When I showed people my first tapestry, a lot of them asked, “What is it?” “A tapestry!” I replied. “Yeah, but…what is it?” “It’s art!” I replied, somewhat defensive. It seems that a lot of people have lost touch with art being viewed as valuable in its own right, implying that it needs to be more than just self expression in order to hold value.
While I wholly disagree with the notion that art needs to be functional in order to have value, I decided to demonstrate what else besides tapestries I could make on my Mirrix Loom: bracelets! And, in fact, I made three bracelets at the same time on my Little Guy loom.scissors, a bamboo needle, and gorgeous skeins of hand-painted silk yarn. I used linen warp, which is amazingly strong, and found that the bamboo needle helped keep my fingers from getting sore.
What I love about the silk is that when you look at a skein you get an impression of its color, but the colors evolve as you weave. The red striped pattern on my first silk bracelet evolved because of the silk itself.Whitney and Willa Wrap Bracelet. I was intimidated to try my first-ever beaded bracelet, but thankfully the kit comes with super detailed online instructions! I struggled a bit with getting a feel for the right amount of tension I needed when beading the rows, and as a result I had some loose rows that I undid (and created a knotted mess). But once I got a feel for the tension, it was smooth sailing. I’m still working on this project, though!
To finish the bracelet I did a half hitch knots through each warp on both ends, and then once I cut the bracelet off of the warp, I sewed it to felt backing, sewed on two o-rings and a button, and did a half hitch knots with silk thread around the two o-rings.
The silk really makes my bracelets pop! I could weave silk all day, even if to just watch the colors evolve. Also, in looking at the bracelets, it’s clear to me that they are, albeit functional, art–they are wearable tapestries!