Thursday, April 7, 2011
The front and center petal didn't prove to be a 'given', for how it was placed. I tried out various looks before deciding on this one. I also added a Swarovski Crystal in the center, as an accent.
I guess we don't usually share the back of our work, but I want to show how clean and light this one worked out. My methods allow for an easy finish, as well as a clean one. I included my initials and took great care to attach each petal in a way that would make the back show just loomed beads!
This Lotus Necklace is so comfortable to wear. I am anxious to string up my Mirrix for the next SLN!! As I mentioned earlier, the Mirrix allows for some awesome techniques to be included. The cut work, you see in each of the straps, are simple to complete and I look forward to creating another with more of them included. This was also my submission to this year's Bead Dreams Contest. It was a pleasure sharing the process with everyone!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
...but the scissors I was using were driving my crazy! They couldn't make clean lines and it was hard to turn them... and the result was a less-than-ideal cutting job and a less-than-perfect project.
It made me think about something I've done a lot of thinking about: Good art supplies are really, really important when you want good results.
I'll let you make the Mirrix connection on your own :-)
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
If you're lucky enough to get your Ideal Weaving Situation (picture: Studio overlooking rolling hills and horses at pasture, no crying children, no whining significant others, endless time) then I tip my hat to you, but sometimes weaving time is stollen at the DMV, on the playroom floor, at a youth soccer game, wherever there's a little bit of space... and that's just as good. The fantastic thing about weaving (and on a portable Mirrix especially) is you can stop and start at virtually any point so any distraction (though still distracting you from the creative process) can be dealt with gracefully.
Anyway, here's some more on the headband.
Progress on the weaving soon-to-be-headband:
|The soon-to-be headband, note that I have advanced the warp once already and will again before it is finished.|
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
This is the last picture I'll take, before I finish the silver outside edging, on each strap, then attach the 'front and center' petal! The next pic will be a completed photograph. I can't believe I have been Blogging about this Lotus SLN since last July, (although there were a few cuffs, one cell phone bag, a lot of earrings and a needle case, in between, lol).
Thanks for hanging in there! Mirrix proved to be a real work horse!
Monday, March 28, 2011
|Warped16" Big Sister Loom|
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The picture above is an overall view. Besides the upper straps not being completed, there is only 'one' part missing, the petal 'front and center' of the Lotus. I will secure that into place, but wanted to get started on the upper straps.
Here is a picture, back when I started this looming.
The Mirrix was the perfect loom for warping with so many warps, needing to control the tension on these warps, (Mirrix has wing nuts on each side to adjust tension), and using ©Weighted Warps so each warp is movable and able to decrease/increase anytime as I loom. Let me share what I planned and why I wanted to use the Mirrix with ©Weighted Warps.
Since this is an SLN, (Split Loomed Necklace), I knew the center focal would eventually 'split' into creating the two upper straps, of the finished necklace. How I wanted to accomplish this was to create a unique 'cut out' design, intermixed with some graphing of a picture. My design idea also included what type of 'split' would occur, at the very start of this process. I decided on a wide scoop look, with some indentations along the edge of the straps. (Later I'll share more about how I created the 'scoop design' as you see below.)
After sectioning off the 'center and two straps', I was now ready to begin some creative 'cut outs'.
You can see the one cut out, I was able to create because the warps were not secured to the loom. The ©Weighted Warps allowed me to move any warp aside, include them in my rows of beads to indent and add them back in to close off the cut out again. All the while, each of the warps, secured to a ©Weighted Warp weight, were movable, had adjustable lengths and kept the tension for straight looming as well.
Many lacy designs can be completed, using my ©Weighted Warp method, which I hope to get into more detail, later on. Much more to loom, as I ascend, which will include a graphed pattern I created. This pattern will splay out using 11/o Delica Silver Metallic beads and 11/o Delica Matte Black beads.
If you are interested in knowing more about my ©Weighted Warps, you can contact Venessa Hearn of Bead Up A Storm. We have worked together to create the optimum ©Weighted Warp. A purchase of these warps, from her shop, would include personal instructions and offer help on how to set them up or utilize them during your bead loom designing. You can also contact me for any specifics as well.
