At the end of April 2013

April 27, 2013

I know it is not quite the end of the month and I usually post then, but I do know how busy I am about to become getting ready for my trip to Canada and the USA.

The term at Sturt has ended, holidays taken and a new one has just begun. Kate Holmes will take over the studio while I am travelling. As normal we celebrate projects as they come off the loom. (Somehow I managed to miss photographing a couple).

Marcia shows Tueday her scarf.

Marcia finished her scarf. She used some wool for the weft which she had spun many years ago.

Maureen (centre) shows off her finished rug.

Maureen finished her rug, and a week later totally finished with a woven edge.

Lyn's rug explores a variety of techniques.

Lyn finishes her rug.

Fibres Ballarat happened early in the month. This is a week- long event where many textile classes are run. My students explores South East Asian textiles. Day 1: We analysed a selection of textiles and put on the first warp. By day 2 they had all (including an absolute beginner weaver) completed their first set of samples. The rest of the week was then spent doing more sampling and/or designing and weaving a project according to student needs. I was very impressed by their enthusiasm and the amount of work and learning that was acheived. It was a great week and we sure had fun!. Glenys sure does run a great event.

It is a very special event when the first piece of weaving comes off the loom.

Suzanna examines her samples; her first ever piece of weaving. It’s a long narrow strip experimenting with a range of techniques.

The first set of samples.

Judy experiments with a range of techniques.

The weaving class of 2013.

Following Fibres Ballarat, Jeanette, Di and Wendy have all emailed images of their completed projects. It was very pleasing to see the completed projects. Thank you to all for giving me permission to share these.

Jeanette's table runner.

Di's table runner.

Wendy's table runner.

While I was in Ballarat, I had a free half day before the event began. I took the opportunity with four others to go down to Geelong and view an exhibition on at the National Wool Museum titled Future Wool. According to the publicity: It brings together a cross section of design interpretations in merino wool from across the globe. Innovative textile technology from china to classic feminine tailoring from the USA and stunning hand knits from Belgium. It is on till the 19th May 2013. Some garments unfortunately I missed noting the designers.

general view of one section of "Future Wool".

Naeem Khan

unknown designerRimzim Dadu

At the museum is also a working carpet loom.

The volunteer explains how the loom works.We are on the second floor looking down.

A jacquard uses punched cards to select the woven pattern.

Reels of wool used for the warp and pile.

An example of a rug produced by this loom.

I was very fortunate that the latest issue of Handwoven arrived just in time for the Ballarat event. Inside is an article on Sotis, one of the techniques covered in this class.

Handwoven with the runner that appears in the issue.

On the drive to Ballarat, I discovered an interesting fact. When one drives a long way, one has time and perhaps occasion to collect interesting and useless facts. One expects a kangaroo road sign to have a particular appearance. It is a standard sign.

A standard kangaroo road sign.

But then I noticed a koala sign that was different to those at home. In fact I noticed a total of 5 different signs on that trip. Unfortunately by the tiome I had started to register this fact and  become intrigued, the opportunity to photograph them had passed. I couldn’t resist starting a collection of koala signs. These have been added to on the way home.

Mittagong - Ballarat

Ballarat - Geelong

Mittagong - Ballarat

Mittagong - Brisbane

Redlands City Council: my home area.

At the end of March, 2013

April 2, 2013

The garden at the front of the studio.

Sturt is a magical place in Autumn. The trees are starting to turn and the roses are magnificent. Part of my routine is time out to enjoy the garden with morning coffee.

Autumn has started!

Early Autumn and this was the first red leaf. Now at the end of March, there are heaps… and in the true sense of the word.

I wish the year would just stay still a bit. I looked and here is April! The past month has been busy with Sturt classes and activities, a trip to the Gold Coast and the weavers there and finally some weaving.

Each warp that is finished at Sturt is celebrated. Here are some hot off the loom.

Virginia has reason to be proud. This is her first piece of weaving.

Virginia has reason to be proud. This is her first piece of weaving.

Rachael wears her new scarf and prepares the next skeins of yarn for dyeing.Rachael wears her new scarf and prepares the next warp for dyeing.

Isobel cuts her experimental warp. She has been exploring structure. There is a heap of information here.

BronwynBronwyn has finished her floor rug. Now for the finishing…

helenHelen completes the weaving of her scarf. Now for the next stage… first the finishing and then some devore.

JennyJenny is pleased. Shje has been sampling and developing design. Her teddy beatrs are her own design. Now she plans to use them as a border.

RachaelRachael has completed her scarf. This one used the yarn she dyed at the start of the month. She randomly resisted sections of the hank before dyeing in a procion dye bath.

Sturt hosted a “Taster”. It is a four hour workshop where people who have never experienced weaving can come and have “a go”. We had fun! Lots of laughs and they each went home with a “mug rug” to finish. FUN!

Maybe 4 new weavers....

The day started with finishing threading the reed, then learning how to tie on and to weave. We explored several warp faced effects in a variety of yarns from the stash. Lastly they were shown how to finish their weaving off when they got home. It was a very busy 4 hours and they left with a much greater understanding of weaving….. and what fun it is!

The Gold Coast weavers had a full-on 2 day workshop in “Summer and Winter”. Some weavers even came from as far away as Toowoomba. They are a very friendly group. It was a very productive time with everyone being excited by what they were achieving.

Everyone concentrating …..

Checking on progress….

Not a bad two day’s work!

I decided to take advantage of the very large loom at Sturt with a weaving width of 230 cm ( 90”). Floor rugs are usually woven on it. It has an extremely heavy beater. But I wanted to go to the other extreme. This loom is in reality just a four shaft loom and can of course with a bit of care weave any four shaft weaves. I chose to weave a transparency as I want a very large piece for my next exhibition.

The big loom.The warp goes on. Yes those are milk bottles filled with water. It is the most effective way to put a warp on of this width: perfect tension.

Weaving progresses. The weft “thread” consists of 10 different wool yarns. This way I could achieve an interesting “positive” background. the negative space is the area that can be seen through.

Last week we had a “friendship” Thursday. Thursday is studio access day for the Tuesday class and we had a very informal morning tea. I also got to celebrate…. the first warp off my 24 shaft loom that came from home.

Cutting offI cut off while friends helped me celebrate.

detail of runnerThis table runner combines Indonesian weaving techniques with supplementary warps and double weave.

Another warp...Another warp goes on. This time it is just seeing what will happen if….. In the background is the transparency. I’m considering how to mount it. It will make its appearance in my next solo exhibition at Redlands Regional Art Gallery in September.

And for some fun: Check out this video of a Lego loom on YouTube.