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Bead Weaving On A Loom

At the upcoming Whole Bead Show in New York City I will be demonstrating this bead weaving technique on Sunday March 19th. See me in the 92nd Street Y booth. Hotel Pennsylvania 401 7th Avenue.

I became very interested in bead weaving several years ago when I came across some early 1700's cross stitch patterns from the Ackworth School in England. At the school the young boys were taught archery while the girls learned geography by cross stitching a globe of the world.

The innocence of their young hands can be seen in their work. Many of the samplers were made by girls between the ages of 9 and 13. I have incorporated some of the sampler motifs into the bead weaving work I do today.

Although bead work is different from cross stitch the patterns used are the same. The images are created on a grid made up of small squares. Colors are added to the squares to create the image.

Many of the threads used in the 1700's were dyed with the juices from fruits and vegetables. The cross stitch work was done on fine linen fabric. In my bead weaving I am using a special C-Lon thread which is flat, allowing it to pass through the tiny beads and the thread on the loom. The beads are Miyuki Delica in size 15/0. These are the smallest beads that this Japanese company makes and are prized for their consistency in size, quality and color. The beads are a cylinder shape and measure 1.3mm x 1mm. The colors I choose resemble those of the cross stitch work done at Ackworth several centuries ago.

When the weaving is complete I remove it from the loom. I then construct a mechanism for a piece of jewelry such as a clasp or pin back. Sometimes I will frame these pieces in a shadow box which allows the light to pass through to reveal the color variations and the subtle effects that I am attempting to create.

Whole Bead Show NYC. March 19, 2017. Hotel Pennsylvania. 401 7th Avenue @33rd Street. 92nd Street Y Booth.

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