Monday, April 30, 2012

How to Enjoy your 22nd Anniversary

Well, go to the Festival, among other things. I've been tired all week, so we had a slow start. We had breakfast, headed east, had lunch at Havelock; got to the Festival around 1PM, caught up with some friends as much as you can in a Festival front foyer, browsed the Trades hall, bought two cones of 4-ply cottons I intended to try; Ben wanted to see the National Exhibition, took lots of pictures meanwhile and had a few taken of us wearing funny hats; finally headed back west, stopping for a Green-lipped-muscles dinner in one of our fav restaurants, in Havelock again; came home, watched TinTin, ate ice ream, and went to bed.
"Important people have fascinators," said Joan; she's speaking to Maria, of Group R, who visited the Festival for the day.
Rose's double-weave vest, my fav piece in the venue decoration; I predict Ben will ask me for a photographer's vest, so shhhhh.....
A knit hat with possum fur; only in New Zealand where possums are pests.
Polite Customer; my money is on someone's husband or son seconded to deliver something pronto to the venue!
The best thing about knowing my stash was I only bought two small cones of 4-ply cottons, something I intended to sample for a while anyway. It's a lot of work for the vendors, though, and I appreciate them coming; just wished there were more of them that catered to weavers.
We were all supposed to wear something handmade; I didn't get around to putting a cashmere collar on another top, so I brought our hats. And wore them just for a few minutes.
The all-important red dot towards my Brisbane Trip fund. Joan told me there was a session held by the Exhibition selector on Friday evening, during which the speaker said my piece would be handy in an airport when your flight has been delayed because there is so much to look at; I am considering calling my block weave scarves "Airpot Lounge" series or similar... (Are you thinking, "flag of Japan" too?)

I've posted pics on the Festival and Marlborough Weavers blogs as well. As I said in the last post, my tenure as regards those group blogs are over; I'm a smidgen sad, but greatly relieved after 19 and 39 months respectively. I can really devote myself to the October exhibition work. Without distraction. Like, Facebook. Ya know. And other ideas. Like life after the October exhibition.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Busy Tuesday

I've been good; I've been working consistently, on many projects, so as not to aggravate my arm because I was naughty last week. However, working hard and diligently doesn't guarantee good results, does it?
I finally started weaving the second scarf from the previous warp, in three orange and three pale yellow-green 60/2 cottons. And though the designs pop up nicely, the selvedge is... let's just say I wouldn't post a close-up shot of it.

I've been sampling for the "Pillars" project and it's not going well; for one thing I don't have enough warp nor weft I selected to weave five pieces of 60cm by 300cm pieces; for another, my favorite weft is too, too skinny and while it produces a lovely stiff gray cloth, I'm hesitant to apportion 10 weeks for weaving this one project at this point. So I've taken out everything I have in white, gray and black, combining them and sampling on a table-loom-with-legs, (Louet Kilk), which is too low if I stand up, but whose Shaft 7 and beyond are out of reach if I sit down. I'll post when I have some kind of a decision made.

This coming Thursday-Sunday is the much-awaited Festival in Blenheim, and even though I was only peripherally and remotely involved, I am feeling, also, a proportional load off my shoulder this week. I've done admin work to bring the Festival-related Internet stuff to a tidy end at the end of the month. As well, I'm handing over the Marlborough Weavers blog to Rose, so I can concentrate on the October Exhibition, ostensibly from May 1, but realistically from around mid-May.

I've also been playing around with the idea of (self-)portrait for the collective work. Nothing serious, yet, just looking up famous painted portraits, doodling my face, that kind of thing. Again, more on this when I have something to show you,

As if the Weaving Goddess is rewarding me, I got two more envelopes this evening. 
The top one is "The Netherlands Kasjmiek silk" from JM, and it came in a cheerful handmade envelope! Below is hand-dyed (??) cotton from Daniella Zeni Bomatter in France.
I like more and more the idea of combining the idea of self-portrait with the friendship aspect in one piece.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chillly Thursday Morning

My arms tell me I shouldn't weave so much today. I'm a little worried about the optimistic calculation mentioned in yesterday's post; I think a drastic change in my work schedule in my head is in order. So here I sit, looking at interesting images, checking FB settings, being frustrated once again at "We're sorry. Due to publishing rights restrictions, we are not authorized to sell this item in the country where you live," from yet another business to whom I pay a small monthly subscription. (Audible.com this time.) Anyhoo, here are two random thoughts.

