Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ginkgo Leaf Beaded Earrings CRAW

I was fiddling around with cubic right angle weave and I came up with this fan shape that reminds me of ginkgo leaves.  So that's what I'm calling these: Ginkgo Leaf Earrings.
It's not a terribly original name, but descriptive, nonetheless. I've seen others make ginkgo leaves with other bead weaving stitches.  The most notable example would be Diane Fitzgerald's Ginkgo Leaf NecklaceLois Moon shows some really nice close up photos of Fitzgerald's design on her blog if you want to take a closer look.  It's always been a favorite design of mine, even though I've never actually made one. I have held one, and they are gorgeous.  I think they are made with two-drop peyote stitch.  In contrast, my ginkgo leave are made with cubic right angle weave, CRAW, a very different beading stitch from peyote.  Fitzgerald's leaves are very organic. Mine are more regular and geometric. CRAW lends itself to very geometric forms, which is why I love it.  CRAW is very difficult to explain how to do on paper, which is why I hate it.
For a long time, I resisted the temptation to design with CRAW because it's so so sooooo difficult to write patterns for it. Then, I decided to succumb to temptation and just play, you know, not worry about explaining how I did it, but just play with the weave.  So, I tried the CRAW variation shown here, where some sides have one bead, some have two, and the beads are different sizes.  Now, the cubes in CRAW aren't really cubes.  They're not even rectangular prisms.  Nope.  Each little cell is a frustum of a square pyramid like this:
No, wait.  They're not even that regular.  The base and top are not square. They're rectangles. What that means in terms of beads is that the stitches don't repeat much, and it's difficult to make this stitch repeat exactly from cell to cell, especially if you're trying to be efficient with your thread path and not fill the bead holes with thread.  If you don't understand what you're doing, following a rote list of steps would be very confusing.
Throwing away the idea of writing a pattern, that led me to this rainbow coloring with 11 different bead types in it.  We'll call them beads A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and K.  Mmm, that sounds like fun. Ha. Not.
In the next photo, I used my new photo light, covered with a bit of waxed paper. See the little shadow? That's what I get for the extra effort. I think the colors are just a bit brighter too. Like, it goes to eleven.  
I don't think I'll be writing a pattern for these, unless maybe I go insane first, but these earrings are for sale in my Etsy shop.  Click the photos to go to the listings.  Thanks for looking.

10 comments:

  1. I thought of Diane's work when I saw these, but I like CRAW better than peyote, so these look very fun to bead. I can see how the pattern would be a PITA to write though. But CRAW is getting more popular... As more and more people learn it, perhaps it would be easier to write this pattern an a year or so?

    They'd also work as nice little fans too :)

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  2. I hope you will write a pattern, because I love them!
    Jenny Minchow

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  3. Cindy, if I did write a pattern for it, it would have to be for people who already know CRAW. Even still, I think it would be quite long with lots of ilustrations and photos. So many!

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  4. I love these! Love what happens when we decide to play and not worry about how we will illustrate!

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  5. I love those, especially the gray and rose. They also look easy to wear.

    Have a safe and happy holiday season.

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  6. Oh, you've just taken me to a new happy place! I'd say I'm a fairly newbie to CRAW, been playing with it for about 8 months. I had not considered that you could add more beads to some sides. I love this look, and I'm looking forward to playing with this concept.
    Oh, and I did make the Rainbow bead, but I'm not super happy with one of the colors, which makes it washed out looking in the wrong place. It was a lot of fun to see the pattern emerging.

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  7. I have an idea, why don't you an experiment CRAW GROUP. Using the earrings as a base. With a mixture of beading abilities, start writing the pattern stage by stage. Getting feedback from the beaders

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    Replies
    1. It's an interesting idea. I will consider it, but for now, I'm making beaded lace. Maybe when I'm finished with that project, I'll move back to cubes.

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