Adventures with…… an Indian Bead Loom.

Posted: February 21, 2012 in The Garage

Can you believe just how quickly time flies? It’s more than a bit scary when you consider that I’m already on to my eighth adventure in my 52 week crafting challenge…… Before you know it I’ll be waxing lyrical about some VW themed Christmas creation that incorporates glitz, glam and glitter in a pink colourway – And that prediction would be sad if it wasn’t possibly all too true where I’m concerned! But them’s the breaks!

Let’s draw breath for a moment. This month has been all about jewellery; And you can’t really cover every aspect of this humoungous theme in the month of February – this much even I know!

So for the last four weeks I’ve chosen to focus on different projects that incorporate beads – because beads are my kind of thing; I just love all things beaded! Nearly as much as I love Bull Terriers or VW’s.

It’s for this reason that I have to share this non-jewellery related masterpiece with you before I tell you about this week’s adventure; apologies if you’ve spotted it already…. I saw it for the first time just after Christmas. I’m amazed at myself that I didn’t blab about it straight away………. but I’ve secretly enjoyed the steadily increasing numbers of piccies that have been released over the last few weeks on the internet.

You know what I’m going to say………. Don’t you?

This is the most amazing thing I’ve seen in a long while; It’s absolutely, gob smackingly, stunning ………… and even if it wasn’t a VW Beetle I would still have to bow down very low and acknowledge the incredible beauty, design quality, outstanding crafmanship and sheer technical accuracy and mathematical attention to detail needed to produce this work of art. It’s totally blown me away!

Vochol – Bead Decorated VW Beetle

‘Vochol’  appeared in the Museum of  Puebla, near Mexico City, in August 2011. The name “Vochol”, was conceived from a combination of “Vocho,” a popular term for Volkswagen Beetles in Mexico, and “Huichol”, a Mexican indigenous group. The car was decorated by craftsmen from the Huichol community living in the states of Nayarit and Jalisco, using traditional beads and fabric. It’s possibly going to be auctioned off some time this year with all proceeds going to the Huichols – All I can say is that I need to win the Lottery; PRONTO!

I can’t get my head around the amount of hours needed to complete this labour of love!

Bagsy let me be the bloke that sets the last of the 2,277,000 tiny glass beads in place … ;0)

It’s just beautiful!

The bug spreads it’s wings and get’s ready to fly……

Are you drooling yet? I am!

In excess of  2,277,000 tiny glass beads have carefully been set in place by hand to complete this awesome beast. Can you imagine doing this? I can’t!

So, with all that to digest I also bring you this week’s offering from me – my adventures with tiny glass beads using an Indian bead loom. Something tells me that whatever I do it won’t be one iota bit as impressive as what you’ve just seen; I’ll crack on any way 😉

Now although bead looming may seem a little daunting at first it’s actually a surprisingly simple process, as once you’ve got the hang  of how to string up the loom itself, pretty much the same technique is used to make anything.

As with most things, there are plenty of tutorials to follow on the internet, and, as is usually the case, they vary in quality and helpfulness. For a change, this week I thought I’d focus on passing on a few helpful tips rather than directing you to assorted websites and videos on YouTube – You can do that bit for yourself I’m sure 😉

Top Tips for working with a bead loom:

Remove any pets from your work area! I have two English Bull Terriers that always seen to want to ‘help’; experience has proven them to be tad bungling in the jewellery making department;

Use shallow dishes to put your beads in – saucers are perfect for organising your rocailles (seed beads);

Make sure you use sharp scissors – blunt ones will fray your thread;

When setting up your loom make sure that you cut the threads at least 30cms longer than the intended length of your finished design and always cut one more loom thread than the number of beads in the row;

Slightly wetting your thread will straighten it and help it to sit easily between the separator coils;

Once beading is underway remember to angle your needle slightly upwards – this helps to prevent accidentally sewing in to the loom threads;

Invest in more than one bead loom! If you’re anything like me you’ll probably end up with more than one project on the go at any one time (I’ve got four looms in total – each of them very much in constant use).

I love this bead loom with it’s little recesses for organising your rocailles.

So, what did I make this week?

A quick and simple beaded wrist band by The Big Blue Bully Bus

Then I started a nice rainbow themed bracelet …

And on to the next design…

And finally…… here’s a little freebie I’ve designed for you – it’s intended to be used for a brooch  but you could quite easily repeat it a few times and make yourself a nice little patriotic cuff. But please don’t forget to acknowledge the designer should you decide to use it…

Please acknowledge the source of this design if using it in any of your work 🙂

Next week sees the start of a new theme with ‘Retro Crafts’; And I’ll be showing you some cool little gizmos that’ll make your crafting life a whole lot easier. Until then, Happy Crafting!

  1. The beaded beetle – absolutely stunning!

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