Bead, Bead, Bead

Another passion in my life is beading. It was another one of those crafts I was introduced to many years ago, but did not have the time to pursue. Also, I kinda' of thought that messing around with something that small was not really something to do. (I felt the same way about beading as I did about quilting).

That is until I started working for a museum. There I was introduced to the crafts of Native American Indians and I became fascinated with beading. One of the first books I purchased and the one which has had the most influence on where I went with my beading was "Beads and Beadwork of the American Indians" by William C Orchard (second edition). It was published by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. It may still be in circulation, but doubtful if it is still being printed.

It was through this book that I became interested is what was called "net like weave". Today this stitch is commonly know as the "brick stitch" or "Comanche weave". I began making small pouches for wearing around the neck. I make some open and others with a flap. I am partial to Native American designs and colors, but also have done many other design styles. I prefer the brick stitch as the finished pouches are soft and flexible, whereas pouches created with the peyote stitch lack the softness and flexibility.

Fetish bag with trade bead, golden rooster, coin, and horn toad fetish (zuni).

The image below is a pouch in progress. The finished pouch will be approximately 1 3/4" wide and 4 1/2" including the fringe. The final steps to completion are the beaded chain and possible flap.

The pouch has yet to give me any ideas about the finishing details, so I am not sure there will be a flap or necklace, and additional items like ceramic/glass trading beads, small metal figures, feathers, so forth.

Detailed view of bead stitching.

My bead work is or has been focused on beading the pouches. Occasionally I will create a piece of jewelry, however my first love of beading is the pouch.

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