I have just about recovered from another great show at Jewellery Maker. The team are always so warm and welcoming and I really enjoyed working with Presenter Ali Defoy for the first time. I had two very different kits to work with. One was full of seed beads, so it really played to my strengths. The other was very bright and summery and gave me the chance to play with a few different ideas.
One of the problems with demonstrating kumihimo designs on the Designer Inspiration show is that the most appealing designs are often the easiest and many can be explained in just a few sentences. That is not going to take up much of the 1 hour demonstration slot! However, there are always new viewers tuning in, so a really complex design is likely to put them off kumihimo without even giving it a go! What I try to do is make a design which includes several different fairly basic steps, but put them all together in an interesting way and try to throw in a brand new clasp or ending idea. This sort of demo also works well for the presenter because they need to step in now and then to show new products. The great advantage of working with genuine gemstones is that they add their own special character to any piece. A simple kumihimo chip bracelet made with clear quartz, with the colour of the cord showing through the stones looks totally different to a similar bracelet made with something like Unakite, where all the interest is focused on the surface colour and markings of the gemstone. So in some ways that makes my job easier because the gemstones are doing most of the work and each time I demonstrate the basic techniques necessary for newcomers the effect will be different. However, I can’t come onto the show time after time showing exactly the same technique because regular viewers and those more experienced in kumihimo deserve a bit more. This means that I need to plan my demonstration design carefully to include something new.
This week, for the first demonstration I showed how to make a toggle clasp out of 3mm beads, beading thread and headpins. It is a really effective method of finishing off kumihimo and fastening it all in one go and it is surprisingly easy. I have had lots of really positive comments about it already.
For the second demonstration I showed how you can break the rules to create a soft and flexible braid with a beautiful draping quality. I always recommend that a new disk is reserved for the exclusive use of S-Lon cord in order to maintain the correct tension. This is essential for a fully beaded braid, but on the show I explained how an old disk can still be used to good effect. I have had some great comments about that too!
The problem now is that I have to keep thinking up clever tricks and new ideas! Perhaps that explains why I can only manage to appear on Designer Inspiration shows once a month!
For more information about the designs on the show please click here.
To watch the show click here.
All the gemstones and materials can be purchased from Jewellery Maker