Sunday, October 23, 2011

Photos from Recent Four Selvedge Workshop

We had a wonderful group who met yesterday at my studio for the four selvedge workshop that Pat Williams and I were presenting.  There were five of us squeezed into my small studio house but we all fit into our own places just fine.  Six were enrolled but one person, unfortunately, had a death in the family and wasn't able to join us.

Pat and I have both worked with four selvedge method of set up for tapestry weaving for several months now.  We've both learned the process through watching Susan Maffei's demonstration on the DVD, Woven Tapestry Techniques, and also by reading her articles about the method on the Brennan-Maffei website.

I spent a day with Pat earlier in the week so that we could do final preparations for the workshop... these first few photos are about that:

Pat's worktable with some of our examples laid out

Pat completes a four selvedge piece (the black warp is the supplemental warp, not the tapestry warp).
Pat's pulling out the supplemental warp remains from the small tapestry...

... and she's using Susan's alternative finish method to end the piece.
Next, are a few photos from the workshop.  The day began with a demonstration of the process, then each person worked with their own loom to set up a 1" wide sample, at 6 ends per inch.  The height of the piece was up to them but we suggested that they make it 4 or 5" tall.

Gail and Ann Lynn set up their looms
Everyone wanted to be together to work, so once the looms were set up we all squeezed into my front room for doing the weaving of the sample.

Rosemary and Gail 

L to R: Ann Lynn, Sidsel, Genie, Gail, Rosemary

L to R: Ann Lynn, Pat, Gail (Rosemary behind Gail)

L to R:  Ann Lynn, Pat, Rosemary, Gail, Sidsel, Genie

Sidsel and Rosemary
The first piece was completed before noon and we had a quick sandwich from a local shop.  After our lunch break everyone took off the first sample and rewarp the loom.  Eight ends per inch was the next challenge everyone tried and some warped a bit wider.  Almost everyone was able to rewarp to take home for completion and one finished a second 1" wide piece before the end of the workshop at 5 p.m.

Pat and I hope everyone will be able to now continue to use this method.  It's a wonderful way to eliminate the warp ends on small pieces.  And, just like any skill, the ease with which one uses it develops through practice (practice, practice, practice...!)

And, Pat and I are considering another one day workshop together, possibly in about six months, to be held next at Pat's studio.  We'll announce details of schedule and cost in the future--but if anyone's interested, please let us know.  That will help us with planning.

Our next confirmed teaching date is coming up in less than two weeks, a two day and one evening class at Sutherland Handweaving Studio in Asheville, NC.  The class is filled with 15 participants and Karen Donde is collecting waiting list names.  Possibly we'll be scheduling another class at Sutherland in 2012.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Four selvedge workshop a big success!

Photos to follow soon... !

Friday, October 21, 2011

Four Selvedge Workshop is tomorrow

Six people will be coming to Dahlonega to have a workshop with Pat Williams and me.  Pat and I have been working with four selvedge warping since early summer, using Susan Martin Maffei's instructions from the DVD and also her written notes from her website.  We're going to share what we've been learning along the way.

Here are three recent little pieces I've done as I've tried something different in each one:

This is a Spelsau warp.  I noticed the hatching I was doing seemed to suggest fingers so I did hands at the top of the piece above the pick and pick area.  EPI is about 7.5 for this.  I was trying the alternative finish that Susan suggests on her website--using crochet hook to chain through the top of the loops to end.  I didn't allow for it at the bottom so it's only used at the top on this piece.

The warp for this is 12/6 cotton seine twine in a dark blue.  I added scrap picks of twine at both ends to give allowance to chain through the loops on each side.  I continued to see where I could take the hand designs, thinking of hand gestures but not using a cartoon.  This is about 8 epi.

Again I used the chaining of the loops to finish the little piece; this warp was a yellow-green linen and the sett was about 8.5 epi.

I've done about 20 of these small pieces now; earlier in the summer I was working with landscapes.  These last ones have been simpler.  Maybe by the time I do 20 more, I'll really feel comfortable with this warping method!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Playing around with Repper!

Many of you may already be familiar with Repper.  I've just learned about this pattern generating website through Alice Schlein's blog, Weaverly.  She's been designing with it and interpreting the designs with her TC-1 loom... fascinating!  Here's a link to one of her blog entries about it.  She's also teaching an online class through Weavolution in the use of the tool.

I played around with the free demo version a bit yesterday, using a photo of a recent tapestry for the image source.  I cropped into the tapestry and then turned the pattern generation over to Repper... here are some of the results that I saved:

Does this have potential for tapestry design??  Maybe!  I'll have to work with it a bit more to decide.  I haven't yet committed to buying the program, though... even through it's not too expensive.  Looks like it may be more for others than for me.  But I wanted to share a bit about it, anyway.  Take a look, if you want to, and decide for yourself it might become a useful designing tool for you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

John C. Campbell Folk School class in January

I wanted to mention again the class I'll be teaching at John Campbell in January. Here's the description:

Comfortable with basic tapestry methods and want to try others-maybe pick-and-pick, Soumak, weft chaining, or clasped wefts? These and other methods will be used to create a textural tapestry “doodle”, allowing you to audition them as part of your expressive tapestry style. Ability to warp and experience in tapestry is required for this intermediate to advanced class.

The Folk School website has more information:

Maybe I'll see so of you there! The Folk School is a wonderful place to have a class and I'm looking forward to returning.