Guest Blog Post by Deb Bednarek: Silk Neckpiece

I am one of those people who have numerous projects going at once and Claudia’s silk ribbons keep calling me back. Just weaving basic strips with them is a pleasure, so let’s see how adding her hand dyed threads and a metal component can change things up. I also work with metal and wire and had an oval pendant I cut, stamped and riveted out of sterling silver that was waiting to become something wearable.  I envisioned somehow twining woven silk into the pendant to make a statement piece.

Using the no warp-ends method, I warped the loom with a combination of sections of silk threads and ribbon and wove with the same. The colors were all similar but the difference in textures between flat ribbon and thin thread created a subtle plaid effect.

I packed the thread down to create a more weft-faced weave than the ribbon and that also added some contrast. I wove a second strip the same dimensions, keeping the warp the same but varying the weft. Including both thread and ribbons in the warp results in more knots to deal with at the end but they were tucked in as I assembled the piece.

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The core of this neckpiece is a tube of satin stuffed with fiberfill left over from long ago bead embroidery work. I‘m hoping to find more of this for the future since my stash is slim. This stuffed satin cord is a dream for this type of project as it adds a nice looking stable base that is easy to invisibly sew into at will. It’s stable without being heavy. Ending the cords with metal cones and a nice clasp found at my local bead store completed the piece in a professional way. I began construction by twisting and weaving the strips into the silver pendant and attaching them to the metal with E6000 glue. Once the centerpiece was secure, I wound the woven strips around the satin cord until they looked right, pinned them in place and sewed carefully so the stitches wouldn’t be seen. The addition of a few metal seed beads added some visual cohesion to me.

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This piece is one of a kind from the metalwork to the weaving and final assembling of everything. Finding a way to combine metalwork techniques with weaving with these luscious fibers is very exciting!