Category Archives: Textiles

Just lazy

Not moving very fast

When I started stretching these yarns on the board, I wondered if they were too similar to the previous project. Both projects are shown here for comparison, and what I’m calling the magenta project is different enough, but maybe still a partner to the other.

However, since I’ve just been plain lazy, not much is getting done. I’m wondering if I need to just start something on the Cranbrook and go.

Magenta ikat started

Yarns on the ikat board

What to do

I think that part of the issue is that I want to branch out. But branch out where? Who knows? I am also-paradoxically-enjoying the beginning of my training as a victim advocate. Lots of new information. We visited a hospital with a SANE program last Tuesday night. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. 

As I sit in the training classroom, this is the carpet on the floor. Tiles like this one make up the whole. I can see using this swirl as a design sometime. The training is about 33 hours total. Some of the training is on really cold nights when I just really want to stay home by the fire.

Women’s Center Carpet

And speaking of fire, my area is constantly in high fire danger because of the wind and dry conditions. I love our native grasses, but they do burn, especially this time of year when they are so dry naturally. If you want to see these grasses moving in the wind, go here. The video deleted itself from my photos. Yeah, right. How’d that happen?

Grasses

I ran across this image when I was going through some old SD cards. Wonder how I could use this?

Blue Chihuly

A weaving conference Texas style

Shopping at the RedFish booth

This past week was a busy one with learning, visiting with friends, shopping, and listening to inspiring talks. The biennial weaving conference of Contemporary Handweavers of Texas was held in Sugar Land, Texas, a place I’ve never been, even though I’ve heard of it all my life. It’s close to Houston, an area I avoid–traffic, you know.

Wedge weave/4-selvedge

Wedge weave

As soon as I heard about the workshops for this year’s conference, I knew I had to go. I may have mentioned my attempts at wedge weave a time or two, so Michael Rhode‘s class of wedge weave/four-selvedge weaving was a must. Wouldn’t you know it, though…I left my loom at home. Thank goodness Michael had some frame looms for sale, quite nicely designed too. Turns out I was doing wedge weave correctly but I need lots more practice. One of them problems was not leaving enough weft before beating down. Michael brought many of his own pieces for us to examine. He’s an excellent teacher.

Wedge weave

Color

Mary Zicafoose was teaching several classes, so I took a couple. One was using Color-Aid papers to do some color exercises. Now I’ve had a set of these papers for years, but have only used them once to design. After all they are expensive, and I certainly don’t want to get them out of order. You realize how silly that is, right? So, my goal is to actually use my papers and practice putting those scissors into them and cutting. Maybe try designing a bit.

Mary also did a seminar on symbols, which is something that I love. I can’t tell you how many books I have on symbols. So, more inspiration there, and a desire to go back to those symbols.

The theme

The conference theme is Connecting Threads, Crossing Cultures. Deborah Chandler , who has spent a great portion of her life working with weavers in Guatemala, gave a great keynote talk about this topic. On another evening, Mary talked about her first connection to textiles, expanding farther to textiles in many cultures with most of the photos from her own travels. Michael gave the closing speech, but I’m sorry to say I missed that one. However, he too has done much travel and seen weaving in many countries.

 

From the sublime to the ridiculous

Flowers and more flowers

I don’t get out much, so I’m easily impressed. Not really, but I had time to kill before my haircut appointment, so I wandered around in Joann’s yesterday. My intention was to see if I could find a barrette to attach some beaded embroidery to and to see, if by some strange chance, if they had some silk to dye. Lucky me–I found both! But on the way to the silk, I saw these fabrics and could not resist pictures.

1

Two types of “flowers” in the same fabric

2

Reminiscent of flowers

flowers

Flowers

I guess these must be for weddings, but who knows. So, we go from the sublime to right across the aisle and the ridiculous. For some reason this struck me as an interesting juxtaposition.

 

cow

Cow

The reason

The reason

I did find some silk dupioni. There was some confusion though because the bolt had one price and the sign for the section said 30% off. When I asked the cutter to check the price, she brought up a price that was $5.00 higher than the one on the bolt. She gave me the bolt price, though, and cut me two yards. I took a picture of the bolt end because I began to wonder if anything on the bolt is truth. But the good news is that with a coupon, I got the two yards for the price of one!

Dupioni bolt

Dupioni bolt

Wallowing and warping

As to the wallowing I’ve been doing–it has stopped. It’s time to end this and get going. The studio is cleaned of its bits of ikat tape and yarn. The warp is out and waiting for me to start measuring. Now if I could find my newspaper in an accessible place each morning, life would be good. Oh, and if the coffee pot was still alive. Guess I’ll just have to adjust!

 

Geometry, knots, and jail

Geometry

Geometry

Sacred geometry?

Sacred geometry?

