Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kumihimo Bracelet

Art Clay and Kumihimo Bracelet

1 oz 28gg round, fine silver wire
10gm Art Clay Slow Dry (regular or low fire)
10 gm Art Clay Silver Paste type
Hook and Eye set (2pc) .980SV
Paint brush
Kumihimo foam disc
Wire snips
Chain nose pliers
Masking tape
Twist tie
Butane torch or programmable kiln

  1. Begin by cutting the wire into 3 foot (1 yard) long pieces. The oz. of wire has 120 feet, so this will give you 40 wires.
  2. Separate the wires into 4 bundles of 10 wires. Smooth and even the ends and put a small piece of masking tape on each end to hold the wires together.
  3. Hold the kumihimo disc so that #32 is on top, and 16 is on the bottom. Put the two ends of one bundle of wire together and slightly fold them in the middle so that there is a slight bend where the middle of the wires is. Set this mark in the middle of the kumihimo disc and thread one end of the bundle on the right of #16 and the other end between #32 and #1. Keep the wires taut.
  4. Take a second bundle, fold as before, and thread one end between #31 and #32, and between #15 and #16. Again, keep the wires taut.
  5. Turn the disc ¼ turn so that new dots are at the top and bottom. Repeat step #4, threading the other two bundles on each side of #s 7 and #24.
  6. Take the twist tie and thread it diagonally in the center across both sets of wires to the back. Twist at least 2-3 times so that the wires are held fast. You are now ready to begin the weaving process.
  7. Follow the written instructions for the Kumihimo weave. To insure that the braid is tight, hold the twist tie underneath the Kumihimo disc with your non-dominant hand and keep tight pressure while braiding.
  8. When the wires are so short that you can no longer braid, remove the wires from the disc and set the disc aside.
  9. Remove the twist tie from one end. Use the pliers to twist the wires at that end into a point.
  10. Do the same thing with the pliers at the other end, and cut the remaining wire so it twisted about ½” beyond the end of the braid. Make sure the wires are twisted tightly.
  11. Open the clay and pinch off a small, pea-sized piece. Return the rest to the bag and seal it tightly. Roll the clay into a ball, and take the paintbrush and apply Paste type to the twisted end of one end of the wires. Push the ball of clay onto the end of the wires and then firmly push one piece of the SV.980 hook and eye clasp over the end of the wires. The excess clay will be forced out of the end of the clasp. Smooth it onto the wires. Check the curved shape of the silver wire and set the shape. Apply more Paste type and dry.
  12. Repeat for the other end of the wires with the remaining hook and eye attachment. Make sure it is lined up properly so the attachment will close easily. Dry thoroughly.
  13. With half the remaining clay, roll out a 1mm thick small strip. Apply Paste type to the wire/attachment joint and wrap around the joint snugly. Make a solid attachment by smearing the clay onto the wires and onto the attachment. Apply more Paste type. Consider the curved design of the silver wires when adding the clay to the clasp. With the last of the clay, repeat for the opposite end. Dry.
  14. File and sand the ends smooth with files and sand paper. Avoid scratching the clasp parts or removing so much clay that the joint is weak.
  15. Apply a small amount of Paste type between the end of the wires and the clay so that it sinks into the wire. Dry. Fire at 1200 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool.
  16. Brush with a stainless steel brush. Either put in tumbler or hand finish with wet sandpapers/pads.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kumihimo Instructions - Kumihimo Round Braids

kumihimo instructions
Here's what you'll need:
  • 7 strands of yarn, floss, or string - 12" each
  • Octagon-shaped disk made from foam, cardboard or plastic.  The disk needs a hole in the center and a slit on each of the eight sides.

General Instructions:
  • Hold the ends of the 7 strands together and tie a knot.
  • Put the knot through the hole of the disk from top to bottom.
  • Hold the knot with one hand under the disk. The untied ends of the yarn are on top of the disk. With your other hand, place each strand in a slit, leaving one slit open.
  • Hold the disk so that the open slit is towards your body.
  • Count to the third strand to the right of the open slit. Take that strand and move it to the open slit.
  • Rotate the disk clockwise so that the open slit is towards your body.
  • Again, count to the third strand to the right of the open slit. Take that strand and move it to the open slit. Rotate the disk. Repeat these two steps until your braid is the length you want.
  • To end the braid, remove the yarn from the disk. Tie a knot in the end.