My name is Terry Hanson and I am an avowed lover of all bead things.
I live in central New York right now, but was raised in “The North country,” Brasher Falls, NY to be precise, and not far from the Canadian border, a land of forests and rivers and long winters. My sisters and I were taught various crafting skills by our mother and grandmother, whose energy and enthusiasm made embracing the craft world a lot of fun.
(left: “Expressions of Blue and Green“)
Well into married life and motherhood (I have three grown boys) I can remember creating some of my first beaded barrettes at the age of 25 when introduced to a bead loom by my sister. It delighted me how quickly I could make a small work of art, and then find a strong sense of accomplishment. I used one of the “bead loom kits” that you can still find at most craft stores for many years.
Years later I asked my husband to fabricate a larger bead loom for me. I needed to create beaded membership badges for a writer’s club known as The Fictioneers. I had to make quite a few of them and my hubby’s loom, while not the prettiest device on the planet, worked great, and so I was able to bead up to 4 of the club badges on this device at one time. (right: “Poppies”)
It was not too long after this that in 2009 I received a surprise Christmas gift,the 16-inch Big Sister Loom from Mirrix!
And boy did that change things. I was very impressed by the sturdy construction and design of this loom. Unlike previous looms the Big Sister sits upright and has great tension control. Also, I found I could now string up to 14 of the club badges on the loom in one shot. As of right now I have made 174 of the badges.
(left: “Morning Glory”)
With lots encouragement from a family member, I then decided to attempt a larger beaded work of art.
Surfing the web I found a few different programs, which I used as a tool to assist me in creating bead patterns from photos. Creating the patterns and choosing the right bead colors can take longer than the weaving of them.
After receiving official permission from the artists who created the original paintings of “Eclipsed” (Nik Helbig) and “Morning Glory” (Hessam Abrishami) I went through the time-consuming process of creating a bead-friendly pattern.
By combining the use of the computer bead program with size 11 Delica bead sample card, I was able to create beaded tapestries on The Big Sister Loom that I’m quite proud of. In fact, “Eclipsed” and “Morning Glory” received, respectively, First and Third Place Ribbons at The Great New York State Fair in 2014.
Last year I received the 22-inch Zach Loom as another surprise gift for Christmas (I’m serious, I had no idea I was going to be so blessed!), and recently created my largest work to date, my beaded interpretation of artist Martina Shapiro’s lovely expressionist painting “Expressions in Blue and Green,” a work that contains 51,072 beads.
I’ve have been working on a Mandala pattern that a close relative has hinted would make a great excuse to crack the 100,000-bead barrier for a single work of art. When I do it, will my Mirrix “Zach” loom be big enough? Or would this need a larger loom like the 28-Inch “McKinley?”
So, how much longer is it until Christmas?
Dear Santa, I swear I’ve been a really good girl this year!