A few rabbit holes have led me astray this week. A Facebook post by Jan Austin made me check out knotted tapestry, specifically by Anne Jackson. Then I had to look up knots, because I know nothing about knots, except the kind you use to tie the hook and/or lure to a fishing line. So half-hitch and two half-hitches will need to be practiced–someday. I can barely keep up with soumak, much less all the kinds of soumak, and so far, I can’t tell the difference between that and the half-hitches. That’s where the practice comes in, as diagrams just don’t do it for me.

more geometry

more geometry

And then there’s the sacred geometry and fractals in photographic form. Take a look at the photos. They’re much better than mine!

Finally, we come to islands of color, which is a feast for the eyes. Last, but not least, I received a Google Alert email about this posting. Even the name is spelled correctly, but the middle initial is wrong. I better not travel to Oklahoma!

A continuation

New-to-me ikat book

New-to-me ikat book

A continuation of the previous week around here–doing a lot of reading, thinking, and not much else. However, I did get a new ikat book, which I like very much, so far. There are a lot of Japanese words, only a few of which I have ever heard of before, but the instructions are very clear.

Ikat knot diagram

Ikat knot diagram

There are many diagrams, including how-to and traditional designs. They show clear steps and are easily understood. One thing in particular I could have used before: the one below is a diagram about enlarging a circle for ikat.

Enlarging circle diagram

Enlarging circle diagram

One thing I have noticed with all ikat books, when talking about weft ikat, they match up the pattern by letting any excess of weft hang off the selvage. Of course, that will not work for weft-faced tapestries. Those selvages have to be near perfect, the warp must be adjusted before weaving. Another method included in this book is to tie a section, but to to adjust the weft so that the section becomes a diamond or some other shape. That means that there are huge amounts of weft hanging off the right and left sides of the selvages. That’s just not going to work for weft-faced work. If you were going to sew the fabric, say a light weight cotton, would you want those weft sections hanging off the sides? Maybe I just don’t understand yet and need to read some more. Always possible.

There is also dyeing information, which I don’t think I need, but maybe at some point I’ll want to read about traditional and synthetic indigo dyeing.

I do like this book, though, better than others that I have. Definitely worth a thorough read.

Gearing up

Gearing up. Getting ready for December, even though it’s already here. The studio MUST get cleaned up, as well as the adjunct studio (AKA dining room). So, it’s a bit of this and a bit of that around here.

Newspaper

Newspaper

This is what I found when I went out for the newspaper this morning. I frequently find the paper in this position, but not usually floating in water. The water is because I have had 8.77 inches of rain beginning on Thanksgiving and ending on Sunday. Actually it’s surprising that it is still floating since it was so waterlogged. The depth of this ditch is really deceptive. If the newspaper is not visible from my porch, I get the grabber ’cause I know it’s in the ditch and I don’t want to crawl down into it. Too early in the day for that.

Grabber

Grabber

Below is my latest effort at wedge weave. I will learn how to do this, I will learn how to do this,I will learn how to do this….. This was woven on the tiny Lani from Mirrix.  I don’t have the shedding device on this loom, but might consider it later. Right now I’m just using tapestry needles as shuttles. As you can see, there are issues with this bitty weaving, but overall I am pleased. The selvedges are wavy as they are supposed to be. You can see too much warp the the “line” where the weft changes directions, which is not aided by the amount of draw-in–both solvable, I’m sure. Embroidery floss allows for almost infinite colors. For this I used the six strands as they came out of the package. I did blend colors on a couple of the Christmas trees I wove, which gave the color more depth. Once I feel better about weaving wedge weave, I want to try some silk. Gotta think about that draw-in. How do you fix that?

Wedge Weave, embroidery floss, 4 x 3 inches

Wedge Weave, embroidery floss, 4 x 3 inches

I have had these inexpensive boxed bookshelves sitting on the floor for a while, but finally tackled the project. Yes, the instructions say it’s a two-person job, but I am just one person. The boxes are too big for me to move, so I cut one open and moved the parts individually. I am looking forward to organizing my art and weaving books. Maybe I’ll be able to find something more easily now. Have you heard of Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day? Bibliotaph came in the other day. Scary. I’m not going to think about that.

Bookshelves

Bookshelves

This is the time of year that I get a new calendar, I guess like everyone else. Even though I use the calendar on my phone (and love it!), I still like to have a paper calendar. I have decided to try a new one this time. It’s called the Week Dominator from Neu Year. You can see the one I usually get here and here. What I like about the usual calendar is the yellow column on the right, where I can write down goals or whatever for the week. With the calendar I’m trying this year, you can write those goals down below the day but above where the hours begin. I also like the dot format as opposed to lines. We’ll see. I may go back to the tried and true.

New style calendar

New style calendar

My treat for myself this week. A workshop totally unrelated to weaving, except for what’s floating around in my head. We’ll see…. More about that later.

