with loomed strips. As I complete a new technique, I will share photos in progress.

The warp weights are custom created by lamp work artist Venessa Hearn. You can purchase or order these weights from her website Bead Up A Storm She will also include a tutorial of using 'warp weights', with every purchase.

I am anxious to share my travels, as this will be new ground for me to cover! Please know that my desire to create very involved loomed art, is out of my passion for this medium. It is understandable that my particular pieces may be too overwhelming for many bead loomers, but I hope there will be bits and pieces that can be used for your own looming and take what I share as an inspiration.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Having the edge on!

When you have completed the weaving, the entire design and to the size you have measured, you should be considering an 'edge'.

The woven edge could be considered finished, but looking at the photo above, it offers an 'unfinished' feel. Rule of thumb: Never show thread or bead guts. The wefts are seen, as well as the outer warp. Your weaving can be further secured, if you edge. You'll also cover the threads used, weft and warp, so they do not snag or break.

The 'base' of your edging is something you should think about, before you begin to edge. There are only two options.

1. Using a bead as the base of your fringe/edge.
I suggest considering the base bead, if your edging or fringe will be finished directly from the woven edge. Notice in the picture above. The three on the left are 'based' with an 11/0 seed bead. This bead is larger in size and shaped different then the woven 11/0 Delica bead. Therefore, you create a 'bunching' of the edge base. This actually can be a nice 'look', but making your edge stand out, you may want to look at the other options.

The three 'base beads' on the right, are started with an 11/0 Delica. This is the same size and shaped bead as was woven (notice the photo below). Therefore, your edging lays neater. Notice also that the rest of the beads used, are larger and different shaped, but the base bead will denote the final look of your edge.

As a final note, when you use a 'base bead', be sure to run your needle through the entire row of weave, so no thread turns show in your design. If you must do a thread turn, and you have a graphed pattern, do a light thread, thread turn around the light beads and a dark thread, thread turn, around the dark beads. Stagger these turns so they do not show up or bend the few rows you pick up.

HOWEVER, For a slight step up, you can add a bead, for each thread turn, making a 'straight edge of beads' or a 'border line', inside your woven edge line, shown in the picture below. Consider adding a Drop Bead too! You may stagger this 'bead filled thread turn', or create a straight line edge.

2. A hand woven Brick Stitch Base.

This option allows you to use any size or shaped bead, as the edge base, because you can hand weave or brick stitch the beads along the edge, using the outer warp, (which is doubled for strength), and not have to follow the exact number of rows woven. You will make a choice as to when you skip a row of weaving, so the stitching lays flat.

Once a brick stitch base is completed, you may still want to consider a further finishing technique. Look at the edge, after the brick stitching is complete, in the picture below.

There is still an 'open bead' and 'wide stretches of thread'. This thread can catch on something and break. Cover that look by now doing a picot in and out of each 11/0 seed bead. You can even add an additional turn bead, while doing so!

To finish this brick stitch edge, let me offer just another few options. There are many others, but these ideas may get you started.

Loop Edge - Using the beads used for the brick stitch, you can 'loop' a number of beads, up and down, then back again, with the same size bead, a different color or a different size bead.

Lower Bleed - Adding a scalloped edge to the lower portion of the brick stitched beads, allowing the beads to 'bleed' over the loomed edge.

Double Lower Bleed - You can continue to create ways of adding further over your weaving. This is a great look, if your woven design is graphic or simple. Another design is to continue this bleeding process, so you create a 'netting' over the weaving!

Upper & Lower Bleed - After you complete a lower bleed of edging, you may want to consider adding to the upper portion of the brick stitching, creating an 'upper bleed'. This is a very dramatic edge. Again, you can consider this type of edging if you want your fringes to take front and center.

Upper Bleed - You may also want to finish your brick stitch edging with just a fringe. Something with 'movement' or even very simple like a picot edge.

Please do not consider adding a beaded edge, with any weight or movement, by using 'just the outer warp'. Either use the woven beads to secure, or do a base of brick stitch. If you choose to use just the outer warp, for securing your edge, then you will run into a situation where your outer warp could be cut. The weight of a frilly edge could break the outer warp. A snag or pull on a picot edge created on just the outer warp, will break this warp. Using the beads themselves, is the best and most secure option. But if you choose to do the peyote base on the outer edge and your fringing snags, think how much easier it would be to 'repair' the brick stitch base, as opposed to replacing an outer warp (if you fringe from the outer warp only), should the edging snag/break, under normal wear and tear.