* * * * *

Guatemalan Barbies. Yes. You can see plenty of pics and read the pros and cons. I was instantly amazed at the costumes, suspected they may be handwoven, at least in parts. And apparently they are. I have inherited my mother's great loathing for Barbies, (she never bought me anything to do with Barbie, though I got a whole load of hand-me-downs from one aunt; Mom stuck with Tammy and her kind for me, which I liked equally, so I wasn't deprived!!) and I have problems further propagating the idea or visuals of Baribie, regardless of this venture is aimed at tourists or local girls. On the other hand, if it helps to bring income to local crafters, (and textile makers in Guatemala are largely, if not completely, women,) and if it helps to make known to the wider world the handmade-ness, the crafters, and the textiles themselves, I find myself leaning more towards than away from the idea.

If nothing else, it's a brilliant marketing ploy, don't you think?

Sample articles: here and here. I'd love to hear what you think.

* * * * *

Sketchbook Project 2013 was announced, and before I knew it I had signed up for it. The sketchbooks themselves have been changed; though there are no pictures, it sounds like they are a bit sturdier and amenable to all our carrying/dragging/working-on and what not. And being handled by exhibition visitors later. I know Arthouse is pretty prompt and I'll receive mine in the few weeks, but I've half a mind to hide it until October 1. Or carry it around but promise not to work on it until October 1. Or not.

The idea I'm toying with is to create a group of weavers or textile artists to share ideas, show each other stuff, or just enjoy each other's company. I know there are groups for textile artist Sketchbook Project participants, but the reason why I have been toying with the idea is because I swore last time that if I were to take part in another Sketchbook Project, I'd like to highlight handwoven cloths, so our group, (either created or stumbled-upon by me,) would concentrate on something to do with the handmade or cloths, not assembled. And this is not a aesthetic/moral/value judgment, but just a narrow focus.

I'm just thinking/typing out loud at the moment. And a little in denial about weaving 15 meters in dusty gray wool.   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Pillars"

I've made some progress/decisions for "Pillars".

1) I'm going to weave not narrow tubes but banners, (flat pieces), because a)I don't want to sacrifice shafts, and b) I can hang banners in more varied ways than tubes, though these are just examples and I'm not going to hang then in a quirky or "funny" way.
2) Pat let me hang my life-size "models" from her deck railing today, and we both instantly liked the 60cm width, on its own, and in comparison to others. She said something about the proportion made the 60cm look best, and told me not to even think about another live model 50cm wide. Fine by me!! These "models" are 318-319cm long as I thought 320cm would be a good length to hang under rafters 365cm high, but we decided "all the way to the floor" wasn't necessarily a good look, so I'm going to aim for 300cm, or 3m, finished.
3) I need five pillars; that was both of our gut feelings; each piece big enough to be interesting on its own, but enough of them to collectively do something interesting. So, five pieces of 60cm by 300cm banners, with sleeves for dowels at the top and bottom. I think a 20m warp, minimum. I'm giving myself the whole of May to weave them, but if a 180cm scarf takes four to five days, I'm not sure if this is good math!!

4) I'm going to go for a complicated/pretty look. I haven't selected the structure yet, but it would have to be one that allows me to modify the drafts slightly so I can have three variations; I want the top of the pillar to look slightly fussier/finer than the middle, the middle slightly fussier/finer than the bottom, in the same way Greeks made the pillars tapered to accommodate for... perspective, was it? But without changing the size of the weft yarns, so for e.g. by varying the proportions of twill. 