Also not mentioned yet, is the edging I will include to complete the upper straps. I will use the Silver Mettalic beads to line not only each outside edge, of each strap, but will also line the entire area of the cut out!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
|Some of my not-as-cool-as-woven-headbands headbands|
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I still wear handbands sometimes, but haven't found one I really love in quite some time.
That's about to change. I've decided to take the "tapestry/bead cuff bracelet" concept and apply it to headbands. (Take a moment and imagine, I've included a picture of a tapestry/bead cuff bracelet)
I've ordered some headband blanks (plastic, let me know if you know where I can get thick metal one in bulk) and have started a weaving that's a little more than an inch thick. I'll keep writing through the phases of this project!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
As I frantically got ready this morning, digging in the pile of clothes that has grown since Sunday, I spotted my looms that have been relegated to the back of the closet to make space in our oh-so-teeny apartment. I looked at them longingly. I have an idea for a mixed-media project that I've been dying to start but just haven't had the time.
It occurred to me in that moment that perhaps I needed to make some time. We all have a finite amount of time in our days and it's easy to take those fun things (like weaving or curling up with a novel) and push them aside to make time for everything else in our busy lives.
This weekend, between cleaning the house and working and driving around the city doing errands, I am going to make time to sit and weave and only think about that.
Have you been too busy to take your Mirrix out of the box? Are you letting it sit in the corner waiting for a less busy day? Have you been meaning to finish that beautiful weaving but just haven't had the chance? This weekend, I challenge you to take a few minutes for yourself and let the creativity flow. I'll be right there with you.
Friday, March 4, 2011
The tool is a lamp work bead, offering the heavy weight I want to hold some warp threads as if they were tied down. I am using a horizontal loom, so they can hang over the edge. Below is a picture of both warp weights, each holding five warp threads.
I started the looming with the weighted warps laying parallel to the warps attached on the loom. My first first rows are sewn with a few warps 'doubled'. You can see in the picture below, how the white weighted warps are laying together with the light green warps. I used a different color thread so this would stand out better in these pictures.
Now that I have a few rows completed, holding down all of my warps, weighted and attached, I'll begin sorting them out. You can see in the picture below, I have set aside the weighted warps, creating a base using the attached warps only. Because these added warps are secured to the lamp work weights, they are movable and easily adjusted, all the while staying the same distance apart, row to row.
How large or long of a base is up to you and your design ideas. I wanted to create a 'ribbon', meandering through the loomed base, cuff. There are other great design ideas, using the layered method, a 'ribbon' is just one of them.
I used a rubber wine cork to hold the warps up, while I loom my second level, above the base looming. The rubber cork helps to keep the weighted warps from slipping off, while I add my beads.
I trimmed the outside edges of the ribbon in gold. You can see how you can gauge the size of curve you want to create, by considering where you will attach it to the looming. If you are creating a cuff, be sure to allow for the 'bend' of your cuff, when you take this off the loom. If you are not considering the extra length of the ribbon section, it won't sit up and away from the loomed base, while wearing.
The other ribbon, to the right of the first I completed, was also finalized in the same manner, only at a different length. This will tie into my design idea.
Once my desired length of ribbon is completed, I will introduce the white weighted warps, back into my base looming. You can see how the row I just added, includes the white weighted warps.
Below, the left ribbon is completely secured where the right ribbon is being attached, a few rows further down the cuff. This is just how my pattern will unfold, an uneven meandering of the ribbon, through the entire cuff.
You can see in the picture below, I have completed a number of 'ins & outs'. I also decided to converge the two ribbons in to one wide white ribbon, as an interesting design idea.
From the side, you can get a better feel of the dimension 'Layered Looming' creates.
Usually, my 'prototype' looming ideas become completed pieces of wearable art. However, in this case, I decided to loom using some gorgeous cut glass beads which are not evenly sized. I thought I could 'cull' my way through and loom something perfectly uniform in shape, but it just didn't happen form me. You may take my loom, but let me keep my Delica's!
In closing, I would like to play the Devil's Advocate. While looming, I was thinking how this design could have also been accomplished by hand weaving a square stitch ribbon and applying to this looming. There is less work creating this idea in this manner, with less threads to hide and secure. My hand weaving skills don't seem play up to many bead artist's skills I have seen, but I also feel more comfortable behind a loom. It occurs to me, I think more in terms of 'warps & wefts' when I design, then I do from any other angle. Not only that, because my warp management techniques make warps disappear with out a problem, I'll continue to stretch my creative goals via the loom, filled with warps and waiting for the weft!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Her end-of-experience survey is here:
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I am going to keep you in suspense a bit longer. However, let me share the new Looming Tool I have created. It isn't even named yet, but it works great.
