Woven Silk and Crystals
If you weave, whatever you weave, you love the materials with which you weave. After all, those materials are the bricks that make your weaving and if those bricks are crumbling and dull, what you weave will embody those traits. Materials that are rich and filled with color and texture and body will make your project sing. Hence, it’s no surprise that I get excited when I wield my paint brush over skeins of silk or receive a box of materials in the mail. Admiring that hand-painted silk once it has dried and put on skeins gives me the same feeling as receiving, as I recently did, a box of crystals. The goal is of course to make something worthy of the materials. It doesn’t have to be an intensely complicated long-term project. It can be something very simple that elegantly incorporates the gems and threads.
To that end, I made the following two woven projects which I would like to share with you.
Okay, you’ve seen the hand-painted silk a million times but I am going to post a picture of them anyway. The crystals are new, at least to me. I have frequently used size 4mm fire polish crystals in my work. This is the first time I’ve used the more delicate size 2mm fire polish crystals. I kept my color choices simple: a couple of versions of gold and just clear crystals.
My first project combined the hand-painted silk and crystals with an emphasis on the silk using the crystals as an accent. I was sitting in a boring meeting somewhere with nothing to make with my hands. Just had a notebook and a pen so I doodled. And as I doodled far away from my loom I came up with the idea of putting a row of crystals in the middle of woven silk to make a bracelet. As soon as I got home I headed for a LaniLoom and started weaving my doodle. I did not use the shedding device for this piece. It came out exactly as I imagined it would which, as you know, isn’t always the case. But again, this was a very simple idea executed in a very simple way. It was just another version of a theme I’ve been obsessed with lately which is weaving bands of hand-painted silk to make various objects. Here she is!
And because I know you might want to weave this bracelet, I ordered a bunch of those gorgeous gold beads to make into a kit. Of course, it’s back to the dye pots for me since our hand painted silk is flying off the shelves and my last batch is diminishing at an astonishing rate.
The next project also included silk and crystals, but this time the crystals (and in this case mostly clear ones with a spattering of gold) dominate. I harkened back to an older style using a O-ring and a button for the clasp. The silk is used for the warp and the crystals are used as the “weft.” This piece took maybe an hour to set up and weave so is a great go-to project for a quick gift or a fun new instant bracelet for yourself.
A kit for this will also follow. Waiting for the mail carrier to wing that new big box of crystals to my door!