Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rococo Inspired Weaving and Braiding

Rococo Inspired Weaving and Braiding by Carmi Cimicata for John Bead Corp and Perles et Cetera Fall 2016 Issue
When I think of rococo, the extravagant gowns and hairstyles of Marie Antoinette come to mind immediately. The Rococo style was coming to the end of its popularity at the same time support for the French monarchy died. Rococo styling had been featured in architecture, home d├ęcor and fashion, it was “just too much” and it was criticised for being superficial and ridiculous. In the end, I believe it showcased a style of living that few people could attain (we all know how it worked out for Marie Antoinette) and lead to a new movement, the Empire Style, that was simpler, free spirited and with less decoration.

Although Rococo appeared frivolous, it still included intricate patterns and designs. It also featured imagery of love and romance. With that style guide in mind, I decided to create some bracelets that would feature patterns derived by weaving and braiding with two classic royal colors: red and purple.

Bracelet one is a woven pattern created on a new tool, the Beadalon Bracelet Weaver tool. Bracelet two is the same woven design, however it has been cut and embellished in an “over the top” manor. Bracelet three is a classic kumihimo 8-strand braid. Worn together they would be extravagant. However, in the words of Iris Apfel, “Most people say take one off: I say add one on.” This over-embellishment ideal is my own.

To create the weave for the bracelets I used the latest award-winning tool to be launched by Beadalon this year: the Bangle Bracelet Weaver. The metal base has three sets of holes, which ultimately creates three different sized bangles. I used the large size and set my warp pins into the outer circle of holes. The tool comes with wonderful step-by-step photo instructions and you can see a video demonstration on their YouTube channel explaining how to create fabulous wire and fiber bangles.

The first bracelet began with just a simple knot to tie my two rattail strands together and then I weaved.

It is a positively enjoyable process because you start to see your patterns quickly.

To make your weaving permanent, a length of fiber or wire is used to thread between your woven fibers next to the warp pins.

My finished bangle is lightweight since I used rattail and some cording to make it.
I then made a second identical bangle.

I needed to cut my second bangle open, so to ensure my weaving would not unravel I added lines of glue in two locations.

When the glue was completely dry I simply cut next to the glue lines.


I then attached my silver end caps with additional glue hiding those two unfinished cut sections.

With my bangle now flat, I was able to hand stitch some beads throughout. My open bangle was finished with a magnetic clasp and I chose to dangle to crystal heart pendants to the clasp with jump rings.
The third bracelet was created with my kumihimo disk and finishing components.

Together I have a set of bracelets, which can be worn on one or both arms. The addition of some beautiful Swarovski crystal hearts adds the romance factor I was seeking. Slider bails allowed me to attach a Swarovski heart pendant to the kumihimo bracelet and I experimented with both 3 and 5 bails. In the end I used one bail and attached my two other crystal hearts to the beaded bangle.

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