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A workshop with firsts

Emily's weaveSadly another workshop is over. The energy of the studio is now up to me! Such enjoyable company and such difference in the weavers and their styles on the loom. It was also a workshop of firsts.

Woven cloth by Emily

Emily’s weave

Rya knotting

placing knots into the cloth

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When you have to have predictability

colourandweaveThere are times when incidental asymmetry in my weaving starts to erode into my imagined feelings of control over things we do and experience in life.  So I’ve recently set up my loom to do some ordered and predicable work, knowing that the more free style ideas will then push themselves to the fore. The Saori loom can do all manner of weaving and it might be of interest to new weavers that have come to weaving through Saori that the loom can be used for any type of conventional cloth weaving.

Colour and weave work is really fascinating.  I’ve got Ann Sutton’s book (Color and Weave Design) with seemingly every different mix of effects which I’ve always gravitated to. So I set up one of the Saori inside sets with a black and white colour and weave, framed with the red to square it all off.  It’s a common design. It uses only two shafts but the patterning comes from the order of the colours used.  This example is woven in 2/22 cottolin sett at 10 epc. This means threading two ends through each dent in the reed (size 5dpc) rather than one. So it gives a balanced weave and the warp is closer than the usual sett in Saori style weaving.  It’s also a good idea, perhaps, to tie the warp ends onto the front rod as the clipping rod may not be sufficient to hold the larger number of threads at times. I have used the clipping rod here but there may be times when you can just tie it on.

warping plan

warping and weft order plan

You can see a plan here.  This is the warping order.  Three red threads, are followed by one black and one white for a specified number. Here is is 27 times but it could be another number.  The black and white threads are wound together on the warping board with care not to twist them. After you’ve threaded the loom and beamed the warp you can begin weaving.  Weave the colours across in the same order as the warping plan – three rows of red, then one row black, one row white for your specified number. You’ll need two shuttles for this weave too.

The beaming unitI used Kenzo’s beaming unit to prepare and beam the warp off loom. I wanted to test it on a more conventional and closer sett.

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#Whyiloveweaving

You’ll notice the hashtag # in the header. It means ‘alert’ to humans and ‘sort’ and ‘curate’ to the bots, all in one little hash.  Even though the trend in writing everywhere is to to shorten everything, leading to confusion at times, IMHO. We’ve now come to saying the word ‘hashtag’ before announcing something either comedic or ironic but always more seriously in written form on social media. And yes, #Iloveweaving so a totally valid hashtag use. Check it out on Instagram.

Freya's weaving

Jo and Freya in the studio

‘Teaching’ others to share my lifelong love of the interlacing of threads is another huge, #megabeyondhuge, indulgence and privilege for me. In the studio, I and I hope others can have just that brief space to think about cloth and its creation, how its human history of making, using and experience is part of us and we can participate, dabble or run in its journey onwards, still.   A brief space to connect, feel connected and not cast afloat as many of us feel in our daily lives. I know this is a theme of weaving everywhere, like music, it can really sustain a person creatively.

As I add to the Australian textile historic links I’ve found lots of older photos in the archives of state libraries which make me wonder about the people pictured. Their situations, what happened to them, why they were there that particular day etc.  These black and white and sepia photos always look mysterious. They make you look deeper into the photo rather than accepting the image so quickly.  You’ll see here a little experiment where, at a click of a mouse, the software bots and algorithms in Photoshop turned the image into the past with sepia and it too creates a little world of wonder like the old photos in the archives. Somehow cementing its authority of the moment.

Curiousweaver Studio

A photo now

Curiousweaver studio

A photo floating into the past

The day when Jo and Freya came had us warping, weaving and keeping cool in the heat.  Jo also took home a lovely wall drape in the WWW technique. We can’t get enough of that.

WWW weaveI’ve got lots of private workshops in the next few months and activity in the studio. I’m out and about in Newcastle and Taree. Please come and say hello. I also have a new weekend workshop at Curiousweaver Studio open for bookings and some places left on 17/18 June, 2017. June is a glorious time to visit Old Bar beach. Read more

East Timor Hearts Fund for 2016

EastTimorHeartsFund2016I began this year looking at how a heart can be broken and if it can ever be mended.  Then I found a group really helping young people with physically broken hearts that can be mended and given a new and prolonged life. The East Timor Hearts fund does this and more and I tried to support them throughout 2016 with the help of sales from you, my customers.

The heart and its stirrings, losses and vulnerabilities as well as its surprising and unexpected strengths are with all of us every day. I’ve learnt a lot about the heart this year and I hope that our contribution of $1003.00  has been helpful to the East Timor Hearts Fund and helps to make some kind of difference to someone. I want to thank every person who purchased weave tools and accessories, as well as all who have come to my studio and to my travelling workshops participants in 2016.

heartWishing all a very peaceful, happy Christmas, and a very weaverly/creative, healthy and loving New Year.

Workshop buzz

Deb's woven beanieThis weekend saw the end of another fantastic workshop in the studio here at Old Bar. It’s always a bit lonely going back to my empty studio after such a flurry of creative energy…but then I have all that yarn to get weaving with!

Deb is the co-chair for the Alice Springs Beanie Festival. A distinctly and uniquely Australian invention which has that wildfire effect on everyone who encounters it. So, of course, she wove a beanie and it was stitched with the new Saori bias technique. Such a versatile and easy sewing technique for all sorts of clothing and beanies.  See mini workshop details for January.

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Brisbane! 2017

Weave in Brisbane

Read all about it.Register your interest or book now.  Only six participants each day.

Buttony, wavy, ribby and wide weaves

weaving

Glenda’s completed weave

Yet another magical workshop came to a close too quickly over the weekend.  Several of the participants were Sturtees and returnees.

Daisy selecting buttons

Ordering and threading the buttons

Daisy came to work on a special buttony weave which incorporated her mother’s buttons in a bed runner. Rather than stitch them onto the two metre plus cloth after weaving it, we decided to have the buttons threaded onto a warp thread which could be woven with each row and the buttons positioned as she went.

The buttons could also be positioned with the weft but I think the warp idea went better. A large shuttle full of many large buttons were a bit of a ‘danger’ in that movement usually twisted them around each other, so Daisy used a paper sleeve to protect them and the shuttle was left on top of the shelf. The buttons were stopped from falling with a little peg and just bought down as needed. She did very well indeed. Read more

The cloth of light

On the Japan textile tour we met many weavers of different cloth. This particular business in Kyoto was well established and were famed for their ‘cloth of light’.  This cloth was filled with light which could be clearly seen when a flash light was directed at the cloth. Very beautiful indeed and the photos I have below don’t do them justice at all. Their weavers also wove with metal which was adhered to paper somehow.


Several generations of weavers have established the company products and Koho Tatsumura is well known for his work. His son Amane Tatsumura guided us through the studio and we were able to see many of the manual jacquard looms which are still used.  These are used with specific punchcards to lift sheds for the patterning. You can closely see the initial development of computers with the punchcards being a foundation for binary code.  I am old enough to remember the computer rooms housing punch cards and their operators, so punchcards are always a thing of great fascination for me, especially in weaving.

In the video you can see the weaver’s skill and watch his very delicate hand actions when preparing the metal threads for the weaving. Our touch and hold of objects in our craft is so mesmerizing to watch. Just slight actions make alot of difference in weaving and all other manual skills.

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