I've been playing with my new pattern (First Step) and my Mirrix Loom. In this picture you can see the fruits of my labor…some more appealing than others. The finished bracelet that I posted last week took me just as long to sew up to the leather, as it did to do the actual weaving. I love wearing it, and I love the leather backing. But I wanted to experiment with quicker finishing. For the top bracelet I folded over leather tabs and glued them together with the warp threads sandwiched in between. When I place the eyelets it will secure the tabs further. The bottom bracelet uses ribbon crimps. I wove the weft threads without beads to create tabs that could be grabbed with the crimps. Nevertheless, I could hear the delica beads being crushed beneath the crimps. I've clearly got more to practice.
You can see that the beads bunched up on the crimped version. As I learn about tension, I have learned that the beads will sometimes bunch up if the piece is not allowed to "rest" after being cut from the loom. I had used S-Lon bead cord for my other work, and this was my first go with One G for the warp threads. It is clearly more "sensitive". Here's a closer view.
With the middle bracelet, you can see the woven portion without the beads. I am discovering how little I know when it comes to predicting how a loom-woven piece will look. I've been working with seed beads for over 10 years…but I am stunned to see that with weaving in only one plane, the outcome does not match my expectations. Some very pretty beads that I would use together for a more structural piece of beadwork, just don't work together with the loom. I am learning to think about the beads differently and paying close attention to not only color but also finish. I guess I'll just have to keep playing!
- Julia L. Hecht - Poppyfield Bead Company - poppybeads.com