It’s little people time again.
Little people aren’t worried about how they are weaving or even what they are doing at first. Just using a beater to create a cardboard stiff structure of cloth is fun. Here my one year old granddaughter can’t reach the weaving pedals on the smallest setting of the Saori Piccolo but she can get up into the seat and have a go at something. I so wish I had these looms when my daughters were little. They might have even grown up to be interested in weaving.
When my daughters were young we did frame loom weaving and lots of inkle loom weaving but a floor loom with dimensions suited to a small growing body weren’t around. I find a 4 or 5 year old can weave independently on these and by the time they are 7 years they are really knowing what to do and choosing design and colours. Sometimes attention span is short but that’s ok too. Here is my niece weaving in 2008.
By 11 to 15 years they are capable of just about everything, although more application or interest will be needed for learning drafts and structure. But colour and fun is always there.
Learning to create your own warps has always been an integral part of the weaving process. And although the Saori looms have the unique pre-wound warps, there may come a day when you just need your own mix of colours, styles of yarn or different texture. Some people find the whole process meditative and Saori has some equipment that offers some more comfortable ways of building the warp and preparing for weaving. I’ve written an overview of the four different approaches and the equipment needed for each of them here. Read more
“I wove it”
This weekend was full of the clacking of shuttles once again. Here Lydia is a 2nd time weaver to the studio. Following on from the theme of wider cloths on the loom, she took the opportunity to weave a full wrap. In two very full days of weaving she wove over two metres of fine and detailed work in wool.
When a cloth is cut down off the loom there is something about just looking and looking at whats been woven. Even though we can regularly unroll and see our work it is mostly hidden on that cloth beam providing a memory that doesn’t really reveal itself totally until we can hold it, look at it, feel it and wrap ourselves in it. The tape measure was a popular workshop tool too, with a regular measure to keep the weavers on track to completion. It is worth it to keep weaving to get a decent wrap around for our bodies rather than leaving it too short. A great project and achievement on the loom.
Together Lydia and Jan worked a long two days to finish their projects in studio time. I feel that every time I write about a workshop I’m full of gushing cliques. The dictionary meaning of gushing is “ (of speech or writing) effusive or exaggeratedly enthusiastic.” Never am I exaggerating my enthusiasm for woven work or for the weavers I encounter. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Sadly 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. Read more
There 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. Read more
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.
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.
A photo now
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. Read more
An organic woven cloth with elements of ‘life’ by Laura
Over the past few months I’ve offered special Saori intro sessions and greeted many new weavers in private workshops. With the new year approaching I feel like it’s a good time to wrap up 2016 and get onto the 2017. There is always a hopeful, new start feel to the new year.
I see life running through the weaving of my customers and visitors to the studio. In some small (or big) way, weaving and craft provides, at the very least, a meaningful, productive distraction or a boost to our energy and confidence. Either way it’s enjoyable.
Finishing the cloth
Here are some photos of weaving happiness over the last few weeks.
Happy Christmas and a happy new year to all.I hope to welcome many more weave lovers to the studio in 2017.
Designing directly on the loom
Dominique’s wave weaving
This 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.