One of the comments complimented the beaded mask I pictured in that post and I mentioned that it was inspired by a piece done by bead loom artist Don Pierce that he showed during a three day workshop I took from him. I wanted to write about this today because that workshop was my introduction to the bead world.
I was living in Lakeland, FL with my young family at the time and staying at home with our daughter. My partner had purchased one of those plastic bead loom kits a few years earlier out of nostalgia (she used one as a kid). That kit moved with us twice unopened.
Out of pity for the thing just sitting in a drawer never used and a lack of cash, I decided to make bead loomed bracelets for all of the women on my x-mas list that year (2000). The instructions in those kits are not exactly great. It came with a small pack of multi-colored beads and a needle but no thread. It did mention that sewing thread would not hold up and that whatever thread you did use could be coated with bees wax. Off to the superstore I went for dental floss and more beads!
After the holiday I couldn't stop using the loom and had run out of design space on the small strip of graph paper provided in the kit. My wonderfully attentive and supportive partner, Julie, recognized my passion and discovered a local Bead Society that was coincidentally going to be hosting a bead loom workshop with Don Pierce and encouraged me to sign up for it.
I received a supply list that included the following:
large bead loom
My reaction to this list went like this:
Where do you get that?
|This is the very same loom that I still use!|
I was the youngest person in the workshop and the only beginner. I felt extremely awkward and silly next to all of the experienced and accomplished beadweavers but everyone was so incredibly nice and supportive and concerned with whether I was working under enough light. Mr. Pierce showed us the basics of beading on a loom and I was hooked. So much more I could do with my bead loom than I had ever imagined. We each worked on a piece using a technique that we were not totally confident with yet which for me was anything besides a strip for a bracelet. My design and color choices received some funny looks but no one judged my style - only the technique.
I still have that beadwork that I wore as a bracelet for a little while and I am still as happy with it as I was then. Since that first wonderful eye opening experience in the bead world I have taught myself off loom techniques and more on loom techniques via the internet and numerous books. I now own two large looms (the one made by Julie and one of Mr. Pierce's Larry Looms) and both are always in use....and I live happily ever after in my beautiful bead filled world.