Sunday, May 13, 2007

Once and Future Weaving

My First Collaboration

One of the sidelights of creating this blog (and a tremendously delightful sidelight at that) is to reflect upon my weaving journey, inspired by questions I receive from you. So for all of you who have tuned in, here is my very first weavings---1960. All we ever got to weave were samples samples samples. RISD used a fancy name for the samples. I can say it, but I have no idea how to spell it.

I look for the seeds of what I am weaving now, but I don't see it.

Many of these pieces were woven on a dobby sample loom left over from the industrial revolution. Laugh if you must, but that's the truth. I will tell you about warping this loom someday. Believe me when I tell you, this loom was designed to discourage anyone from ever weaving again.

But I digress: The samples were so distasteful to me after I had been weaving a few years. I was tempted to toss them away, but my mother saved them. I have to tell you that my mother isn't much of a seamstress, but she has a great eye and a huge amount of enthusiastic energy. Armed with that and a stack of woven samples, she set out to make a quilt. When she showed it to me, I was totally appalled at the lack of precision finishing. She dutifully packed it away, where it remained for 30 years. I was helping my mother clear out some of her "stuff" when I came upon the quilt. This time I burst out laughing. I found the quilt to be totally comical. I brought it home with me and packed it away at the bottom of my cedar chest until now. I unearthed it this morning and hung it on the wall. Much to my surprise, it had aged rather well (as has my mother). I am extremely amused and also touched by what a loving (and creatively risky) gesture it was for my mother to put her hand to this project.

Hey! It's Mothers' Day, we all celebrate in our own way.

I will keep the Quilt up for a while and see.

I am very exited about this piece. I am trying out a 3 yd warp in Bambu 7 from Cotton Clouds. I am going to sett it at 20 epi and see. Oh yes, this is my horoscope colors. I'll dress the loom so you can see.

I am weaving along on Gary with 1300 chenille, some solid and some space-dyed. It took me a while to come around to actually liking a weft that covers some of the warp like this. The person who commissioned this piece came over to the studio and watched me sample various wefts. She selected the weight and feel of the bamboo/chenille combination. Once the cloth is washed and dried, it will look fabulous. (as well as feel fabulous).

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