One of my most interesting discoveries in recent months has been kumihimo braiding, a Japanese craft which has been around for centuries. The beautiful braids have been used for all sorts of situations that go from swords to cushion trimmings to traditional clothing. At its best, and probably most refined level, the braiding is combined with beading decoration, and certainly in this part of the world, is frequently used to enhance jewellery. In my research I have also come across some amazing articles of clothing which have been ‘constructed’ using yard after yard of flat kumihimo braiding in an incredible array of colour combinations.
In my own experimentation with the craft, I have been creating mono and multi-colour braids using techniques for 7, 8 and 10 warps for both rounded and flat braids. I have combined the braids with pendants of varying types, and with large round wooden beads which I have painted by hand, and also with semi-rounded wooden beads which I have covered in fabric. Some of the pendants are previously loved pieces of Indian jewellery which I presented in here some time ago.
The results of my endeavours are available on Etsy if you are interested in purchasing any of these ‘one-of-a-kind’ articles.
When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.