AKS Online Learning Center

AKS educational offerings are designed to help you master new kumihimo skills and benefit all levels
– from Grasshopper to Zen Master.

 

Learn

Taught by experienced instructors through an online step-by-step instruction guide

Connect

Interact with your instructor and fellow students in the accompanying Class Forum

Braid

Work through hands-on projects at your own pace and time.

Join or Renew now as a Supporting Member and get full access to the AKS Online Learning Center

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Important: 

Online Learning Center Registration Information

Educational offerings are free to all members who have a current Paid AKS Membership.

To register, members must be logged in.

It may take up to 48 hours to get access once you’ve registered. The AKS volunteers appreciate your patience.

CURRENT & UPCOMING OFFERINGS

Description: This class covers Braids 1-4 as presented in Catherine Martin’s book “Kumihimo: Japanese silk braiding techniques.” The braids include: Yatsu gumi, Kaku yatsu gumi, Maru-genji gumi and Maru yattsu gumi. Carolyn Oliver will demonstrate these four braids during this course. Interestingly several of the braids use the fiber twisting technique from Intro to Marudai Braiding from Catherine Martin by Carolyn Oliver.

Students should have the following for Intro to Marudai Braiding:

  • A copy of “Kumihimo: Japanese silk braiding techniques” by Catherine Martin
  • Marudai
  • Between 4 and cs tama with leaders (or similar weighted bobbins).
  • Counterweight you can adjust to between 30-65% of the total weight of your tama
  • Chopstick or double pointed knitting needles
  • 2.8m pre-cut kumihimo silk, Imposter or Biron

Instructor Bio: Carolyn Oliver

Register Here

 

Description: This is an overview eCourse on the basics to get started braiding with precut Silk or Imposter/Biron on a marudai. After fundamental techniques are reviewed in this introductory course, Carolyn will guide students through braids from the Catherine Martin book “Kumihimo: Japanese silk braiding techniques”. The next three courses will cover the 12 braids listed in this book (separate enrollment for Braids 1-4, Braids 5-8 and Braids 9-12 will be required).

Students should have the following for Intro to Marudai Braiding:

  • As this is a marudai only course, it is helpful if students are familiar with basic marudai use and set-up.
  • Students should have access to use of a Japanese marudai stand and weighted bobbins such as tama.
  • Materials to include pre-cut Silk or Imposter threads.
  • Copy of Catherine Martin’s book. “Kumihimo: Japanese silk braiding techniques

Instructor Bio: Carolyn Oliver

Register Here

This eStudy Group will progress through the book learning a variety of braids starting with a simple 4 strand braid and gradually working up to 24 strand braids. Adrienne will also cover how to understand the book notations and how they relate to Western marudai equipment.

Prerequisite: Participants must have a copy of the book and Maru-dai equipment as listed in the Supply & Materials List below.

Important Note: The books are currently out of print and not available from any of the regular suppliers. A new printing is in the works but it will not be in time for this eStudy Group.

Download Supply & Material List

Makiko Tada bio
Adrienne Gaskell bio

Lifetime Access of All Course Material & Class Forum available to AKS Members with a current paid membership

Register Here

 

In Color Theory Simplified you will become more confident about selecting exciting color combinations You will talk like a fine artist and throw around terms like saturation, temperature, and value and be totally unafraid of splitting every complement. You will be using your own kumihimo and beading supplies as well as anything in your home, wardrobe, or magazines that works for the assignment to make the elements of color theory come alive.

Experience Level: All Levels

Materials List:
A notebook for sketching and keeping notes. Everything needed for the lessons will be things you have on hand around your house or in your kumihimo supplies.

Maureen Shankey bio

Lifetime Access of All Course Material & Class Forum available to AKS Members with a current paid membership

Register Here
CBB (Continuous Beaded Braids) are braids that are worked the same as fiber braids, using bead strands in place of the fiber strands. Beads are not individually dropped into the braid. Many different braid structures can be used to create CBB.
Prerequisite: Since this eCourse only covers making CBB on a marudai, students must have marudai, tama, counterweight, etc. to be able to participate in the course. However, marudai experience is not required. Adrienne will guide students through basic marudai set-up for CBB as well as how to make several different braid structures. Students will also learn what is unique for the marudai when making these types of braids.

Experience Level: All Levels

Materials List:

  • Marudai (I highly recommend using a good quality marudai and I feel that it is essential that the mirror (top) of the marudai has a recessed well)
  • 8 to 12 wooden tama (70 gram suggested, but other weights will work. I do not recommend using weighted plastic bobbins as they are not heavy enough)
  • Chopstick (Or double pointed knitting needle)
  • Counterweight – at least 300 grams (Slotted counterweights are recommended but a weight bag will also work)
  • C-Lon or S-Lon (Superlon) Micro cord
  • Seed beads – size 11º and/or 15º (Recommended to have at least 2 to 4 colors of beads and about 30 grams of each color for each braid)
  • Bead Spinner & bead spinner needle
  • Painter’s Tape (The blue tape found in the paint section of hardware stores. I like the 3m brand)
  • Scissors
  • Bead mat is helpful, or a felt type fabric surface for use under the bead spinner so that beads don’t roll off the table
  • Plastic bobbins or spring stoppers, you will need 8 for the 8 strand braids and 12 if you decide to venture into 12 strand braids
Optional supplies:
If you don’t have these, don’t buy them, you will get to see how they are used and then decide if you need to make the purchase.
  • Hemostat Clamp (smooth jaws)
  • Cord Zapper
  • 3rd Hand Tweezers

Adrienne Gaskell bio

Lifetime Access of All Course Material & Class Forum available to AKS Members with a current paid membership

Register Here

Class Forum: This is the place where students can post comments & photos and interact with others in the eCourse. The forum provides an opportunity for students to learn while they enjoy braiding together. The more participation in the forum, the more beneficial the course will be for everyone. Students will post questions and/or photos to get feedback from Adrienne as well as from other students. Adrienne will check in periodically to view students progress and answer questions. Students are encouraged to help each other. Since everyone will be working at their own pace and on their own schedule, it is very possible that someone else has already received an answer to your question.

