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Fibers have dominated kumihimo braiding for hundreds of years. However, beginning in the 1980 - 1990’s jewelry designers started adding beads as both focal emphasis and as beaded strands woven as fiber. The resulting designs have revolutionized the jewelry making community leading to numerous new structures, a wide variety of combinations and expanded the world of kumihimo braiding in the jewelry industry.
As a Self Representing Jewelry Artist (#459) I have been inspired and learned these new techniques by some of these early adopters, including Adrienne Gaskell, Makiko Tada and Rebecca Ann Combs. Many of these designers teach for American Kumihimo Society (AKS) events which also provided inspiration to my jewelry designs.
Here is a partial list of braid structures that are exhibited in this collection:
- Oimatsu: a 16 strand braid using fiber and beads.
- Edo Yatsu: an 8 strand braid primarily used in Continuous Beaded Braids (CBB)
- Kongo Gumi: this is the primary braid structure in kumihimo braids
- Fill-The-Gap: a 7 cord braid done almost exclusively on a foam kumihimo disk