Looming the base

I have been sharing the steps of completing a “SLN”, split loomed necklace. The base of my image is almost complete. I’ll be looming another 15 rows before I start a technique that will bring this image to life.

This is the first time I have loomed such a large creation, on a Mirrix. So far, I think this loom was actually created for those serious bead loomers! Your beading doesn’t feel stuck on a frame, but feels free and movable at every step! I look forward to how this loom will hold up for what I have in mind, while completing this SLN! [smilz]


Breakfast list, Perspective, and Color

CloudsAt Convergence I took a full day photography workshop with Gregory Case. I now know what to look for in the camera that I choose, plus a lot of other things to do when taking pictures of my work. I’m sure it will require practice, which, of course, is the problem.

After seeing the Abstraction exhibit at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, I was reminded again of the nuances of color and perspective. The painting that I liked better was one of her seashells, but I can’t find a picture of it anywhere. It also was done in varying shades of white, gray, and black, similar to the painting below. The one below is also on display, titled, I believe, Abstraction, White Rose, 1927.imageThis mini poster is 14”H  x 11”W, and is part of the Georgia O’Keeffe Abstraction exhibition, currently on display at the museum. 

While I was looking for a copy of the seashell picture, I found the painting below from the Chicago Institute of Art. It’s all about perspective—and color!


Black Cross, New Mexico, 1929

Oil on canvas

99.2 x 76.3 cm

The Art Institute of Chicago Purchase Fund, 1943.95

Thanks to Kimberly for the breakfast list below:

  • Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro – Boise, Idaho
  • Bijou Cafe – Portland, Oregon

Anybody have more to add?

Helpful Tension Options

I have completed further rows, based on my design for a split loomed necklace.

Looming 92 rows wide can be a real challenge. Many looms keep your tension secure and looming long rows of beads can be uncomfortable to loom. However, using the Mirrix can make a wide bead looming that much easier and more enjoyable.

The wing nuts, on each side of the loom, are able to be spun, releasing the warp tension, or visa versa. For this looming, I am able to loosen the warps so my hand can grab the entire looming making it easier for me to run my needle back through the rows. Once I finish a row, I can tighten the warp tension.

Lately, I have been watching other loom artists create some huge portraits, by looming wall hangings. If they would see how comfortable it is to use a Mirrix and have the availability to loosen the tension, they too would be interested! It makes everything much nicer!

The picture I am looming, may not be readable right now, but once I include some other beading techniques, 3D, Bead Tole and edging, it will all fall into place. I’ll post pictures as I complete more of the SLN!

Claudia teaches at New Hampshire Institute of Art

For details about this workshop please go to:  http://www.nhia.edu/assets/Uploads/PDFs/CE–CT/Fall-2010-Course-Schedule.pdf

I will share here though:

Bead Weaving on a Mirrix
Bead and Tapestry Loom
DEC025 5 Weeks Chase (LO 002) Mon. 9:30 – 12:20 pm (Oct. 18 – Nov. 15) This foundation class will introduce students to the art of weaving on a high-end bead/tapestry loom. Three projects will teach a variety of weaving and finishing techniques. Students will finish the course equipped with the skills necessary to design and create woven bead and bead/fiber pieces independ-ently. Projects will include a beaded cuff bracelet, a bead/fiber pouch, and a beaded split-loom necklace. A loom will be provided for use in class. If students want to take their looms home, a $250 deposit will be required. Additional materials will be available for sale from the instructor. Prerequisite: None. Limit: 8

TUITION: $132 STUDIO FEE: $80 payable to the instructor on the first class MATERIALS: sharp scissors, graph paper, pen or pencil.

Should be fun.  I can’t wait!

Where do you begin looming?

As I shared in an earlier post, I have strung my Mirrix so I can complete a split loomed necklace, using warp weights. I have just completed my first few rows.

I prefer to begin my first rows of bead looming at the ‘top’ and work my way ‘down’. Others have mentioned they like to start at the ‘base’ and work their way ‘upwards’. When you are planning a design to include increases and decreases, you must start the first row at the widest part of your pattern. Once that section is complete, you can then work upward, from the top and downwards towards a finish.

Notice how the warp weights are being used to hold the upper half of my looming. At this time, I need the warps to be stabilized for looming my widest base, but once I begin decreasing and creating cut work designs, I’ll be moving these warps. That is where the ‘weighted warp’ idea will hold merit.

In one of my earlier posts, I attached the warp weights to the bottom of my looming. In this pattern, I attached them to the upper section of my loom, keeping the base of the warps secured, or tied to the loom. It has to be one way or the other, but not both. In this design, again, I am working my techniques to the upper sections. I’ll include more photos as my design progresses!

Poem I found from past

A Violent Change of Season

I cut the white warp
off the loom,

removed all trace of failure.
Another day,
it might have been worth

Not today:
today I cut things off,

I cut things free.
I make a ball of the wool
I dispose of.

Last night
I looked at the clean white square
of wall

and I was terrified
of the loneliness in
a clean white square of wall.

The baby is not
a baby
any longer.

When she discovered
the workman’s truck
had squashed her little red hoe

her red heart beat thunderous
sobs and chokes,
inconsolable despair.

For two hours
the clench of arms, the
promise of replacements,

did not ease that first
traumatic shock,

that sense of first loss.
I did not stand on the sideline
of pain.

I jumped into those crowded waters
naked and nervous;
I got wet.

My little girl cannot save me
from the wall’s insistent

Even a charged hug
won’t do,
won’t remove the glare.