5) I have 7000m of the warp yarn and 8723m of the weft. I don't know yet if this is going to be enough. Just washing several strands, (i.e. no interlacement,) the warp shrank to 87.5% of the original length, the weft, 93%. I put a short warp for sampling last night, just to determine shrinkage and sett and to see if the pattern can be... seen; the weft is only slightly darker than the warp. I started at 18EPI, which is much closer than I had wanted. But I love the color of the warp and how it fulls, (very old wool from Mom's stash,) so I'm sticking with it.

To "enlarge" the patterns so it can be felt if not exactly seen from below, I might have to use a tied weave, in which case as I weave/"climb" up the pillar I may be able to change the color of the plain weft. There is going to be loads of sampling for this project, I can tell. Goody! (But then I'll have to weave the banners.)

6) I spoke to an electrician about lighting; I told him I wanted the pillars lit up like those in Greek ruins and fronts of old museums. We brain-stormed a little, and he's going to meet me and discuss in situ closer to the time, as well as look for LED lights I can hire instead of buy.

Changing Threads exhibition is coming down on Sunday; if I wanted to I could go test out the 60cm-wide "model" in situ, but I feel 60cm is good to go; even when I was cutting out the models, that one felt just right, you know; I should put more trust in my gut instincts. I'll report back after I've done some preliminary sampling. I'll also show you my "doll house".

The Latest

I like Tatsumura's cloths, but it's not what I aspire to weave. For one thing, I don't like the old, musty, Chinese-influenced motifs; I've seen too many in museums, often in the unpopular old ceramics, wood carvings and metals sections. For another, I'm not crazy about the colors; to me, they are neither Chinese colors, nor Japanese colors we wear in our kimonos. (Though one can find kimonos in those colors if one knew where to go and had loads of money.) Tatsumura and the other companies reek of Imperial taste. So, lovely to admire, but not exactly... inspiring?

Besides, I'd need tiny boys sitting on top of my loom, or a Jacquard loom to weave these, and if ever I have access to a Jacquard, I'd much rather weave lovely large flower, oak leaf, or grapevine motifs; you've seen them; think old curtains. Bliss.
Still, the current piece is taking on a rather Japanese mood. This photo was taken under a whole lot of artificial lights so it look glittery, but the wefts look like I'm going to work on some tanmono, kimono fabric!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Superlative

Hand/Eye recently posted about Tawaraya's exhibition in Washington DC, which reminded me of my mother's favorite, (or mine?) Japanese textile companies: Kawashima Wool (?) Textiles, 川島毛織 and Tatsumura Art Textiles, 龍村美術織物.

Kawashima is a modern business touting environmental-friendliness as well as doing what they have always done; there is a museum, and a "textile school" with a blog. Tatsumura seems to have stuck with what they know best - super fine silk weaving in the Chinese-influenced 7C Japanese Imperial Court-style, though they, too, have an interior fabric division. They have an on-line museum showing cloths that are eerily familiar to me, (click on the tiny ENTER mark in lower right corner,) but their "blog" is a bunch of notices only.

I'm not sure if we had Kawashima products around us, (by which I mean, at my grandpa's house,) but I was aware of Tatsumura as long as I've been aware of cloths. Grandpa had their products all over his house under valuable ceramics, wood carvings, and stones. (We do that in Japan; we get interesting rocks, get it polished if that enhances the rock, have wooden stands made to order , and display it.) Because Tatsumura cloths are so expensive, I only saw what we call vase mats, (Japanese homes always had and still often have cloths under vases, but they are in themselves often works of art. sometimes more valuable than the vases on them,) but I wouldn't be surprised if there were larger pieces and tea ceremony accessories in his house.

Mom grew up with nice things, (though it was most definitely after the way and even more likely after she and her siblings grew up that Grandpa accumulated really nice things,) so I always thought she should have some herself, and when I was working I tried to give her nice things on birthdays and mother's days; one particular Tatsumura cloth among them.     

