Dancing Thread Designs

How might we continue doing this craft?

How might we continue doing this craft?

A hobby which expanded to include woodworking, metal working, problem solving, and selling over the course of 15 years.

"Designing for yourself is a hobby. Designing for others is a career."

While I may not ever make much money with this business, I am remarkably proud of my twelve year old self for starting it. I learned this medieval craft called kumihimo when I was eight and become very passionate about it. I got to a point where I didn’t know what to make anymore because I, personally, didn’t need any more cording. So I asked myself, how can I continue doing this craft? The answer seemed obvious. Make it for others. Since I was cute and twelve and people saw value in what I made, those others paid me for the cords. Eventually, I made a website to better showcase my designs and allow people to order cording before the big event where most people used it.

Overall, this venture taught me an invaluable lesson in problem solving and entrepreneurship. I also learned a lot about keeping things simple and requiring minimal design input from the customer. Most people had no idea what they wanted, and I was able to make a better call on what would look best.

A few years later, I was able to continue contributing to this craft by making my own marudai which is the stand that you use to create the cording. My dad and I built two marudais in our basement (one for me, one for my sister), and we're still both using ours to this day.

Amazingly fifteen years later, I'm still doing this craft, so when we were told to create something meaningful in ME203 (the shop class at Stanford), I immediately thought of this craft. I chose to create a set of eight tama which are weighted bobbins and are moved around the marudai in order to create the cord. These bobbins can be seen the photos below.

Some of my favorite braids. It's hard to tell in the photo but they're a triangular braid.
The general set up for kumihimo. This is set up on the first marudia that I purchased with a set of purchased bobbins.
My presentation slide for ME203. This is a kumihimo set up using the marudia that I made and showcasing the aluminum bobbins (tama) that I made.

For more information and to view more braids see DancingThreadDesigns.wordpress.com

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