The idea behind this course is to forge a marriage between beads and braids that, like any good marriage, brings out the best of both partners. We’ll make beaded braids where the braid structure can be seen. The beads will be there as embellishment – not as the stars of the show.

You will learn how to create braids that don’t swallow the beads or pile them up in an unruly fashion. The beads will be pre-threaded (not sewn on – yes, people do ask!) onto 1, 2, 3 or 4 of the 7, 10, or 16 threads. Depending on the braid structure, the beads are seated in different ways. In this eCourse, we’ll be looking at a variety of braids – round, flat, square and lacy braids – seven different structures.

Experience Level: All Levels

Equipment: Disk and Marudai. Some of the structures have been adapted for the disc from marudai patterns, so if you prefer to work on a marudai, many of the braids can be followed using the patterns in the books that you have. We can “talk” about this as the course goes on.

Shirley Berlin Bio

Lifetime Access of All Course Material & Class Forum available to AKS Members with a current paid membership

Register Here

Class Forum: This is the place where students can post comments & photos and interact with others in the eCourse. The forum provides an opportunity for students to learn while they enjoy braiding together. The more participation in the forum, the more beneficial the course will be for everyone. Students will post questions and/or photos to get feedback from Adrienne as well as from other students. Adrienne will check in periodically to view students progress and answer questions. Students are encouraged to help each other. Since everyone will be working at their own pace and on their own schedule, it is very possible that someone else has already received an answer to your question.

This 12 week course will be a survey of 18 braids from Creative Kumihimo by Jacqui Carey. Each week students will be guided through a different braid. We will use a discussion forum to ask questions and provide feedback.

Part 1 – The 1st six weeks. Each week students will choose to make either an 8 or a 16 tama braid. The 16 tama braid will be a variation of the 8 tama braid. Students are encouraged to choose the most challenging of the two. The underlying principle is to understand how the different types and orders of movements work to form basic braid shapes.

Part 2- The 2nd six weeks. Students will be working exclusively with 16 tama braids, using “by the book” examples. You will be guided through variations of how the order of movement changes the braid. You can make the “by the book” version, one of the variations shown, or try your own variations. This part of the course should teach you to understand how to read the types of movements and how they can be changed up to add texture and variety to your braid work.

Prerequisite: Access to Jacqui Carey’s book Creative Kumihimo and marudai experience is required. 

Adrienne Gaskell Bio

Register Here

 

Class Forum: This is the place where students can post comments & photos and interact with others in the eCourse. The forum provides an opportunity for students to learn while they enjoy braiding together. The more participation in the forum, the more beneficial the course will be for everyone. Students will post questions and/or photos to get feedback from Adrienne as well as from other students. Adrienne will check in periodically to view students progress and answer questions. Students are encouraged to help each other. Since everyone will be working at their own pace and on their own schedule, it is very possible that someone else has already received an answer to your question.

In this course you will explore how changing the arrangement of colors and a variety of using Thick and Thin cords will produce different results even when using the same hand movements.

Skill Level: Experience on the disk or marudai.

Equipment: Disk and/or marudai along with counterweights and Tama.  Also you will make your own disks for the first lesson.

Shirley Berlin Bio

Register Here

Class Forum: This is the place where students can post comments & photos and interact with others in the eCourse. The forum provides an opportunity for students to learn while they enjoy braiding together. The more participation in the forum, the more beneficial the course will be for everyone. Students will post questions and/or photos to get feedback from Adrienne as well as from other students. Adrienne will check in periodically to view students progress and answer questions. Students are encouraged to help each other. Since everyone will be working at their own pace and on their own schedule, it is very possible that someone else has already received an answer to your question.

What is a Braid Exchange? It is a group* of AKS members who will make short braid samples (6 in.) of one braid structure to share with others in the group. The braids can be made on any type of equipment, from a disk to a takadai and everything in between. Each braid sample will have an informationsheet to explian everything about each sample you receive.

*Each group will be limited to 6 participants, however there may be multiple groups.

Theme:  Favorite’ will be the theme for this first AKS Braid Exchange. This gives members the opportunity to work with braid structures they love and use threads, yarns, beads, color, and finishing techniques that they are comfortable with.

When: All samples need to be completed and mailed by June 1st, 2020.

Experience Level:  All Levels

Fee to participate:  $10.00 USD
This fee covers the return mailing for members in the U.S.

International: Members outside the U.S. who want to participate should contact Janis Saunders, Exchange Coordinator: . Postage will be based on weight and distance; we won’t know the weight of the exchange package until all samples are received but estimate about $20.00 USD. Check with your Customs Office to see if there is Value Added Taxes (VAT) or other Customs fees involved.

Registration Open:  February 1, 2020 – May 1, 2020

Register and pay for postage here.

Note: After paying for postage you can download the Braid Exchange sheet from your Member Profile page – [Membership > Members Only > Member Profile > Downloads link]

Interested in teaching an online eCourse for AKS?

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