To me, Tatsumura epitomized the woven cloth, and that August day in 1995 when I first threw a stick shuttle on my Ashford rigid heddle loom, images of my favorite red Tatsumura popped up in my mind and in some ways it never went away.

When I went to a pottery show on my last morning in Okayama in Jan/Feb 2010, in a beautifully renovated roadside shop, I was flabbergasted/amazed/disgusted/most-envious that in this rather attractive-in-a-sad-way place were stacks and stacks of Tatsumura cushions similar to but not the same as my favorite red cloth!!! 
Seeing how carefully I was looking at each piece of pottery, staff suggested I sit down, and gasping, I said I couldn't possibly sit on a Tatsumura. After I made three rounds in the small shop, another staff approached and asked if I am a potter, and when I said I wasn't, she said, "but you must be a maker?!" When I confided I am a weaver, she smiled and nodded. Though she still might have thought I'm just a crazy Kanto-ite, someone from the new East, rather than the old West, Kansai, of Japan.)

When I went home and told about Mom the Tatsumura cushions, she was surprised I loved them so much, and she brought out the three she had and told me to take one; after a few days of oohing and aaahing, and considering declining the offer, it had to be the red one, the one I gave her some years ago. So this is in my special drawer in my stash room.

I should have it out somewhere I can see it every day, but it's such a reverent object I can't get my head around it. So much so this post has taken three weeks to write.

Anyhoo, here it is.
There is no visible treatment of the fringes, but I'm never going to pull on the first weft to find out if there is sometime done, or if the sett and the best keep the wefts in place. 

Here's another article on the exhibition in DC. Do please let me know about Inagaki if any of you have a chance to visit.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunny Sunday

After much gazing, mostly on Friday night, I decided this scarf will be in the olive green and pale gray purple. It quietens the warps and somehow make the yellows and greens in the warp look harmonious with the purples and pinks. And the olive green weft in particular gives the cloth that sheen, though it looks dead flat in this picture.
For the second scarf, I am contemplating using a 60/2 cotton in dusty orange; it gives the cloth a really luminous look, and the patterns pop up. Three potential problems: longer weaving time; a crispier/wire-like unfamiliar texture, though reminiscent of some Southeast Asian silks; and worst of all, the selvedge is much harder to control than 20/2 wefts. The color doesn't go as well with the yellow/green stripes, so I might use another color alternatively.  
Why am I showing you shots from a totally wrinkled sample?
Because I anticipate folks may want to bunch this series of scarf up and wind it like so, and I wanted to see how wrinkled it gets; the hard-working sample endured 36 hours under a box of drawing papers.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the unbelievable happened, and our study bookshelf is now cleaned up. And the most surprising thing was, it took us only around 4 hours. We were ruthless in culling, and not as thorough in the cleaning of the shelves and the walls, but it's done and we even have gaps, and you can't believe what serenity it brings to me. We even had time time to sort through our map collection, (remember those? I used to be a big collector up until our 2003 trip to Scotland and Ireland; since then, of course, it's been GoogleMaps to wherever we go,) had time to put addition to my postcard collection into the plastic sleeve folder, and even mended a pair of pants! My stash room bookshelf has no space horizontal or vertical, but that's been culled several times in the last two and a half years and I don't foresee any more culling, or much addition in the near future.
And all this after I had a lovely mid-morning bubble bath. No wonder I'm knackered today.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm All Wound Up!

Kerstin showed us how to make a "correct" paper quill. Since the stick on my manual bobbin winder is tapered, I asked if it would make a quill with slightly changing diameter, to which she replied, yes, but only slightly.
This is my manual winder; the diameter at the base is 5mm, at the tip 3mm.
She also asked how I wind onto my homemade recycled paper bobbins made by winding paper around a pencil. I do that on my electric winder, which can take pirns, bobbins or quills of almost any size.
Except the straws/swizzle sticks I bought for my tiny Japanese silk shuttles; they are just a little too small for the electric,
It's also not big enough for the manual; even if I push one as far as it goes and tape the end to the stick, winding becomes uncomfortably wobbly; it's faster to wind it by hand.
Of course, I have a whole bag of them, and of course Mom was able to find baby bobbins, but Kiwis make do!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Production Line

I have photos of the two purple/pink warps dated March 27, 2011,so it has been a year since I made this one also. And what a peculiar one this is! No doubt my intention was to make at least one challenging warp; not so much "difficult" as it is not instantly harmonious to look at.
So there is scope for experimentation with the weft colors; so far, I only like the first two sampled.
The first is, once again, the nondescript mid yellow green that isn't all that great on its own, but works hard in combinations.

