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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What beads and why?

Bead count is an important part of weaving beads, on a loom. It is necessary to know how many beads you need to complete a piece. You may also want to create a particular finished size bead work.

You can use any type of bead, or size of bead, on the loom. I prefer Miyuki Delicas size 11/0, mainly for the color palette they offer. Over 1,003 colors, of beads and finishes. Tohos offer about 260, at this time. Therefore, when wanting to paint a picture in beads, it may be best to consider the best palette options. Miyuki Delicas, a tubular shaped bead, in size 11/0 is my favorite, mostly for the palette available. The Tohos are the same shape, but have a larger hold, in the center. Again, not as may colors, 260 or so. The other bead option, in this same shape, is Toho Aikos. Also a tubular shaped bead, appx 970 colors, in their palette and are found in size 11/0 too. All three of these beads are tubular and perfect for weaving on a loom. [FOOT NOTE: This post was written in 2013. Suppliers have added more color/finishes to their line of beads. However, the balance of palettes, between the suppliers, remain the same. Miyuki Delicas offer the largest tubular bead color palette.]

In the order of which are sized more even....meaning, “not much need for culling”.. [or picking similar sizes from the bead cup], Aikos are the best sized and more even. They are the most expensive 11/0 tubular seed bead. Some grams of Aikos can run about $17.00 per gram. Tohos and Delicas are similar in their culling traits. The matt beads require more culling. Opaque or metallic beads offer the need for less culling. Together, the matt, opaque, or metallic beads are different in sizes themselves. There is no problem weaving any of these different beads on the loom, even together.

There are approximately 175-200 Delica beads per gram. The variance between the 175-200 is that the matt beads are lighter in weight than the opaque or metallic. But, if you count, considering 190 beads per gram, then you should always purchase enough to complete your piece.

You can buy Delica beads by the gram, at some sites, on the web, or in 4, 7 or 10 grams weight quantities. Divide the number of grams into the total cost and get the ‘price per gram’. This will help you decide the best price, for that color/finish bead, when you are purchasing them. Some bead suppliers offer better prices on certain bead color/finishes, than others, so I do the math, for each bead color/finish, in my order and shop that way. I will also factor in the shipping costs, because shopping multiple sites, for one bead project, needs to be planned out accordingly.

As for the measurement of your finished bead weave and considering the final size, I have created this photo to demonstrate the count, 1 inch by 1 inch: 11/0 DELICAS

You can count the beads yourself to determine the width of beads and the length of beads. These are Delicas woven on a loom. You may want to weave your own personal patch and measure yourself, incase your tension is different than mine. These color lined crystal Delicas weave out "appx. 20 beads wide per inch and appx. 17 rows deep per inch." Make note that the bead finish may change this calculation slightly. A matt finish Delica is much thinner than a metallic, for instance. The Duracoats are even wider, due to the extra baked on coating.

Of course, you can also use round seed beads, in size 11/0. Their color pallets still do not come near the number Miyuki Delica offers. You should consider the Japanese made round seed beads, as opposed the Chinese or Czech. The Japanese made 11/0 seed beads are more evenly sized and not so much culling needed. Sometimes, even purchasing Czech or Chinese 11/0 seed beads on a string opposed to loose in a bag, make a difference in how much you will need to cull out perfect shapes and sizes.

Mixing the two different types of 11/0 beads together, in one weaving, makes for an interesting look. Be aware that you may either bulk out the larger beads, which create a nice texture to your bead work, or your edges may become wavy. Again, a nice look if carried out through the entire piece. Recently, I worked with using 11/0 Japanese Seed Beads and 11/0 Miyuki Delicas, in one design. I had to make some technical changes with my warps/wefts, to create the 'flat, even, 3D texture I wanted to acquire'.

If you are interested in creating some more advanced patterns for the loom, look into BeadTool on the web. They offer a free trial, where you can play around but not able to print, until you purchase the program. The only other bead pattern program on the market, which will give you a graph of beads relating to your color chart, is Bead Creator Pro. Much higher priced, and offers a bit more control over a pattern.

I also suggest experimenting, with different beads, different threads (warp or weft), and attempt adding 3D interest to your bead weaving.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Pixelation" on a Loom!

This cuff was woven on a loom, called "Pixelation".

It is the project, scheduled to be taught at BEAD SOUP in Savage Mills Maryland, on May 11th and May 18th. Offered as a two day class, all cuffs will be completed, by the close of the class, on the second day.

What really makes this class different, than others I have taught, the Students will be purchasing their own beads, at the color way and designs they find appealing. This 'free form' style of weaving on a loom is perfect. for this idea, opposed to selling the students 'class kits'. Then, the receipts, from each and every purchase at the store, before the close of the second days' class, will be thrown into a basket, for a drawing. The prize? What else, from Erin and Bead Soup.... A Brand New. Large Size, Shiny, Bead Loom!!!!!

There are classes scheduled, for me to teach, on the loom, each month, in the Summer! If you can make any, of the dates, as shown on BEAD SOUP's website, be sure to think about the July class. Bead Soup is hosting a 'BBQ Pit Master' to smoke up some great food, for after the class! Again, call the store for details and reservations, to meet us all and see what we are weaving...BEADS BEADING BEADED BBQ...I like how that sounds!! :D

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Click on the advertisement above, to read all the details of my Summer Classes! So many wonderful techniques will be shared!

As the actual cuff patterns roll off the loom, I'll share them too. Just remember, each class offers 'bead loom techniques, not just a pattern'!

The July Classes are going to be unbelievable, with a "BBQ Pit Master", hosting a BBQ, for all the students, after the fist class. I have a feeling this will fill up faster than the others, so call BEAD SOUP (240-456-4568) soon if you think you can make it! Hey, for BBQ.....I called! lol

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Want to weave,
on a loom with me,
over the summer?

I am scheduling a "Summer Season" of classes, at Bead Soup, in Savage Mills Maryland. This Cover Shot is what I think envelopes my idea of 'bead loom classes'. I want to 'teach a technique', not just a 'pattern'.

Classes will be offered 'once a month' through out the summer months. Please call Bead Soup, of Savage Mills Maryland, to ask about details!

I am so excited! The thought of putting a loom in every bead weavers hand, has me going back for more!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Last call for my next class
at Bead Soup,
in Savage Mills Maryland!

Kathy, owner of "Bead Soup", may want to 'take me to the shed', for this post :D .

It seems my classes, April 20th 11-4:00 and April 27th 11-4:00, 2013, are filled. However, I am itching to bust the walls apart, with more looms and students!! lol Therefore, Kathy did agree to expand the class a bit more. Not sure if any further seats are reserved, but if you would like to own a great loom, custom designed by me, and learn some loom skills, by creating one of the two cuffs above, then call the shop.

All, of my classes, are not graded, for levels of knowledge, with a loom. I prefer to teach a 'technique' not just a 'pattern'. Please feel free to call and join in!