I've been making braids since I was very small; I have a veritable trove of three-stranders made of yarn and that colored string old ladies like to make into crocheted doileys. I remember some clerk at a bead store that told me she would “rather I didn't” watch her braid 4 strands together for the ends of a necklace in an attempt to learn this arcane art; (why then was she in the public part of the store, working at the counter?) and recall with fondness the generosity of another textile artist at the Ypsi Heritage Festival, upon hearing this story, vowing to teach me; but Catherine Martin's book on Kumihimo opened a magical world I didn't know existed.
We're so incredibly fortunate nowadays. Even before that treasure trove known as the World Wide Web became common, computers were making publishing accessible by orders of magnitude; all the sudden, people could write, illustrate—even color-separate—for a fraction of the cost before the days of desktop publishing. And all these specialty craft books have multipled as a wonderful result.
Now there are whole books on braids, ribbons, tassels, Japanese embroidery, glass beadmaking. When I think of them all, it makes me feel wealthy beyond anything I could imagine as a child. And it helps, too, that as so many traditional and ethnic crafts are being lost as the people doing them no longer have the time nor interest that they are springing up, irrepressibly, in other cultures, such as ours. Someone once told me there were more —and more skilled—armorers now than in the Middle Ages.
It is my hope other crafts will prosper, be revived, re-interpretated and enjoyed as well. —These pages are my small contribution.
My first kumistrung necklace in a long, long time. It's also the first to feature my own lampwork beads. 07sep2015
collection of wonderful temari, lovingly documented by a grandchild by a woman now in her late 80s, who took the craft up in her 60s. 04sep2015
This was supposed to be a masterpiece of shifting colors, braided on the marudai. Except I forgot & did it on a disk. 02sep2015
Notes from the kumi class I took with Tada-sensai. Incomplete & hard to read; mostly for the benefit of other folks in the class, whom I hope will find them useful. 04may2014
Two 1.5" hollow pressed lentils, with frit, powder, shard and floral decorations, with minor production notes. 12jun2014
Continuing on with the sort of winter theme, I guess, even though technically, it's spring. But as JDftY noted, there's still some snow on the ground (albeit, very small, lonely patches.) So anyway, f2tY's JD (Japanese Dad), upon learning of my interest in kumihimo, sent an interesting excerpt ...
Japan Daughter for the Year's parents sent me not one but two wonderful yukata (summer kimono) plus a bunch of other stuff. Not to mention entrusting me with their child for ten months. This piece was my attempt at arigato gozaimasu . 02sep2011
Elemental Mojo bears the distinction of being the only other person I know who does ikat kumi —that is using variegated yarns to shift patterns in and out of a braid. Originally posted 30jun09 30jun2009
Updated documentation on my favorite layout, twisted diamond for my one of my very favorite braids, keiruko no himo. Originally posted 12nov08. 12nov2008
This piece was one of my earliest pages, then dropped off because I wanted a better picture, and so of course I forgot about it, until I needed to refer to it for another post. The original probably dates back to '96, but this version was first posted 02oct08. 02oct2008
This drawstring bag and figurine ensemble features a foam-card woven 16 strand diamond patterned kongo braid . Originally posted 19jun08. 19jun2008
These are among the oldest braids I've made, going back to at least the late 80s; even the image is 5 years old. But only posted 26oct06. 26oct2006
Stripeys to me are hollow round bead stripeys, but these beads do have the stripes built into the glass, so, technically, they qualify. Plus, some day I want to develop the theme further. So here they are, even though really this is mostly a post about teaching kids how to braid. Originally po...
This index page collects my posts on kumihimo (Japanese style braiding on a marudai, or round stool, with tama/bobbins) and other braids. 23aug2005
This one wasn't working out so I turned it into a split braid. (originally posted 14dec01) 28mar2005
Well, that didn't work, so let's try in the cotton again. This is a little better ... (28mar05) stay tuned for more thrilling developments... 28mar2005
Moved the purple and green `twisted diamond' series all onto a subdirectory page which includes two new braids, 28mar05 28mar2005
Not strictly a braid book; provides a variety of cord-making techniques, aimed at the (relative) beginner. Originally posted 26may07
modified: Wed Aug 24 03:22:23 2005; 18oct06
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