 

Gallery walk-Dallas

IMG_1373(2)

Wall Gallery really had a fast turnaround time for getting the new frames done. First, the area where my work hangs. This is such a fuzzy picture, or maybe it’s my tired eyes. The pieces look good among this group of artists, I think. To the left of the door is Door (ha ha). It’s sandwiched between two sheets of acrylic.Sandwich-close-up-2

Sandwich-close-up

I’m sure everyone knows how difficult it is to take pictures of reflective material, so I’m going to ignore that. You can see how there are white “nails” holding the sandwich together. This method is the less expensive method of framing with acrylic.Box-close-up

To the right of the door is Path to the Sun, which is mounted on linen and framed inside an acrylic box. You can barely see the linen, but it’s a natural color. No one was asked to make a decision on that, but next time, the gallery and I both think that white would be better, similar to most gallery walls. We all prefer this method of framing, and of course, it’s the more expensive method. Since I have been researching methods for mounting for several months, I was not surprised to find out that itty bitty stitches were used to stitch the piece to the linen. Those stitches are not in just one section, but all over

That busy time

We all know how busy this time of the year is. No exception here, especially now that my house is full of extra people, but I am so fortunate that they are able to fly here and stay for ten days. My house is not decorated for Christmas and not many decorations will go up at all. It’s all about the family time and enjoying the moment. Of course, I have done a bit of Christmas prep. In the buying gifts department.

These scarves are felted with alpaca on silk and come from Deanna Curry-Elrod at Sapphire Skyscarves2scarves.

I discovered her scarves while in Golden. I bought one similar to this one and have received so many compliments, that I wanted one for my daughter. My sister also wanted one also, so Deanna was kind enough to order the silk and create two ones for me. Now if they’ll just get here by Christmas!

The towels here were woven by my friend Margaret Humphries. Aren’t they beautiful?

Margaret's-towels

The one on the right is from that book that folks (weavers that do this kind of thing, certainly not me!) have been talking about, Echo and Iris. These towels just make me smile. It will be hard to give away even one of these!

A wish for everyone is to be able to spend time with loved ones.

 

Rabbit holes again

The second of the two pieces being woven at the same time. I'm using metallics for the first time. Not so sure about that.

The second of the two pieces being woven at the same time. I’m using metallics for the first time. Not so sure about that.

First, weaving news. The plan is to finish the two small pieces that I’m weaving at the same time. I’ve also sent out a newsletter for the first time since July. If you want to see it, subscribe here.

Lately I’ve been exploring a lot of rabbit holes, via the internet. Have you ever heard of the Martha Stewart Made in America awards? I hadn’t until I received an email, and off I went, limiting myself to only fiber-related businesses. Lo and behold! One of those businesses won! Explore Ricketts Indigo–I think you’ll find it interesting. Look at the pictures of Chinami’s kasuri process and Rowland’s sculptural pieces. Quoting from their website,

Rowland and Chinami Ricketts use natural materials and traditional processes to create contemporary textiles. Chinami hand-weaves narrow width yardage for kimono and obi. Rowland hand-dyes textiles that span art and design. Together we grow all the indigo that colors our cloth, investing ourselves and our time in our textiles because we believe this way of working to be an essential part of the material’s integrity and authenticity.

Here are other companies I liked

Public art

Tree-detailLast week I went to a presentation about public art hosted by Fort Worth Public Art. Usually I put these kinds of things on my calendar, and then talk myself out of going when the day arrives. In my effort to get to more art activities, I made myself go–yes, MADE myself–and I am so glad I did. The presentation was by a representative of Franz Mayer, a German company that constructs architectural glass and mosaics. A slide show of the many artist-designed projects was inspiring, and the process of creating those large art Tree-mosaicpieces was interesting. Getting the right colors by combining tiny bits of glass in a mosaic, laminating different kinds of glass for a particular design, painting on glass, airbrush, stained glass, mouth blown glass, you name it, it’s all done. There were brochures with examples of the work.  Above is a pic of one of the brochures. I was captivated by this tree, but then I opened the brochure and saw this whole scene from a subway tunnel. All I can say is, “Wow!” Artist Norie Sato was at the presentation and talked a bit about her designs for columns on a new parkway in town. Her work is beautiful and worth a visit to her website.

Matisse-and-textilesAnother of my new favorite things to do is to use the interlibrary. I recently found out (through the interlibrary) that our local museums all have art libraries that are quite extensive and are available for anyone. This comes in handy when you’re thinking about buying an exhibition catalog or other expensive book. I have wanted to see the catalog Matisse, His Art and His Textiles for a long time, and there it was, just waiting for me to check it out!Artsits-and-textiles

There was also Artists Textiles 1940-1976, so I requested it also. It’s an interested book, with fabrics designed by artists. Some are really ugly, but that’s because they just don’t appeal in this decade. There are just some fashion decades that should be obliterated!

Both of these books have interesting bits, and perhaps even inspiring bits, but I am not going to buy them.