To make up your shapes for beading, very few things are needed...just wire and imagination actually! I chose a paper/linen covered floral wire~ I say both paper and linen because when I first bought it, it was covered in thread, and half way thru my basket the manufacturer switched to paper. They both covered well and took the watercolour paint tint easily, tho the thread covered wire it came out a little darker than the paper. The above picture shows the plain stark white floral wire at the bottom, and the same wire after I aged it a little to look not quite so new at the top. It was quite easy, each wire was dipped in a vat of walnut ink to the shade of my liking, then spread on a pan and baked in the oven at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes. The gauge of wire is your own choice~ but you should pick a wire that is as fine as the beads you are working with~ to blend and not be noticeable.
I used 2 'tools' exclusively for bending all my shapes for this basket~ one was a pair of round nose jewelers pliers, and the second, was one of my favorite chopsticks I brought home from Japan~ the taper from one end to the other was perfect for making smooth turns of pretty near any size. Above is one of the 8 vases on the basket. There isnt much to explain really, I just bent whatever shape I needed the way I thought it should go, always keeping in mind how large my beads were and how/where the 'wire stem' was going to attach in the finished panel
I wired each piece next to my pattern to constantly check the size and be sure I had the right shape.
I was elated to find near the exact size & color antique striped beads that are on the vases in the original basket to use for mine, and as you can see, I didn't find many! I think I have about 4 beads left over
This type beadwork is referred to as 'twilling' or twill beadwork, but is basically peyote stitch...but a LOT easier done on wire if you ask me! At the end of a row or edge, the thread is simply taken around the outside of the wire shape and then next row immediately worked~ this attaches your work to the frame and turns the row all at the same time! There is no right or wrong way to do it, and you can start at the bottom and work up, at the top and work down....you can start from the side and go across, or start int he middle and work out to both sides at the same time~ I did many leaves that way. There are no patterns to limit what you can create, because you make the shape and work the beads to fill it~ both inside and outside the wire shape.
The Lady's Repository Museum is a privately owned museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of unique early American fashions of both women and children, the later being a specialty.
All proceeds from Diamond K Folk Art sales (antique reproduction Folk Art, Dolls & hooked rugs) directly support the Museum, of which can be found on ETSY, eBay and the DKFA Blog~ please see the links on the sidebar. You can also mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org