This time I recorded as I threaded so I can see how the warp and weft interact on the computer beforehand, if I am diligent, to prevent this sort of carry on, (third pic.)

There were fewer stripes than I had expected in this warp, making each stripe wider than the previous colorful warp, and a symmetrical block distribution of A-B-C-D-C-B-A so I'm having to make each rectangle more interesting. Which is a fun thing to do, but time-consuming.

And this wasn't the plan at all; the plan was to weave off three of these short warps, six scarves in all, relatively quickly and get on to the first October Exhibition piece. Ergo the title of this post.

Ho hum...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Good Weekend?

For all of you who needed to be passed over, I hope you were safely passed over, and those of you who went bunny-hopping-egg-hunting, that you found what you were looking for. For the rest of us, well, a breather and some down time. It's Day Four of Ben's long weekend, (he has until tomorrow,) and here in Nelson it's been disgustingly sunny, mild and gorgeous, bringing out all the neighbors out to tend to their gardens, except us. (To note, our neighbor to the north has chickens, to the northeast, rabbits, providing a season-appropriate variety to everybody else having gazillion cats; only one neighbor has two dogs, and one with occasional grand-dog.)

I was heading into a head-case/nut-job state and Ben has the sniffles AGAIN, so we read and slept a lot on Friday and Saturday; I've also been watching a whole lot of TEDs I've saved up. By yesterday I needed another approach to stop replaying the shall-I-stay-or-shall-I-leave, (not Ben, but Group R,) tape, so I tackled the ironing which accumulated. Anyhoo, the combination of  DVDs and ironing did the trick and I'm in a place where I can resume work today, but really, we should either tackle the bookshelf and finish the job Ben started, or make a gesture to the world that we do so care about the state of our domicile and be seen outside. 

Anyhoo, some delightful finds which may interest some of you:

Professor Hans Rosling, possibly the only man on earth who can make statistics relevant. Trust me you've never been entertained so much by infant mortality, poverty or CO2 emissions statistics; they come alive and become immediate and, yes, relevant! 
The good Professor on TED
His Gapminder website

Some background on T E Lawrence, (or Arabia) with an emphasis on abuse, depression, etc. Not recommended if you're feeling down, but an interesting look into the not-Peter-O'Toole part of of the man's life. 

And... oh, Cally might have Swine Flu, so best wishes for a speedy (and if not, pampered) recovery to her.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Residue

I wove off the colorful warp on Tuesday and washed the length yesterday. Here's the second piece; weft ends haven't been tidied yet. This is the one where I wove with mostly the darker pinks and purples because I thought they'd make a better merchandise.
Here, on the stash room floor, (because the living room floor is littered strategically out mapped with wool skeins, cones and balls,) is the warp-end fabric on the right with only the olive green and gold wefts, and the most interesting sample at top left, in which I compared a mostly-light-yellows-and-greens combo against a mostly-darker-purples-and-pinks combo. You can see my second shawl above was a mixture but with the darker wefts in greater proportion.
The thing is, in a warp consisting of both lighter-and darker-valued colors, the value of the weft does interesting things. Using lighter wefts make the darker-valued area look bleached out; the weave designs are easier to see, but the center of the cloth is not as nuanced as I like. Using darker wefts make the two sides with lighter warps look scrappy. (Mind you, the hues are different in this swatch, too; you don't see pale purples/pinks in the weft, nor dark yellows/greens in the warp.) When you think about it, is so obvious one shouldn't have to weave meters and meters to know this, but with a colorful warp, it was hard to see the whole cloth instead of getting sucked into obsessing about each little rectangle. The short answer is, I don't like either, so a good mix of values in the weft yields best balanced results, i.e. "Prayers" more so than Eddie's above. But add hue to the mix and the discordance should subside. 
The other problem, of course, was because I didn't document the threading, there are a few of these unsightly boarders between blocks..

