A couple of big ticks last week. I’ve actually and finally been to Brisbane. It’s shameful to admit that I’d never been there. Just skirting around it over my lifetime. But now it’s done! and I’ll be back.
I had the most glorious week weaving everyday under the extraordinary tutelage of Kay Faulkner in her weaving school. I learnt so much. Firstly, that I always know more than I think and being with another weaver helps my confidence…as a good teacher does. Secondly, Kay was supportive in my quest to free myself from the bondage of notation. In fact she expected it!
The five day block course was ‘East meets West‘. It was a good exploration of weaves from Asia, and particularly East Timor, within the context of design on a western shaft loom rather than the backstrap. This was great because as I’m supporting the East Timor Heart Fund in 2016 , getting some imaginary ‘travel’ to East Timor via their textiles was a more meaningful experience. Here is a lovely East Timorese dance by children dressed in traditional cloth posted by East Timor Heart Fund. The cloth is called Sotis.
This type of weaving is warp faced. You don’t really see the weft and it is a relatively small contributor to the colouring in the cloth. In a little miracle I didn’t make any threading errors in a cloth with 960 ends. There is nothing like doing and learning and the pick up imagery in the Sotis work is the one that took me the longest to get the ‘feel’ for.
You can see some picture of the progress here. I am particularly fond of the type of weft wrapping you see here. Although I’ve done some of this before, it all seemed to come together. Then Kay showed me a Burmese cloth that just floored me. Such beauty and vitality. Such secrets it held. Yes cloth can hold many secrets and this is something that bonds weavers together. The pattern on the discontinuous weft patterning isn’t as easy to achieve on a western and limited shaft loom. The looms with pattern storage systems used in Asia have far more versatility to create complex patterning and patterns that are more fluid. The cloth from Burma was truly beautiful. Kay’s vast technical knowledge and her generous teaching and personal style made every minute at the loom a joy.
Where’s the Saori weaving, you are thinking. Always there, of course. I visited Brisbane Saori weaver Carolyn Hawkins and was totally thrilled with her beautiful and inspiration laden studio. You can see here pictured, just one of her inspiration drawers. I didn’t want to leave… This is just one of the many colourways in each drawer. Totally packed with the wonder of colour and texture, just waiting to be woven through the warp into a cloth. Carolyn has developed an adventurous and expressive style in the time she has been weaving and the gossamer mohair cloth you see here is yet another example of her work which intimately reflects her passion for the cloth and the process of weaving, culminating in a most beautiful textile. We’ll be teaming up to get a workshop off the ground in Brisbane. I’ll keep you posted.
East Timor, Brisbane, Sotis and Saori. Lucky me! Special thanks to the generosity of Kay Faulkner, Carolyn Hawkins and Trish and Chris Irons of The Friendly Chat B & B. On a personal note – Totally loving thanks to my wonderful husband Dave who makes my life and also drives me places!