This year, “Loomy” (a 22″ Zach Loom) began a journey across the territories of Himalaya with Art Across Frontiers. Loomy has been meeting artists and weavers everywhere he goes and is helping to spread creative knowledge across and within these cultures. Check out some of the beautiful images from Loomy’s journey so far and the beautiful rugs these artisans have made.
Interested in learning more? Contact Art Across Frontiers and consider helping to fund this amazing journey.
Every once in a while an idea doesn’t pan out. I have been thinking hard about what to do with the split loom piece I made and wanted to try something different. I think I may have messed up the piece when I took it off the loom and take it on vacation with me before I finished it. This is very sad to me after all the work. Now I will not be able to see if my idea works out, at least not any time soon. After much handling and being toted about gently here and there while on our Oklahoma trip, the piece decided to bunch together a bit in places and crowd itself. When I took it off the loom, it was beautiful, flat and not bunched anywhere. I tried to fix that, but it has not worked out very well.
A definite design flaw is that I didn’t make it long enough, although it is pretty long. When you go to put it around your neck, the area at the top of the pendant buckles. If I had made it longer that wouldn’t have happened, or if I had made a wider opening. Usually I am pretty good about fixing something, but not this time.
I saw someone post a Facebook entry about designers making mistakes and wishing they would share them occasionally. Well, here it is 😉 I do make mistakes and like many humans, I hate to own them. I think I am going to have to tear this apart and redo the entire piece. Not now though because right now, I am too discouraged to look at it LOL So tomorrow, I shall warp the loom for something else in the meantime.
Anyone else willing to share their mistakes?? What did you mess up? Was it a design flaw or the work itself? Were you able to fix it without doing a complete start over? If so, how did you fix it?
“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt, Looking Forward
This morning I got a great question that I feel deserves a blog post (thanks, Sue!). Is weaving beads [on a loom] easier than bead weaving with a needle?
While I cannot answer this with a simple “yes” or “no”, since comparing off-loom stitches to loom weaving is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, I do have a few thoughts:
-There are many different off-loom stitches, some easier than others. Generally speaking, there are few variations when weaving beads on a loom. While there is more variation in off-loom stitches, a loom woven piece doesn’t have to be flat and boring. You can do things like embellish your piece while it is on the loom, mix different sized beads, increase or decrease your shape and (when taken off the loom) add to it or finish it in a variety of interesting ways.
-Off-loom stitches require less prep-work. With a loom, you need to warp (to warp is to wrap threads around your loom) before you can start weaving.
-One of the most difficult things about off-loom bead weaving is getting enough tension. Your tension comes from how tightly or loosely you stitch the beads and the fact that both your hands are always involved in the process of maintaining correct tension. When weaving on a good bead loom (like a Mirrix), the loom itself maintains the correct tension for you.
-Because you pick up all your beads at once for one row and then weave them in all at once, you are greatly reducing the time it takes to create a piece. This is especially evident with wider pieces. For example, if you were weaving a peyote piece that was 20 beads wide, for each row you will have picked up a bead with the needle and inserted it into an already woven bead ten times. Compare that to weaving on a loom where you will have picked up 20 beads at one time and woven it in. You can see with that example how much time is saved in the process.
-The ease of weaving depends a lot on your loom! With a Mirrix, you’ll get an easy weaving experience!
Let me demonstrate how easy it is to weave beads on a Mirrix Loom. Note: I am just doing a basic overview and leaving out some small steps. Check out our “Starter Bracelet” ebook for all the details!
Step one: Warp your loom! Warping is easier than you think. Basically you tie your warp thread to the warping bar and wrap it around your loom, changing directions every time you hit your warping bar. When you’re finished, you simply need to tie off back onto your warping bar! Learn to warp here with our easy warping instructions.
Step two: Pick up your beads
Step three: Place your beads behind your warp threads
Step four: Sew through your beads, going over the top of your warp threads
Step five: Pull through.
It’s as easy as that! Happy Weaving!