ARTIST OF THE MONTH
I am primarily a self-taught Kumihimo fiber artist. I have learned from You Tube videos, books and DVDs. Other Kumihimo artists have shared their talents with me as well.
Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese art dating back to the Samurai of the 7th century. The braiding of cords was both useful and beautiful. There are limitless combinations of cords, materials and patterns that can be created to be used for clothing, artwork or jewelry. My Marudai is pictured above…the cords are on the Tama (bobbins) and moved around the Mirror (top) in a pattern to create the braid.
Glass or other focal pieces which enhance a necklace are the inspiration for the beadwork that I incorporate into my designs.
Color and cord are the first step in design. If I am using beads the length of the necklace must be calculated to determine the number of beads for each cord. I can work with as few as 7 cords or as many as 20. The beads need to be threaded onto each cord either with a bead spinner if there is no pattern or by hand if there is.
The beaded cords are laid onto the Kumihimo disc or Marudai according to the layout necessary for the design.
Then the fun part starts…braiding the cords! The cords are moved around the Marudai and the braid is formed until the desired length for your necklace is created. There are many patterns for the movements of the cords, each creating a different braid style.
Finally, the necklace is removed, the cords are secured and the endcaps are placed with the clasp.
Ready to wear and enjoy.
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