Tapestry needleweaving as adornment—that is to say as fiber jewelry—owes its origins to one woman, Helen Banes, and its widespread popularization to another, Diane Fitzgerald, who persuaded Ms. Banes to co-author a text Beads and Threads on the technique she'd taught for twenty years with little more than a page or so of notes.
My exposure was the article in Threads magazine, but I never really sat down and tried it until taking a class at a local sewing seminar. After a practice piece or two, I started trying to seriously incorporate what I had learned in the first piece below, the Red and Yellow Tapestry Necklace.
I have embroidered for many years, and loved the idea of combining needle and beadwork, but embroidery is very slow. I hoped this technique would be a little faster, and it is, but not much, and certainly not enough to balance the consequent loss of flexibility demanded by warp and woof. Though I am very proud of my pieces, especially and the Rose and Butterfly, my interests—like those of Ms. Fitzgerald, who credits the technique for her initial interest in beads—have moved on.
For this reason I hope someday to post the instructions I developed while teaching the technique, for though Beads and Threads is a nice book and an excellent visual reference, it's sometimes a bit sketchy on technique, though certainly enough to get anyone started.
In the meantime, the pieces will give you a sampling; the conceit of silhouetting the object depicted is my little contribution to the body of work—though now that these pieces are on the web, I'd like to think that anyone else who has also experimented with this approach will let me know.
Unless otherwise noted, text, image and objects depicted therein copyright 1996--present sylvus tarn.Sylvus Tarn