Turning corners

by maggie

Usually when I get interested in a new technique I want to push the limits as far as possible. It keeps me from getting bored. So far I’ve been making bracelets and necklaces from tubes of bands. Up to a certain dimension the tubes have enough flexibility to curve enough to go around a neck or wrist. But if you want more control you need to be able to creat bends in your work
Here is my original necklace augmented by a smaller diameter tube.


The two strands are made in slightly different methods. The wider strand is made on four pegs, in a pattern of pairs of parallel bands repeating over two rows. The narrower band is made on three pegs with one band stretched over all three pegs. I posted an image if it being made in my last post. The amount of twist in the narrower band varies and is caused by variations in making.

After seeing the amount of twist in this narrow band I wondered if I could make a feature of it.

This image shows a number of different ways of making curving loom bands. (Clockwise from right.)

1 multicoloured braid
This bracelet is made from your basic fish tail. It uses two-tone bands that have been carefully lined up. The strand of bands has then been manipulate into a continuous three stand plait.
2 ‘snake belly’
This is a complex and challenging pattern which forms a dense strip. Due to the large number of bands at each peg it is difficult to stretch the bands equally, so when it comes off the loom it curves
3 B/W bracelet
This is a fish tail made on three pegs. It was made on the purple loom in the image which has a solid base. This means that the strand has to be pulled out from the side under the working bands. Doing this develops a curve in the bands. Stretching the strand on completion would make it straight.
4 green/purple/pink/orange strand
This strand is made on four pegs, with the bands stretched diagonally between opposite pegs. It is made on the purple loom which as offset pegs. The two sets of bands pink/green and orange/purple are stretched by different amounts. In addition the strand is pulled out to the side so the creation point of the strand is not central. This gives the band a pronounced curve. It clings to the wrist when wrapped around it. Stretching and manipulation of the strand on completion would straighten it.
5 red/white & purple/white strands
Theses two strands will not straighten if stretched on completion. They are both made on three pegs like the b/w bracelet, but every third band is stretched around only two pegs rather than three. Missing the same peg makes the strand curl around at a reliable rate. Varying the frequency of inserting the ‘extra’ band changed the curvature of the strand.
Above the loom you can see the bands laid out for the red/white strand, this prevents mistakes and bands being missed out.

When I first saw the curling strands I wanted to make a spring-like necklace. This necklace would need even more bands than the ones I have made so far. (The short purple/white curl contains almost 200 bands.)
Playing around with these strands made me think of DNA. I felt I need two coils to give the necklace stability and having some form of link between the two strands would also be a good idea. It’s ag god job the bands are so light. I have the basic patten of the link already but where exactly to connect it to the strand?

Then there is the colour way to decide. T-A and C-G is simple enough but just the links or the backbone as well? I think you need to have colour changes in the back bone to stop you going mad trying to keep on top of the structural pattern.

Any way that’s enough to be going on with for the moment. I’ll keep you up dated on my progress.