The lampwork beads, you see above, are created by one of the most creative Lamp Work Artists I have ever seen, Venessa Hearn. She has the talent and patience to create some gorgeous lamp work beads, but she also is willing to step outside of her box. When I ask for a particular glass bead, Venessa won't hesitate to take on the challenge, using 'my own vision' and allow her hands/techniques/talent create from my personal direction. You can find Venessa Hearn here, Bead Up A Storm .
The attachment you see on the end of each lamp work glass fob, is really a necklace separator! I added that to allow multiple threads to be attached. (Will the threads be warps or wefts? Wait and see!) I'll bet this idea can be accomplished with fiber, as well!
I am fitting this new idea into my looming schedule, only because the idea has been burning a hole in my daily looming progress. I have to get this out of the way, as well as finish my Lotus SLN. It is wonderful to feel the 'drive', when a new idea hits!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
This collage / assemblage isn't finished yet but it will be completed in time for the final video on Monday. Once the paint is dry, I'll be able to pull the pieces together relatively quickly.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Here is the picture of what I shared. You will notice that the fringe is holding the graphed design, very well. You can actually make out the design I graphed. Not often, does the fringe work out in that way, especially with a graphed picture.
To keep the fringe 'picture' in order, I ran a thread through each of the fringes, after completing the over all picture. It didn't matter where I ran the tread, just that it held each of the fringes together. Notice the red lines, in the picture below. This is the direction I ran a new black thread, picking up a few on one fringe then going to the fringe next to it and picking up a few more beads, then back again. I completed this trail throughout the entire fringed area.
Holding the fringe spread apart with my fingers, you can see the thread holding each strand together. However, it is not noticeable in the first picture, after I complete sewing each strand together. This will now hold my design and still resemble a fringed picture!
Not every fringe needs this extra attention, but it is nice to do when you want to create a picture or extend a picture from your looming, into the fringe.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Well, it grew up to be this piece. And now it’s finished and ready to go to its new home.
I took the original weaving and beaded the bottom half to give it the illusion of flowers. Then I tied off the warp threads leaving them long enough to form a fringe at the bottom of the weaving. And the warp threads at the top of the weaving were left long enough to hang down to form a veil. I like that the veil breaks up the surface of the weaving and makes the viewer have to work with the piece a bit to understand it. I attached the weaving to a canvas board that had been covered with rice paper and painted with metallic acrylic paint then topped off with iridescent watercolor. I finished the piece off by embellishing it with an old Southwestern style earring. All things considered, I’m pretty happy with how this piece turned out.
One down, two more to go. Tick, tock!
Monday, February 21, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I’m currently working up the left side of the weaving and starting to level it off so I can cut the weaving off the loom. I’m also trying to finish off the two remaining pieces that were completed earlier in the campaign so I can get those posted by the end of the month.
Susan left a couple of questions for me on my blog…
What tapestry books do I recommend and do I have a favorite?
Based on personal use, I can recommend “Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide” by Nancy Harvey, “Tapestry Weaving” by Kirsten Glasbrook, and “Shaped Tapestry” by Kathe Todd-Hooker. Those are the ones I have sitting on my bookshelves. I think the Glasbrook book is an excellent guide for beginning tapestry weavers to start with. Harvey’s book is more detailed but it’s also out of print.
The American Tapestry Alliance offers a distance learning program, Helping Hands, designed for beginning weavers who want to explore tapestry weaving with guidance and mentoring from a more experienced tapestry weaver. The details are available on the American Tapestry Alliance website.
What do I like best about the Mirrix Loom?
