Friday, January 30, 2009

Byways in Handweaving

There came a time back in 1969 I was living in Connecticut, and I didn't have a loom. Byways in Handweaving literally saved my life. I worked my way through the book cover to cover, and had a wonderful experience.

This was not the first time that Mary Meigs Atwater changed my life though. I first got this book in 1960 (although I only looked at the pictures then). It showed me another path---away from commercial weaving and industry for which I was being trained.

I know everybody has heard of and possibly tried inkle weaving, but I had never seen or heard or it back then. I taught myself from the book and created the piece you see below.

Yes, I was crazy even then. What I find most interesting about this vest is it shows the seeds of weavings to come in the following decades--piecing together smaller weaving--and bands of vivid color. I don't know what became of this vest. I sold it to someone now lost in time. I was thrilled to find these slides. In many ways it is better than having the actual weaving. You know it would look terrible on.

If you were alive back in the 60's, you know that fringe was very important.


Anonymous said...

That is a very "groovy" vest :) the thought of sewing all those bands together makes me shudder but really it's so doable.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Thank you for sharing this. It is so interesting to see the "seeds" of the kinds of things you weave now. I'm so glad you had those photos.

Valerie said...

I love these posts from your slides and the stories they tell. Maybe there's a book in them.....some photo's and bits of wisdom from a veteran weaver? I'd buy it!

The vest looks so very Caribbean from my snowy midwestern perspective.

Thanks for your posts, Bonnie.