I float off on wretched
little seas of sickening ebb and flow,
a violent change of season.

Convergence I

I tried to limit my shopping at Convergence, but still came away with some irresistible items. But before going on, take a gander at the beautiful booth that Weaving Southwest set up. A picture cannot do justice to the wonderful hand-dyed yarns! Yummy, yummy!WeavingSouthwestBoothHere’s Teresa and Rachel Brown. Rachel is the founder of Weaving Southwest. Teresa Loveless is the current owner and the granddaughter of Rachel. Doesn’t Teresa look like she’s having fun with the Rio Grande spinning wheel?Teresa_RachelI had contacted Susan at Yarn Barn about buying some heddles for my Mirrix. She graciously stuck them in her purse for the trip to Albuquerque, and now I have not-homemade heddles for when I warp next.

From John Marshall I bought some Instant indigo . Since I likely won’t be using it soon, John recommends keeping it in the freezer. He is such a nice man and very generous with his knowledge and expertise.

I have previously bought some paper yarn from Habu without any idea of what to do with it. Below is a “paper” yarn from 100% linen. I have the gold and red.Wide PaperWidePaperColorsAfter looking at the yarns again and seeing others that appealed, I have decided that I will make an unplanned textured tapestry piece on the Mirrix. The picture of the yarn below comes from Habu Textiles. On the label it says: Vegetable root sizing silk. Below is the quote from the Habu website about this yarn.

Very plain, but with a beautiful sheen. This yarn dyes very well and works perfectly as a warp yarn. It is quite springy, so suited for a sculptural knitted pieces or even basketry.


This is a

“paper” yarn. A small pieces of linen paper is sandwiched between the nylon core.


If these yarns work out, I may get some that I can dye in small sample sizes. However, there will be no time to warp the Mirrix for a few days, plus I have one more Text weaving to try before cutting the current warp off. After being gone for many days, the coming week is full. One of the items on my list is to pick wild mustang grapes. It’s jelly time!

My Mirrix is a work horse!

I am thoroughly in love with my Mirrix! I have been wanting to create a very substantial split loomed necklace, for sometime. The 16inch Mirrix is perfect, for what I plan to create. I will share my progress here on the blog, but stay with me because some of my ideas will be new techniques. If they don’t work out, I won’t photo til they do!

My Mirrix is strung with 93 warps. I included the extensions, longer foot pediments and warp weights.

My design is 92 beads wide. Therefore, your loom is strung one warp more then the number of beads in a row, 93 warps. The center 17 warps are going to handle 16 beads of stable looming. I will explain further as I go along, then it will all make sense.

Notice the black marks on the two warps, in the picture above. This is the outside of my 16 beads. For now, I am only going to loom the widest portion of my piece, a split loomed necklace.

My design idea includes some ‘cut work’ into my looming and ‘wavy edging’. Therefore, I need to include ‘warp weights’. The warps are secure at the base of this loom, but are brought over top and a ‘warp weight’ is attached to every two warps. The Mirrix is so great, because I was able to ‘increase the height’ to handle my pattern, and the warp weights are secured in between the additional springs that come with the Mirrix.

These warp weights were custom made, especially for this method of looming.

Many designs were discussed, but this is the best design to handle some very creative ways to loom. These warp weights, along with a tutorial to create ‘cut work’ and ‘wavy edges’, can be ordered from Venessa Hearn at Bead Up A Storm

I hope you will stay with us for me to share how the Mirrix, and these warp weights, can create some of the most intricate looming! For now, I’ll be adding my longest row of beads, to start!


I always think about color, probably constantly. Combinations that I like, colors to weave, a striking photograph. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth posted this on their Facebook page. Now, the blurb is not what caught my attention, of course; it was the PURPLE!

Based on the classic book, these adventures star Harold, an inventive and curious toddler with thoughts, desires and feelings typical of any child his age.Purple-Crayon

Color Schemer

ColorSchemer2Color wheels are ubiquitous. Most of us have used them. Many have studied color theory extensively. I have to admit that I have not had that opportunity and often I regret that. However, as a friend of mine said, every time she thinks about color too much, she doesn’t like what she’s done. I have those same feelings and much prefer to go by my gut, or more politely, instinct. Or maybe just call it going by the seat of my pants. That is a saying, right? That’s not to say that I don’t use color tools. I do. I’ve mentioned my favorite computer program before, Color Schemer. With this program, one can take a photograph and find the colors in the picture. One has the ability to choose a different area if the color shown isn’t quite right. I know there are online programs, but this is the one I like and use. In fact, Color Schemer has an online version also, but I’m not sure if it’s as full-featured as the one on my hard drive.

Color-Star I also like Itten’s Color Star, even though Color Schemer does all the same things. With the Color Star, I can be seated at my design table and pull up some Color-Aid papers to go with combinations on the Color Star. But whatever the Color Star shows, and whatever Color-Aid papers are pulled out, the “gut” still rules. By the way, Color-Aid papers, which have color screen printed on them, are NOT inexpensive, and it used to be that they were difficult to fine. May art suppliers like Ultrecht have them, and I noticed that even Amazon carries a set.

image What made me start thinking about color is this blog post about purple and orange—maybe because I love those colors also? The above color combination came from Terri Stegmiller’s blog post.

Since I keep finding more stuff with color I love, this will have to continue to another day.

In the ikat-tying world—Color is a little iffy. That is it never exactly turns out as anticipated. More about that later, also.

In my Mirrix-weaving world—Color is determined by the butterflies and other leftover hand-dyed yarns, which also affects what I weave.

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