I really like how easy it is to warp the loom and to be able to get sufficient tension on the warp threads. The coils make it easy to keep your warp threads evenly spaced. I also like the fact that the loom has a nice solid feel to it and it doesn’t wobble, shift, or slide when I’m weaving.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Each strand was loaded with beads, not counted, but measured. I threaded a four inch portion of beads, then added my drops. The second half of the fringe was also load with beads, but measured against the first half's length, (still appx. 4 inches). The tricky part comes now. I found the best way to make the perfect twist was to use 'rubber finger tips', similar to what can be purchased in an office supply store. Holding the thread, closest to the last bead added, and pushing taut to make the beads set very close together, I began my twist in one direction. As I twisted, I made sure my efforts were twisting more towards the beads and not allowing both halves of the thread (thread length on each side of my finger hold), was also twisting. At the same time, I was turning the 'dagger' or focal at the bottom of the fringe. I did not count the number of twists, as is suggested in many online directions, but continued to twist the thread (still taut against the last bead) until the entire length of beads were twisted around.
To secure the twist and keep it into place, I used a 'spring bead stop' to hold my twist and not allow it to unravel. My needle was then thread into two beads, of the row I was adding the fringe, and passed through two additional beads, for the next fringe to begin. I pulled the thread through the four beads, still holding the original twist in the same position. Once all the thread was pulled, I made a 'half hitch' knot onto the end warp, between the two last beads I just passed through.
The best advice I can give, is to measure the length you want to twist, hold the twist taut against the last bead and keep that same twist from unraveling until you are able to make the half hitch, somewhere, to secure.
I love how this finish drapes. It has such a great feel and will add more dimension to my SLN then if I completed a 'one strand' fringe accent.
My Mirrix loom is becoming the perfect loom for adding all types of creative accents. The loom is holding my SLN, while I am making the twisted fringe. I'll bet, not that far yet, but I'll just bet, I won't be cutting this 'Lotus SLN' from the Mirrix, until it is time to attach the clasp!!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Right now the plan is to start to level the weaving off so you’ll have a better idea how it would look. I’m finding myself making a lot more adjustments now, especially with the black areas. Actually, now that I'm looking at the picture and have some distance, I think I would be a lot happier with that orange section if I had separated it from the brick red with black.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Susan posted some questions on my blog I thought I would answer in today’s post.
First, my disclaimer... I’m not good with “shoulds” and rules and boundaries. I tend to work in ways that suit what I’m trying to accomplish rather than doing what’s “right”. This is the main reason I don’t try to teach. This is also one of the reasons I recommended books at the beginning of the campaign for people who want to learn tapestry weaving. So, that being said…
Why do you start weaving in different places?
On the current weaving, I’m weaving in different places instead of straight across because I’m balancing the colors as I work. Even though I’m working from a colored cartoon, I still need to make adjustments as I move through the piece. For someone else it might be easier for them to just work straight across. I think it just depends on how you visualize things.
Does that make uneven tension?
Yes, it could. But the weft of your weaving can also be uneven if you work straight across. Getting a nice even weft is more about practice and developing a feel for what you’re doing.
Do you always use the shedding device on small areas?
I never use the shedding device on small areas. I use the shedding device when I’m working on large weavings or when the weaving that I’m working on has large areas of color.
Do you ever use anything but plain tabby weave?
Sometimes. It really depends on what I plan to do with the piece once it’s off the loom. As you’ve seen, a lot of my weavings are incorporated into collages. I really prefer my changes in texture and design to come from the different yarns and fibers I’m using.
Can you add texture changing the weave and if so can the heddles be arranged to change the pattern using the shedding device?
I haven’t tried it on the Mirrix but I don’t see why not. Hopefully Claudia or Elena will jump in if I’m totally off track on this. My best suggestion would be to just give it a try.
How would it look using your fingers to lift the warp threads and change the weft pattern to add texture or break up a large pattern of color?
It’s going to depend on what you’re using as warp and weft. Warp your loom and just try out all of the wacky things you can think to try. Some you’ll love, some you’ll hate, but I think experimentation is important in order to grow as an artist.
Can you embellish the weaving by adding some metallic thread as a highlighted area?
What about shading an area?
You can play with the colors that you’re weaving with in order to shade an area.
Just a reminder also, videos will be posted on Mondays instead of Sundays for the remainder of the campaign.
Other then the Laurel & Hardy Cuff, you have been seeing posted, I am also looming a large piece on my Mirrix. This loom is perfect, for so many reasons. However, not versed for the 'quick warped-loomed piece'. It is wonderful for carrying out the most creative looming ideas. Here is a picture of how I am fringing a 'layer' of my Lotus SLN. The Mirrix is allowing me the option to loosen the warp tension for ease of fringing, then tighten the warps back for looming.
