Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Workshop Experiences Part 1

This morning, I'm sitting in Lloyd's office at Arts Council Nelson/Gallery 203, where I had my exhibit this past Jan/Feb. Lloyd is away today, so I'm holding down the fort. I have been back since to view a few exhibitions, and taking ukulele lessons on Sundays, but sitting here in the silence, it feels like homecoming to me. I do like this space.

Anyway, my weaving workshop experiences have been on my mind, so here goes.

The very first one I attended was a workshop on double weave, taught by Australian weaver Kay Faulkner, hosted by the Marlborough weavers. The workshop was in February 2001, so by then I had owned my trusty Rigid Heddle for five and a half years, and my 4-shaft Jack for some time, but I didn't weave much while I worked, what little I wove were all plain weave, and I couldn't read a draft. And I had told very few people I wove. And my sister had Son #2 in December, so in the weeks preceding, I was in Japan being her domestic servant.

On the morning in question, Ben drove me to this church in Blenheim, dropped off my gear, and was about to head back to Nelson; I was holding on to his back right fender, wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into. I've not been one to feel lonely or scared on the first days of school or work, but that morning I almost felt sick. That was my coming out as a weaver.

The workshop went well; we had to work hard, but I learned to read a draft in the first 15 minutes, I met the warm and welcoming weavers of Marlborough. In a relatively short time, we learned the many possibilities of double weave.

So far I've only woven double-width weave, and only twice, but time will come when I'll want to make scrumptious multi-layered textiles, or reversible textiles.

That was Workshop One.

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