As soon as I finished "Prayers", I dreamt of  of weaving cloth more harmonious, so for one day I had the mostly purple warp hanging on the breast beam. But it looked too prim and proper and the pink stripes made the cloth symmetrical, and I couldn't permit such behavior. So being  mildly surprised by my own somewhat OTT reaction, while Eddie's scarf et al bathed in the washing machine, I wound the one colorful warp on the loom. Now, this was supposed to be the highfalutin' color experiment when I made the warp I-don't-remember-how-far-back, but now it's going to be more fine-tuning of what I learned from the wide warp. One difference is, in this narrower warp, each color stripe is made up of pairs of two similar colors, and that's going to introduce a slight divination from what I learned.

Thankfully, all three warps are short; I think around four or five  meters each. I'm going to try 42EPI instead of 40. And this time I am going to record the threading so the boarders between blocks don't get messy.

I can't tell today if it's the camera behaving badly, or my monitor showing totally different colors of the same pictures via Windows vs my editing program, but the old samples in bottom left of the second picture is about right; all the rest seem "off".

Collaboraitive Book: Self-Portrait? Seriously?

I’ve become seriously interested in the idea of self-portraits in the most vague and detached way, with the possibility of ending up with something for the collaborative book for the October exhibition. It started with this drawing, though this was someone else; I was drawing passers by while waiting for Ben to pick me up.  

I can't understand why I'm not appalled by the idea. I've never liked my face and my body every since I've become aware of them, and I've wished, ever since that one 4.30 PM, late August, aged 12, I could exist in spirit only most of the time, and utilize available body parts so I can write. But quite apart from that loathing, , after three+ years of figure drawing, perhaps I started to look at my own self, (not so much "body",)  as an object, a shape most accessible to draw and study.

I wonder if it’s a kind of resignation, about being older, having less energy and more health problems, and not having head space and energy to do anything about it. Or like an old T-shirt, where once the fabric is so worn and the colors so faded, it’s too comfortable to throw it away. It's too old to give to charity, you know. Looking back, perhaps my 40's was when I thought this T-shirt was in its “too old, must throw away” stage, but this side of 50 has it become simply too comfortable?

Unlike a T-shirt, it doesn't mean I have the luxury of not having to think about health and do something about it, but I've been really taken aback at my willingness to stand/sit in front of a mirror, let alone stare and record! My mini-project for April has even been one self-portrait a day, either drawing, photographic, or tampering with these results.

Even when looking at portraits, mostly in paintings, I've never been interested in the face or the body of the shape, but clothes/hair/accessory/fashion, the surrounds/interiors/knickknacks were my primary interests, and the "codes/messages" in these elements we in different times and places can't decipher. I'm curious to know which part of a portrait I'll be looking at the next time I happen upon one.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Get Out of Your Depth

Group R met again yesterday and it was a short, sharp meeting; we made a whole bunch of administrative decisions, divvied tasks, and updated our time line. All necessary evil, but fun.

We also touched on the issue of artist profiles and statements.  I don't go for long stuff, (though I love to read other artists' long and detailed bios,) so I scribbled down mine.
Profile: Born in Japan, Schooled in the USA, discovered weaving in New Zealand.
Statement: I weave cloth in my basement all hours of the day. 

If asked to add more, I could muse about being run over and defeated by the Concept Truck, but I hope I don't have to sound serious or mature; that is so... 

I had a couple of hours to kill and a free coffee card, so I went to a cafe I don't often go, and this is what was on the wall.

Beginnings: Projects

Keeping in mind "Beginnings" is also a working title for the exhibition at this stage, though we might keep it, here are some ideas I have.

