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Thread: Bead Loom!

  1. #1
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    Bead Loom!

    My bead loom just arrived today! It's just your basic metal loom complete with a gazillion seed beads. I'm going to google for patterns but does anyone here have any loom patterns they'd share? Thanks!

    terri

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  3. #2
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    Oooooh, I love my bead looms! I have a couple of the little wire ones, a bigger wooden one that holds projects about 8" wide, and an even bigger one that I've never quite figured out how to use.

    As for patterns, I recommend grabbing some graph paper and colored pencils and making your own! Remember that the beads aren't perfectly square, so you'll have to "stretch" your design lengthwise to about a 3/4 ratio. I wish I could explain that better, but here's an example: In the original pattern I drew, the woman's face was much longer. the shape of the beads made it more round. (I got the idea for that picture from a magazine photo of Francoise Gilot, Paloma Picasso's mother. It's actually my second working of that same design, about 10 years after the first.)

    This is another piece I did a few years ago. I took the design from a picture of a silver wire headboard that Alexander Calder made for Peggy Guggenheim. For that one I think I actually made my own "graph paper" in Illustrator using many, many tiny individual squares (just criscrossed lines don't work, since you have to fill them in with color). That was almost more work than plotting out the design itself.

    Part of the fun of beadwork is that it's a workout for both sides of your brain!

  4. #3
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    Wow, Katrin, your pieces are gorgeous. I do beadweaving, but I prefer to do things off-loom. Back when I had a loom (eons ago), I didn't like having all the ends to deal with. I do agree, though, that making your own patterns is oodles of fun. There's a thing in the second Stitch and Bitch book about using Excel to make graphed knitting patterns, and I imagine the same thing would work for loom work - you can manipulate the colors and everything.

    Alison

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    Wow! Those projects are beautiful!
    Can you tell me what I do with the ends if I want to make say, a bracelet or necklace? I don't know how to make a clasp for it.

    I keep hearing about this SNB book; I'm going to order it finally!

    Terri

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinstarmerchant
    Can you tell me what I do with the ends if I want to make say, a bracelet or necklace? I don't know how to make a clasp for it.
    You can weave the ends back through your beads (similar to weaving loose ends through in knitting). If you put a fabric backing on your beadwork (like I did with that purse), you can pull the ends through the fabric, tie them off on the back, and use some of them to sew it securely to the fabric.

    I'm not sure about bracelets and necklaces; I haven't made any of those on a loom (except for that elastic one in 5th grade). I'm sure craft stores have a variety of sizes of clasps - I'm picturing a metal end in the width of your piece, with several holes to thread the loose warp threads through before weaving them back in through the beads. Bead shops, both online and in the real world, should have a selection of that kind of thing.

    Thanks everyone for the compliments on my beadwork - I really needed to hear something nice today!

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    Are there any particular beadlooms you guys recommend?

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraftinFool
    Are there any particular beadlooms you guys recommend?
    The small wire one I have is similar to this one (not exact, but close enough). It's good for making things like bracelets, belts and chokers - strips up to 2" or so wide. You can make the strip as long as you want by just cutting your warp threads really long and wrapping the finished portion around one of the end "rollers" as you go. I also made some larger panel pieces with mine, doing one strip at a time and then sewing them together.

    My bigger loom is similar to this, a little shorter and without the stand. I actually got it as a bonus gift when I ordered the giant loom I've never learned to use. I use this one for all my beadwork projects now (like the one I've had sitting half-finished for a year and a half). If you want to make purses or anything bigger than jewelry, I highly recommend a loom like this.


 

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