Weaving Redux

Everything old becomes new again as a recent trip to the Intergalactic Bead Show in Memphis reminded me.   Some years ago, I wove a series of beaded pendants.  I used a needle weaving technique on graph paper mounted on foam board.  This technique was described in great detail first in 1993 by  Diane Fitzgerald and Helen Banes in Beads and Threads: A New Technique for Fiber Jewelry.

Beads and Threads:  A New Technique for Fiber Jewelry by Diane Fitzgerald and Helen Banes

Beads and Threads: A New Technique for Fiber Jewelry by Diane Fitzgerald and Helen Banes

Then in 1996, Donna Rhodes and Kathy Stachowicz published a monograph on the subject – The Fine Art of Pin-Weaving:  Creative Variations

The Fine Art of Pin-Weaving:  Creative Variations by Donna Rhodes and Kathy Stachowicz

The Fine Art of Pin-Weaving: Creative Variations by Donna Rhodes and Kathy Stachowicz

When I first started weaving these pieces in the late 1990’s I was a bit overzealous with beading!  The excessive nature of the beads seemed to overpower the tapestry like qualities I was trying to capture in the needle-woven pendants.

Needle woven pendant with jade beads

Needle woven pendant with jade beads

The beauty of weaving on a foam board and using “bank pins” to anchor the warp is that any shape can be created.  I really like the triangular shape of this piece.  Bank pins are a heavy gauge steel pin favored by taxidermists.  But if you’re not into stuffing dead animals, you can get them here.

Below are a few more of my handwoven pendants needle-woven on foam board.

Abstract design handwoven pendant with lapis lazuli beads

Abstract design handwoven pendant with lapis lazuli beads

Geometric desic handwoven pendant with jet beads

Geometric design handwoven pendant with jet beads

Handwoven pendant with metallic threads

Handwoven pendant with metallic threads

Abstract floral design handwoven pendant with dyed fossil beads

Abstract floral design handwoven pendant with dyed fossil beads

These two pendants were woven on a floor loom and the excess warp threads became the necklace strung with beads.

Loom woven pendant with bone beads

Loom woven pendant with bone beads

Loom woven pendant with dyed fossil beads

Loom woven pendant with dyed fossil beads

After using both the needle woven and the loom woven techniques, I decided that needle weaving on a foam board was more flexible as it offered more choices as to shapes and dimensions for the finished pendant.

Here is a needle woven pendant that is in search of a “hanger”.  It’s a rather large piece, so I think to do the pendant justice, the  necklace part will need to be quite long.

Handwoven pendant with feather charms and clapper beads

Handwoven pendant with feather charms and clapper beads

This last piece is actually my favorite and my most recent creation.  I like the simplicity of it and it has only a few beads woven into the design with some simple charms hanging on the ends.  The “hanger” is a simple rattail satin cord secured to the pendant with an elegant swan closure and clapper beads.

Handwoven pendant with jewelry findings

Handwoven pendant with jewelry findings

My friend Nysha has suggested that I weave more of these as the simple and elegant findings seem to accentuate the tapestry like qualities of the pendant.  And that in fact is the effect I am trying to capture!  Not to mention the fact that I consider myself a handweaver and  not a bead artist.

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Yes, David Bowie is a genius.  But don’t we all know that everything changes, becomes transformed?  And so it goes with the world of fiber – weaving, silk fusion, book arts.

My last post showed this handmade silk fusion piece with inclusions of skeleton leaves, angel wings, and angelina fibers.

Silk Fusion with soy silk, tussah silk noils and inclusions

Silk Fusion with soy silk, tussah silk noils and inclusions

And this is how the piece transformed.

Silk fusion in woven form

Silk fusion in woven form

I cut the silk fusion paper into strips and mixed them up a little, then wove the strips to form a square . This piece was mounted onto handmade Thai unryu or kozo paper.  I think it looks a little more interesting and dramatic than the original piece. Definitely more frame worthy!

Here are some randomly arranged strips from another silk fusion piece which I made and then managed to cut.

Randomly arranged cut strips from silk fusion

Randomly arranged cut strips from silk fusion

I think I may loom weave the strips as weft with a fine cotton warp.   The contrasting shape and texture of 10/2 pearl cotton may pull the piece together into a more pleasing visual image.

Don’t know if I should do anything to change this silk fusion paper that I made with soy silk, tussah silk noils, gold flakes and gold metallic fiber.

Silk fusion paper with gold flakes and gold metallic fiber

Silk fusion paper with gold flakes and gold metallic fiber

It reminds me of an abstract painting.  I may just mount it on some handmade paper and frame it.

And here is the last transformation.  If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I am a huge music fan, and that I listen to almost everything, or so it seems.  So I  have found myself with a small collection of old 45 RPM vinyl records.  I don’t have a record player anymore, and in fact can’t seem to remember the last one I had!  And I felt a need to transform these records into something.  I didn’t think I could easily weave with them, so I decided to make a prototype of a blank journal with two records as the front and back covers.

front cover of blank journal made from a recycled 45 vinyl record

front cover of blank journal made from a recycled 45 RPM vinyl record

I then bound the signatures together using painted tyvek tape and the herringbone and kettle stitch combination I learned from the workshop I took with Daniel Essig.

heringbone binding recycled vinyl

My stitches and signatures are a bit funky, but it’s a prototype.  With a little bit of practice I think I can polish this concept and figure out how to make the center opening more appealing. It’s a start.  I see it as a transformation in progress.  Ch-ch-ch-changes…..