These ideas I just shared are some of the many possibilities you can create to make your weaving look 'finished'. Please consider a class, with me, as I travel offering many more edge design ideas using crystals and larger beads. Watch my FB Page for places, dates and contact information.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

©Seed Bead Tole

"Paper tole, also known as three-dimensional decoupage, is the art of handcrafting three-dimensional pictures from flat prints. Paper tole art is created by skillfully cutting, shaping, and assembling pieces of paper layered onto an image until a three-dimensional version of the image emerges."

The art of 'Paper Tole' has been an interest of mine, for many years. Although I have loomed beads, since I was twelve, I did find time in between to learn more about other art mediums. I have completed so many pictures using this 3D technique.

Here are some examples of 'Paper Tole'.

With all of the 3D beading I created, I have yet to turn my 3D beading interest in to a similar technique to 'Paper Tole'. I have now begun this journey which I call ©Seed Bead Tole or ©Bead Tole!

This beading technique is so different, it is not able to be searched on the web, or read about in books. I have taken the steps to Copy Right this beading technique and names, both 'Seed Bead' and 'Bead' Tole. I have also been able to refine 'Seed Bead Tole' and completed a focal for my present work on the loom, The Piano Keys. I'll share the stages of this ©Bead Tole of a Red Rose, but will save the completed version until it is secured on the Piano Key Cuff. I am very excited about how this has unfolded and can't wait to work on other wearable art looming, to include this idea!

As with most of my loomed creations, I add a dimension in the form of a seed beaded focal. This is another way to accomplish that focal!

It would be exciting to see how other Bead Artists create wearable art, using the technique of ©Seed Bead Tole. The Copy Right acquired, C17KP-L5JQ9-Q8FHB, allows encouragement for others to work with this technique and is worded that this technique is open for creative interpretation, but with acknowledgment given to the Copy Right Holder.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Closing the gap of bead color intensity

My most recent looming is a photographic style, as with many of my designs. This brings to mind something about 'bead color density' that I think could be very useful in looming a pattern.

Looming, or even peyote/brick hand woven stitches, flat with a design, have to consider the bead colors for proper shading. The pattern lies flat and you can acquire your dimension through the bead finishes, not always just through their colors. Here is my latest looming, still on the loom.

I love a 'piano key' pattern. There seems to be many available. However, I think there are more ways to depict this subject matter, then just a 'straight on pattern with rectangles of black and white'. I have to admit, I did struggle with the final design mainly because I do want my designs to be recognizable. My final graphing has this key pad on a chamfer.

The shading was more important now, then if this design was a straight forward look. This shading aspect brings to mind something I want Bead Loomers to keep in mind, when they select their beads or select a pattern to loom. The darkest colors in your bead pallet, are not just the shade/hue, but the finish denotes the difference. Here is a close up, of this piano key pattern, loomed with Delica blacks in 'matte and gloss'.

Notice how the 'gloss black', or an 'Opaque Delica' shows itself darker then the 'matte black'. This equation is the same in every Delica Bead color. The transparent line also loom up darker then an opaque. If you ever used many whites, in one looming, then you would notice the 'clear crystal' offers a darker white, almost gray color, over an opaque white. I do think, however, the darkest has to be the 'opaque' colors, then comes the transparent line and finally the matte finishes.

Keep this in mind, when you are selecting your beads for a pattern, to loom. This will help you define the depth of field, giving your pattern a more photographic feel. You can also use less colors, when the finishes play a large roll!

One more point, about this piano key pattern. I used an 'ivory opaque' for the keys and not a white. When a lighter color bead is loomed next to a darker color, like a bright white next to a black, the lighter color can be overwhelming and too intense or loose it's shading aspect. I feel they become 'unlevel' in density for the pattern. Selecting a darker white, or ivory in this case, you'll close the gap of intensity. The ivory shows white, next to the black, but in a bead cup, you may think it too dark for a 'white piano key'.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bead Layering

This is the reason I was so inspired by a cuff I saw, in these same colors, same layering idea, without the silver trim, but completed in the peyote stitch.

I was enamored by the 'layering' aspect of this design. First, I wanted to see how well it would work on a 'looming weave' and second, there are many designs that lend a definite need for such layering.

I added the silver lined Permanent Toho 11/0 Beads mainly because I prefer the 'finished' look of my weaving, but the original design did not include this. Without the silver, it has a wonderful natural feel about it! My ideas are not to see the 'inside of the beads' or 'notice any thread' in my bead work. Just a method I prefer.

The silver fringe is also woven in a 'layered' design, using Toho Perm 8/0, 11/0 and mettalic silver 15/0 beads.

This clasp was a perfect match to this beading design. I love finding new clasps to use and being able to realize how well they pick up a design I have loomed.

Now, imagine this layering technique being used to 'color' a pattern. May be a 2 dimensional picture, like a carton shot or something, colored in layers on top. I think that would create such a great loomed piece of wearable art!