Spiral vessels

The spiral is an image that has fascinated humans since Paleolithic times, and it appears in the artwork of civilizations throughout the world. In nature, the spiral exemplifies the ratio known as the Golden Mean, a long-established formula for harmony and beauty.

These instructions contain the techniques, not the specific directions, for making a spiral vessel. The colors, proportions, and finished shape are for you to determine. As you stitch the walls of the vessel, you can bring the form inward, then let it surge out into a ruffle. You can build a rounded base that narrows to a slender neck. Leave the form open, as in the vessel shown below, or close it up, like the one opposite. Another alternative is to vary your bead sizes and shapes. Try working with size 11"s and small triangles or size 8"s and large ones.

Play with the colors to see how your selections look next to each other. Try rearranging types of beads until you have the sequence you like most, then lay them out so they'll end up in that order in your vessel.

Circular Beading

O Arrange your beads in two rows with six piles of beads in each row, following the key of bead types in figure 1. Assign the 6" beads that you've chosen as the dominant color bands to numbers 2, 6, and 10. Assign the cube beads to numbers 3, 7, and 11. Cubes and beads assigned to numbers 1, 5, and 9 tend to stay in a single line. Number each pile so you don't lose track.

Q Thread a needle onto approximately 5 yd. (4.5m) of Nymo. Work with the thread doubled. Don't knot the tails. Row 1 Pick up one bead from color 1 (C1), color 5 (C5), and color 9 (C9) and slide them about 4 in. (10cm) from the tail ends. Go through these three beads again in the same direction. Tighten the thread so the beads form a triangle and go through them once more, exiting through CI (figure 2. a-b and photo a). Row 2 Working in flat, circular peyote (also known as gourd) stitch (see "Basics," p. 5), increase as follows: Pick up one bead from C1 and C3. Go through the next bead. Pick up one bead from C5 and C7, go through the next bead. Pick up one bead from C9 and C11, and step up to start the next row (figure 2, b-c and photo b). Step up at the beginning of each new row by going through the first bead of the previous row and the first bead of the row just completed. Row 3 Pick up one bead after each bead in row 2. Match the bead you pick up to the bead your thread is exiting, (figure 2, c-d and photo c). This is called a radical increase. Step up to the next row.

Row 4 Pick up two beads after each bead in row 3 as follows: C1 and C2, C3 and C4, C5 and C6, C7 and C8, C9 and C10, C11 and C12. Step up (figure 2, d-e).

Rows 5 and 6 Pick up a bead after each bead in the previous row. Match the bead you pick up to the bead your thread is exiting. Step up after each row (figure 2. e-f).

Row 7 Pick up a bead after each bead in the previous row as follows: (note the increases) one CI, two C2s, one C3, one C4, one C5, two C6s, one C7, one C8, one C9, two ClOs, one C11, one C12. Step up (figure 2, f-g). Row 8 Pick up a bead after each bead

Circular Peyote Images

in the previous row, matching the bead you pick up to the bead your thread is exiting. When you come to the row 7 increases in C2, C6, and C10, add a bead between the two beads (radical increase). Step up (figure 2, g-h). Row 9 Pick up a bead after each bead in the previous row as follows: (note the increases) one CI, two C2s, two C2s, one C3, one C4, one C5, two C6s, two C6s, one C7, one C8, one C9, two ClOs, two ClOs, one C11, one C12. Step up (figure 2, h-i).

Row 10 Pick up a bead after each bead in the previous row (including increases) as in row 8. Step up (figure 2, i-j). Row 11 Pick up a bead after each bead in the previous row as in row 10. Step up (figure 2, j-k).

Row 12 Pick up a bead after each bead in the previous row as in row 11. If your beads show a wide gap or if you want to expand the circumference, make a two-bead increase when you reach the second stitch of C2, C6, and CIO. Step up.

Row 13 Pick up a bead after each bead in the previous row. If you increased in row 12, add beads between the two as in row 8. Step up.

Rows 14 and 15 Pick up a bead after each bead in the previous row. Tighten the thread tension and pull the beads upward to begin shaping the vessel

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walls; or, to increase the circumference, make two-bead increases as in row 12. Rows 16 to end The vessels shown here have approximately 50-65 rows. The increases and decreases you make in these rows determine the vessel's finished profile.

You can keep these changes within colors 2, 6, and 10, as in the blue vessel on p. 89, or play with increases (and later decreases) in other color bands. The walls curve outward when you increase. You control the extent of the bulging by the frequency and placement of additional beads. Remember to work a radical increase as in row 3 when you stitch the next row.

To bring the walls inward, decrease over two or four rows as follows, keeping the tension very tight. First decrease row: Go through the next bead along the row without adding a bead before it (photo d). Second and third rows: When you come to the decrease, place one or two beads in the gap (photo e). If you added one bead, the decrease is complete. If you added two beads, treat them as one when you stitch the third row (photo f).

Fourth row: Place one bead over those two beads and continue (photo g). - Wendy Ellsworth

Freeform Beaded Spiral Vessel

figure 2

MATERIALS

• size 6" seed beads, 5g each of six colors

• size 6" seed beads, 36g each of three colors

• 4mm cube beads, 5g each of three colors

• Nymo D or F beading thread to match majority of bead colors

figure 2

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Responses

  • melvin
    What is the shape of a spiral vessel?
    1 year ago

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