Friday, March 30, 2007
It is such a kick to watch these beautiful ikat designs emerge right before your very eyes.
Some of my show and tell Ikat samples in silk and merino wool
A more orderly array of Ikat samples in silk, wool, cotton, and bamboo.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Can't you just imagine this beautiful sample as the springboard for a host of weaving projects?
The main goal of Woven Words is to help weavers become more free in their use of color.
True Confession: I have never woven on a table loom. This particular table loom by LeClerc seemed to be right handy (probably left handy too). A couple of the students had Wolf Pups, and they seemed really wonderful because you can use a treadle system to weave.
Here are 9 of the 12 warps. Sadly I don't have a picture of all 12 together before they were chopped up into samples. If you are wondering why the strips are varying lengths, it is because each student's concept of 5" is different:)
Students are painting a plain white glue (thinned down with water) between each sample. The glue dried in about 20 minutes, and then the samples were cut apart. I find this to be a tidy and easy method of sample making. Students created a work sheet to go with each sample and used double stick tape to attach the sample to the worksheet.
Success!! Students posing with completed notebooks.
Onward to Part 2: Woven Words
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I have so many wonderful pictures, it was difficult to choose. I decided I to post in several parts because there is just too much for a single post.
My first workshop, Exploring Not So Plain Weave, was 3-days (18 hours) long. I sent out 12 different plain weave variations warps, and EVERY student arrived with a pre-warped loom! I sound surprised because I am told this never happens.
Students moved from loom to loom and wove a sample.
Here is the Easy Ikat sample warp just cut off the loom.
In addition to the 12 warped looms, there were several other work stations for students to sample the Easy Ikat process and some finishing techniques.
This is it for today, but stay tuned for tomorrow and Part 1B.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
When I got my digital camera 5 years ago, I experimented taking a picture of a picture of me dancing in a meadow with one of my woven shawls. The original picture was taken in Montana in 1970. I love the way my reflexion blends in.
I will return with more exciting adventure of Bonnie in Weavingland on March 27th.
I really enjoy your blog. Perhaps it's because I also love working with color. My Masters Thesis at Seattle University in 1973 was on Color. I remember when giving my orals I wore an orange Mexican embroidered dress with yellow socks and red shoes. One professor on my committee said that he didn't hear a word that I spoke because of the garment that I was wearing. Of course, this was back in the 70's............
I love your blog. Perhaps there are others that can not post either. Please continue with it. As more weavers find it i am sure more will comment. I am not and have never been big into complex weaves. I LOVE color.
I really like Bamboo over Tencel but I have a lot of Tencel in stock so thought that I can use some of it up in this workshop. Can Bamboo and Tencel be mixed????? Just in case I don't have enough colors in Tencel.
I do have a sample(s) of Tencel and chenille. I'll bring it/them to the workshop. I'm looking forward to it next month. Should be lots of fun.
Friday, March 16, 2007
"I do have a philosophical question--and maybe your product doesn't quite fit this, but do you think there needs to be a point where you want to retain "the hand of the artist" rather than perfect a piece to mill standards?
The last blanket I made was not quite the full 90" wide and the selvages had an organic flair to them.. not bad selvages, but had some of the inconsistencies I'd expect from handweaving. It drove me crazy for several days, but then a friend of mine pointed out that when she spins she has to work to make the yarn uneven. If she doesn't then no one will buy it... it looks too commercial.
My quandary is "where is that line?" when do you stop and let the imperfections be a good thing and when do you consider it a true error?"
Of course my product fits perfectly into your philosophical question! If you are aiming for "mill standards", you should have you pieces woven at a mill. I have had people tell me on more than one occasion that the problem with my work is that it looks like a machine made it. It was only by looking at the knotted fringe that they could see the maker's hand. I took this as a compliment to my craftsmanship, but it is a detriment to sales. I believe the little imperfections and variations should be something you advertise. Along with your label, this tells the customer the blanket was made by your hand. Do you have a hang tag that tells your "story". People love a story, and the minor variations are an important part of the story.
My weaving tells a different story--each piece is individually made for a specific customer. I know you can make a juicy story from the natural colored sheep to the custom spinning. The variations are an important part of your product. In fact, you should tell the customer to look for the variation as a kind of a signature.
Where is the line? Well, that's another question altogether. One way is to let your rep draw the line. The rep should know what will sell and what won't probably better than you. Another way to know where the line is, is if you wouldn't put your name on the piece. As long as you are proud to say "I made this", you haven't crossed the line.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I had so much fun playing with them, arranging them, sorting them by color, and grading them as stand alone mini-art.