"Big tubes like Titanic's funnel/smoke stacks hanging from high above, and folks possibly walking into and/or standing inside them, looking up" idea split into two when I realized my maximum reach on the loom is a tad short of 80cm, with which I can weave a double-weave tube of less than 50cm in diameter; too cozy to stand inside. So:

"Tube"
This is the stand-inside piece, which will consist of a few pieces of wide cloth, say 70-80cm, hung from the rafter to create a tube/tent with a minimum diameter at the bottom of  90cm. I want to weave something that will make people look up, but I haven't figured out why I want folks to look up when they step inside my tube, while outside it there's a lovely 3.60m to the rafter, almost twice that to the apex of the ceiling! For now, some of the ideas are bottom-of-the-sea/tsunami and kaleidoscope, but very early days for this one.    

"Pillars"
This is the funnel/smoke stack half: a series of tall white tubes/banners hanging from the rafters in harmony, looking big and pretty. While I'm still attached to the original picture, and even though I swore off concepts, it has been impossible for me to escape the Christchurch/Japan events and I find myself unintentionally combining this project with photos from these devastated regions. (No, Ronnie Martin, the irony is not lost on me!!) And I can't stop thinking about this project.

As of this morning, the main concerns are:
1) I prefer banners over tubes so I don't have to sacrifice shafts and banners are easier to hang, but are these the right reasons?;
2) I prefer five to seven not-so-wide banners over fewer, wider ones, but that means longer weaving time;
3) Size/proportion is crucial in this project so I'll probably have to go into the gallery with several widths of paper, and finally;
4) Where do I aim on the "pretty"-expressive/picturesque/realistic spectrum; again, much sampling required.    

Collaborative Book
We are going to have one collaborative piece, each of us creating two smallish pieces which will be combined to create a "book". Though it's up to each individual to come up with theme/subject, Ronnie threw in the idea of a self-portrait at one point, so I've been investigating that possibility in the most general terms. This is the piece I would feel most comfortable straying from my "pretty" creed. 

"Friends(hip)"
This is the project based on the collection of one yard/meter of your yarns. I had a vague idea of making a talisman or a small bag, something small I can carry with me but not a fashion item. But with unfamiliar exotic yarns arriving, I have no idea where this is going, so I made guidelines, which may or may not be changed later:
1) All yarns are to go into one work;
2) The finished piece will not be a convenient wall piece where all your yarns will be used as wefts in a generic warp, and;
3) I hope, I hope, it can make it "pretty".

The yarns looked so cute and copy in one zip log bag but this weekend the time came to start thinking about this seriously so they morphed into an ever-changing mind map.   
Items to Sell
I'm thinking of weaving small facsimile versions of the "Tube" and/or "Pillar" panels as scarves.

"Father, Professor, Patient"
Time permitting, I might consider picking this up where I left off and see if it can become a piece that will fit into the exhibition. I might have to use super thick yarns for "Tube" and "Pillars" to get that far.

Six months minus three days to go.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Spools Day!!!

In appreciation of one of the least celebrated weaving tools, we proudly present to you our bobbins and pirns and whatever else we improvise to work with.

Happy April Spools Day, world!

My second set turned by a local turner to match the first set I bought. Every piece has a different wood grain design and looks and feels lovely. Because the shuttle which takes these is heavy and I don't weave with thick yarns too often, these babies tend to be stuck in a drawer.
My default prins. When I first got them in the mail, I was shocked because they were so ugly compared to wooden ones, but I got used to them and I mind less that they are made of plastic. 
Heavier-than-cartridge paper I intended to use the back of, wrapped around a pencil. I can get around three of these from an A4 sheet and I can cut the length to suit three shuttles of different sizes and weights. I never realized each one would last over ten years when I first made them.


And here are Sampling's.

And Cally!

And Kerstin!

And Margery!

And Laura!

And Geodyne!

Thank you for your contributions, weavers! (Anyone else I haven't spotted?)