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.
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.
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 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.