Saturday, May 30, 2009
I've packed my camera and computer and will keep you up on the latest, while I am there.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Here are a few more bezels Janet whipped up since last class. We are loving these polygon bezels.
What a beautiful weekend and Memorial Day we had. Monday we went to the New Paltz Craft Show that is held Memorial weekend and Labor Day weekend each year at the Ulster County Fairgrounds.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
In yesterday's class, I taught the new polygon beaded bezel. Honestly, they ARE even prettier on the reverse side than the front! Most of the bezels I've been working on are for rivolis. Many of these are featured in the necklace I am designing for a Bead Gallery Inc workshop. Currently the workshop is described as a day of bezels, but soon (and you'll hear it here first!) I'll have completed the necklace that features these beauties, and then we'll post the picture.
Many of you know I've been deeply immersed in adventures in a South African stitch called Polygon. (Sure wish I could have offered my 2 cents when it came time to name it.) Many of the current workshops I am offering focus on this little known and under-used stitch. I am so jazzed by the versatile scope of this stitch and exhilerated by the innovations that have immerged as I explore it, that I am in process of writing another book, just to share my explorations and discoveries with the bead community.
Looking back over 30 years of contemporary beadwork, consider just one stitch: Peyote. It is the "entry level" stitch that most off-loom beaders learn. It launched many of us into Netting, Herringbone, Brick... And, yet, its versatility is so expansive that some beaders spend their entire beading careers in Peyote land, never yearning for more. Look at Judy Walker's THE BEADED SPHERE or Diane Fitzgerald's SHAPED BEADWORK: Dimensional Jewelry with Peyote Stitch to see the fruits of their years with this stitch.
Beaders outside of Africa were introduced to Polygon stitch in an Ornament magazine article in 1997 by Valerie Hector. Her book, THE ART OF BEADWORK, provides the history and fundamentals of this stitch she describes as "beaded tubes with 3 or more sides, containing parallel rungs supported by vertical spines".
I took the "3 or more sides" as a challenge and have been teaching 2-sided polygon projects for years. In teaching here and abroad I find beaders are hungry for new recipes and new techniques. Just as Polygon has rocked my bead world, I think Polygon will feed that hunger in all beaders. Here is a stitch with all the sculpting and shaping that our other stitches offer, plus the added dimension of texture, to explore. Yeah, I hear some of you reminding me that it is a tubular stitch. Au contraire mon amis. Approached with the spirit of adventure and knowing that all things are possible, I am beading it circular and yes, even flat! It produces a leather-like feel and is reversible! Don't you just love the sparks that fly that propel us through new discoveries?
Monday, May 18, 2009
Upon close inspection of the beads, the sparkly nature of the piece is what sings out. The optical illusion provided by the color-lined drops, is that they are tiny illuminations in the background of shiny and matte beads.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Of course I brought my 3 books HANDFELTED JEWELRY AND BEADS, HOW WE FELT and MASTERING BEADWORK(Interweave Press), shown above and right, plus the feltmaking book I wrote for Japanese crafters, shown below, published by Patchwork Tsushin Co. Ltd. My English manuscript was translated into Japanese by Motoko Natsubori.
The felt show was wonderful but much smaller than I'd expected. The catalog contained several more pieces than shown. In fact the catalog showed colorful versions of some of the same grey or white pieces in the show. Wish the show had more color. It was gratifying to see how thoroughly they described in word and video the feltmaking process.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Please forgive me for not getting to the sexy photos and things I'd have shared today, had I not been working on posting the calendar. Check it out. I'll finish editing it Saturday so you can just click on the workshop and "get there".
Tomorrow Elaine, Fran and I are going to the Fashioning Felt Show at Cooper Hewitt mentioned in the earlier post. We are meeting Jeri.
And yes, on the way I have an appointment at Kinokuniya. If we schedule a booksigning, you will be the first to know.
You will always be the first to know!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
(I accidently posted the entry I meant for here on the new calendar page and cannot copy and paste it. So, I have deleted it and am re-writing it here. It means there are no photos today. Nothing is easy. Now it is past midnight and so it would appear that I have been remiss in posting daily, or nearly. Some of you know me and how resistant I have been to your advice that I blog. I have always chuckled at that bumper sticker "resistance is futile". Thank you for your patience as I come kicking and screaming into the techno-abyss. (I am actually almost enjoying this.)
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sorry I do not know relationship between Entaco and John James & Sons. But, when I reported my dissatisfaction I was told that Entaco, manufacturer of John James needles, were losing their craftsmen to ageing and younger replacements not entering the craft. They thought they should have them manufactured in China to their specs. They have changed their minds and manufacturing has returned to England. I will use the new batch of needles made in England and let you know.
In MASTERING BEADWORK when I addressed beading needles, I said that the economy needles such as Pony brand manufactured in India are flexible and able to curve. John James were annealed and more brittle and while less likely to become S curved, they could break. This gave beaders a choice. Sometimes I am happy to tolerate a couple broken needles to avoid an S curvy needle. Sometimes I seek flexibility.
http://johnjamesneedles.com/ and http://www.entaco.com/
Kazue and Harada-san have both confirmed that I will accompany them , Tulip Co Ltd. http://tulip-japan.co.jp, in their booth/exhibit at TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association) http://tnna.org/ at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Ohio June 13-15. It is their first venture in U.S. This is such a delight for me. I truly enjoyed working with Kazue in the booth at the International Great Quilt Show in Tokyo in January. I demonstrated feltmaking and signed copies of my felting book (sponsored by Tulip, writtten by me in English and translated beautifully into Japanese by Motoko Natsubori and published by Patchwork). It will be a pleasure to promote their comfortable and fine felting needles and new ergonomic crochet hooks. Kang too will join us in Ohio. Kang relocated to Florida and I enjoyed a wonderful visit with her when I was in Tampa to teach at the Sewing and Quilt Expo in March. http://sewingexpo.com/
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Marianne showed me the ropes and has left me to my devices now. So I downloaded a few pictures to share, re-sized them (I hope) using the photoshop tips she gave me and am full of exciting things to share.
Last week I removed this catkin from the white birch around the corner. It looks like an earring. It especially fascinates me that it looks a narrower version of some of the pods I've been beading using polygon stitch.
June 20th I'll be teaching some of those pods at Beads By Blanche http://beadsbyblanche.com/ in the Ostara's Emerging Blossoms necklace. As a bonus, I've snuck one of the new polygon beaded bezels into the project as the closure. Did I say the bezel is around a rivoli? And bezels beaded this way are quick and textured and even more beautiful on the backside than on the front side.
Earlier this week Fran and I worked on the kits for the B&B Show workshops for Diamonds of Fire and Fireflies at Sunset.