I am using the Duracoat Delica line, Metallic Silver 11/0, for the design nestled in with the matte black Delicas. The design was graphed, not unlike any other loomed pattern, only having to keep track of how the beads will lay. Each bead is shaped more of a rectangle so when loomed, they are on their side, laying longer. When they are graphed for a fringe design, they lay straight up, thinner on the sides. Keeping this thought in mind allows the pattern perspective to stay correct.
Continuing a design or creating a separate design, in the fringe, adds much more to the bead art and can even widen your size of the 'beading canvas'.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
In case you missed the announcement, Mirrix is offering free bead patterns for download on their website. There’s a really great Valentine’s Day heart pattern available that I believe is based on one of Claudia’s zendoodles. I might give the image a shot at some point weaving with DMC #5 embroidery thread. But that’s a project for much later in the year.
The pink and black “weaving over a weaving” is still very much a work-in-process but should be finished this week. One of the ideas that crossed my mind when I was working on it yesterday was what would happen if there were multiple layers of weaving, then areas were burnt away so you could see the underlying layers. Yep, it’s just a matter of time before something goes up in flames.
As I start to look forward to how I will utilize the Mirrix Loom in my future work, I see it being a really useful tool in my mixed media / collage / assemblage projects. I’ve realized over the past few months that for me “traditional” tapestry weaving is very restrictive.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I’ve been re-working a couple of sections so there doesn’t appear to have been much progress since my last post. There’s actually much more contrast in the colors than there appears to be in the pictures. I experimented a bit with weaving the handspun yarn I’m going to use as embellishment into the weaving but decided against it. It’s much more interesting pulled through the slits. I just noticed that I need to increase the tension on the warp threads again which will straighten some of the wonky areas out a bit. I decreased it when I was working with the handspun.
With every project, no matter what medium I’m working with, there are always lessons learned. If I were starting this weaving over and still using the Tahki Cotton Classic for the weft, I think I would warp every other dent instead of every dent. Of course downside to doing that is the really small areas would be problematic.
For anyone in the New England area, the American Tapestry Alliance’s 8th American Tapestry Biennial is being shown at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, until May 1, 2011. In addition, two artists will be giving talks:
- March 13, 2011 @ 2:00 pm Susan Martin Maffei “Under the Influence, or Is It Just Inspiration?”
- April 10, 2011 @ 2:00 pm Anne Jackson “Anne Jackson: Knotted Tapestries”
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The current weaving is progressing slowly. I’m trying to work from left to right and from the bottom up as much as possible. You’ll notice the large square of orange in the middle has been partially removed. Something truly heinous was going on with that particular section. Somehow I managed to get the weft threads way too tight so I have to redo that area. I’m okay with the edges of the individual sections not being perfectly straight, actually I prefer them to be crooked, but that one was far too distorted for me to be able to close the slits if I needed to. As I continue to weave, I’m finding I have to work in a bit more black than was on the original cartoon in order to break the colors up and provide balance. I’m still happy with the basic color combination though.I’m also working on the two remaining weavings that I completed earlier in the campaign. The pink and black one you saw in the video on Sunday is sitting where I can see it every day and is waiting for me to be struck by a bolt of inspirational lightning. So far… nothing. And I’m continuing to embellish the first weaving with beads. So, hopefully I’ll be able to post both of those by the end of the month.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
I wanted to show these pieces so you’ll know the weavings that come off the loom that might be considered “failures” can still be used. Maybe not in the way you had originally envisioned, but still, not a complete loss. I have piles of “failed” experiments in my studio but most of these pieces will eventually find a home in a collage, an assemblage, or on a collagraph plate for printmaking. And just remember “one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure”. If you attend a class or workshop, you’ll be amazed what other artists might want to trade for from your stash.
The weaving on the loom is progressing slowly. Normally I would be obsessing over the fact that my edges aren’t straight but I’ll be able to correct a lot of sins once it’s off the loom. And since this one will also be part of a collage, I’m not too concerned at this point.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I like to use a wine cork, to secure my scissors from damage. To make this a complete set, I am thinking about beading around the cork! If I do, I'll be sure to share the set.