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Beaded bowl/basket?

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  • Beaded bowl/basket?

    Has anyone ever made a bowl or basket using seed beads and wire? My mother in law recently brought one in South Africa and I've been trying to copy the technique but can't seem to get started!
    I've got some pics but can't post them on here yet.
    Any ideas?

  • #2
    Ah ha! By a complete fluke I sat in at a talk where an embroideress has done some.
    There are two ways of turning beads into 'fabric'.
    One's American Indian and one is African if you want to look them up. They'd both work.
    The first one takes two threads through one bead. Traditionally you work in rows but modernly you can work anarchically. This lady's stuff was stunningly free. She used different shapes and sizes of beads on one piece.
    The other way is like weaving. You use a simple loom and beads get threaded on the worp or weft threads and it or, the other threads, weave in and out to form 'the fabric'.
    These are usually used to be necklaces, bracelets and belts so soft thread is used. For a basket you need to swap it for something stiffer. I've used the thin wire you find inside electrical wires. Have a poke around your mum's basket and see if you can see what they've used. Other ideas might be heavily waxed linen thread, or naturally stiff twine.


    • #3
      It's definitely wire. Relatively heavy too. As far as I can tell it's basically a spiral of beaded wire built around wire spokes. There are 6 spokes in the base and extras added in for the sides. I'll have to post a bit more so I can post the pics!


      • #4
        It could be a basket making technique. Here we go again. Both Indians in both Americas and Africans use it. The baskets are made by twisting long leaves together to make a core like fat string. Then leaves are torn longways to make like flat thread. Spiral the core and work your way around stitching each circle to the next one. That makes the base. How you position the core shapes the sides of your basket. If you are doing it all the time you can do it by eye but a tip for beginners is to work it over something like an upside down pudding bowl to get it even.

        Here are some interesting You tubes.
        Here's a clear but very amateur how to video

        Maybe this is how to with beads? (She takes forever to get going. I got bored )

        You said spokes so I thought of this but I can't think how to make this technique work with beads.

        And this is just fun
        In this video the maker is pairing - using two weavers to go round and round. You don't have to do that. You can just use one, which would work with your beads. A tip - you need an odd number of spokes/stakes or you have two weavers but start them either one gap before the other, or, better, at opposite sides of your basket/vase. Weave in out in out. When the first one catches up to the second one make sure you start the second one out in out make the basket weave.

        Amazing baskets to inspire you

        A bit of history


        • #5
          OMG I've just put beaded vases in google images and wasted an hour goggling at them. Some are rubbish but some are out of this world!


          • #6
            Oh no! I've just done the same for beaded baskets. A - MAZE - ING!


            • #7
              He he! It's addictive isn't it. I've actually found an image of something very similar to the basket that started this! The website is African reflections!
              I may have come up with a solution to my problem of how to get started. I've made a circle of fimo with holes running through it for the wire spokes.
              I'm hoping this will hold things steady so I can start to coil the beaded wire round! Will be giving it a try once my daughter is safely in bed. (3 yr olds and seed beads don't mix!) will let you know how I get on!


              • #8
                It worked! My fimo base worked, now i just need to colour coordinate with the beads! Next i have to learn how to go round the corner!


                • #9
                  Tonight, a friend of mine showed up at my doorstep with a fairly old, #40,
                  screw driven, basket press which had sat on this back patio for the past 20
                  years. He is now moving & simple gave me the press.