Weaving samples was a "job" I vowed I would never do. I don't know what caused me to volunteer, but it was the most satisfying project I created that entire year. I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a little creative push.
As I look at these pictures and remember the joy I received from the entire process, I am tempted to set up some sort of sample exchange.
Hmmm, something to think about while I am traveling...
I had just gotten my digital camera and was figuring out the delay mechanism, so I could take pictures of myself.
I used a regular white glue thinned down and painted along all of the cut line. I wanted to have the best samples I could possibly make, so I conferred with the guild members who weave the best samples and asked how they finished off their samples. Using this glue method seemed the most efficient to me.
After the glue dried, the cutting began. It was a bit scary at first, but then it got to be rather fun.
Several years ago, I volunteered to weave samples for the Seattle Weavers Guild Bulletin (360 samples, 3”x3”ea.). I decided I would use my faux ikat technique—used commercially space-dyed yarn and created the look of warp ikat. Not to go off on a technical rant, I decided to design a cloth in such a manner that each 3” square would be different and each would be a unique miniature abstract painting. Then as I was weaving, I realized just how beautiful the cloth was as a whole. I started to feel bad about the fact that I would have to cut it into little squares, but as I was weaving I started to think about those Tibetan Sand Painters. They spend a week creating a beautiful sand painting and then they just scatter it to the wind. I realized what I was doing in cloth was exactly like the sand painting. I could hardly wait to being cutting.
I can't remember now, but I think I put on a 4 yard warp. There are 11 squares across.
By the way, did you know 11 is a weaver's dozen? :) If you are a fiber person, no explanation is needed. If you are not a fiber person, well, all too often one falls a little shy of having enough.
Granted this is an unusual weaving, not the colors I resonate with. There are some very inspired sections which I can't wait to show you once I cut this off the loom. It may not happen today, but soon.
Friday, March 9, 2007
Ok, now I will go and work on Gary this evening. You may have thought I had abandoned the big loom. I was merely resisting surrender. I believe I have finally given in to the fact I will have to sit for many hours and weave if I want to "have woven".
Several years ago, I volunteered to weave samples for the Seattle Weavers Guild Bulletin (360 samples, 3”x3”ea.). I decided I would use my faux ikat technique—to use commercially space-dyed yarn and create the look of warp ikat. Not to go off on a technical rant, I decided to design a cloth in such a manner that each 3” square would be different and each would be a unique miniature abstract painting. Then as I was weaving, I realized just how beautiful the cloth was as a whole. I started to feel bad about the fact that I would have to cut it into little squares, but as I was weaving I started to think about those Tibetan Sand Painters. They spend a week creating this beautiful sand painting and then they just scatter it to the wind. I saw that what I was doing in cloth was the very same thing. I would be scattering my weaving to the wind. I got so excited. How to make the very best squares
I did something and all of my pictures disappeared for this post. Sorry about that. I think I tried to add too many pictures at once. Now the "Add Image" icon is not obeying me. Sigh.
The pictures below do show some of the faux ikat samples. I was going to show you pictures of creating the whole cloth. Remind me to show you sometime.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
EXPLORING NOT SO PLAIN WEAVE
I have been so busy getting my dog and pony show ready to take out onto the road I haven't had time to post. I will be doing what is tantamount to a 5-day (6 hour per day) of performance involving a total of 35 students. I really love it, the actual teaching part! But the prep work is quite something.
Today I shipped out the last of 3 boxes of yarn and supplies. Tomorrow I start making notebooks, a bibliography, and handouts. Then I move on to samples and slides. I had wanted to print up a new color postcard, but I haven’t been able to get to it. I leave on the 19th. I’ve been feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Maybe now that the yarn has been shipped, I can gain perspective. The picture above is one I had been considering for the maybe postcard.
I have been so busy getting my dog and pony show ready to take out onto the road I haven't taken the time to post. I will be doing what is tantamount to a 5-day (6 hour per day) of performance involving a total of 35 students. Today I shipped out the last of 3 boxes of yarn and supplies. Tomorrow I start making notebooks, a bibliography, and handouts. I had wanted to print up a color postcard, but I haven’t been able to get to it. I leave in just 10 days. I’ve been feeling rather overwhelmed. Maybe it was Mercury retrograde, but that’s over thankfully. Maybe now that the yarn has been shipped, I can gain perspective. This is what I had been thinking of for the postcard.
Posting this blog entry has inspired me. Now the idea of creating a postcard doesn't seem so daunting.