Tuesday, May 15, 2007

trying to keep updated...

I've been so busy lately, I must apologise for not keeping the blog up to date better!

I'm starting on quite an exciting project with my friend Ruth, designing some 'modern' weaves using organic threads, primarily for upholstery trim. This will be interesting; not having to be constrained by historic examples, although of course all of my inspiration will come from that! The idea though is that the thread become to focal point, so I am designing for different thickness being mixed, that type of thing.

Here's a picture of my latest finished project - a lovely purse.The purse itself is a silk/linen mix that a friend sent to me from Germany, a replica of a medieval example. The edges are tablet woven, I was really pleased with the sharpness of the corners. The knots are gilt gimp, lovely to work with and add that nice bit of 'bling'!

I am still obsessed with buttons of course, and am currently trawling through Janet Arnold's pictures and descriptions and figuring out - as much as I can without actually seeing them - how they were made. I then of course get side-tracked by the braids she describes as well, I think I'll have quite a portfolio in a few weeks! Most of the buttons are so small, its quite amazing. Close up pictures are great, but I am sometimes shocked by how small and intricate some of these things are when I work out the measurements.

I have recently sourced some fantastic beads, very suitable for paternosters. Tillerman Beads make lampwork beads - really beautiful - and has begun to do replicas of historic beads. They have created some beautiful, plain beads, in colours which are so similar to amber, garnet, ivory, etc, that although hand-crafted, are more economical than using the gemstones at the larger sizes. There is evidence that quite alot of glass beads were used, and of course we can't be certain if it is a gemstone or glass paternoster depicted in paintings. And, the ivory is so good, without worrying even remotely about where it came from - always a bonus in my eyes, and worth being a little inauthentic! There is also the added bonus that the holes are large enough to accomodate a silk braid - most gemstone beads these days have very tiny holes.


  1. It' s beautiful!!

    What type of thread did you use to make the gilt gimp knots?

  2. Thanks!
    I used 'gilt gimp no. 2' from Benton & Johnson. Its not on their website, but they are really helpful by email.

  3. the purse is lovely!
    i can't wait to see the first results of your weave design collaboration with ruth!

  4. I just saw this, today and wanted to thank you for the lovely words about Mike's beads.

    I hope we get to see some pictures of your paternosters soon?




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