At the end of June 2013

July 7, 2013

The month stared with a conference run by the Contemporary Hand Weavers of Texas. This was a superbly run and enthusiastic small conference with the focus very much on hand weaving. In fact I have never seen so many hand woven favours in the conference bag and they just kept on coming… covered note books, lunch bag, napkins etc. I heard that every member guild wove something for each attendee. Even the president of CHT personally wove a thank you napkin. I was so impressed by the conference. And there was a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Conference bag with handwoven napkins, lunch bag, covered book.

I had an extra treat. I got to know Kate in my class. She was also one of the enthusiastic volunteers of the conference and contributed hugely to all that weaving. She is also head of the weaving design studio at Perennials. and I was very fortunate to be given a guided tour of the facility. Perennials donated fabric for the bags. This fabric is used for high end outdoor furniture. The company has total control from the design of the acrylic yarn through fabric construction to the end product.

A very pleasant place to pull up resist threads.

A delightful place to pull up resist.

Undoing the samples

Undoing the results.

On to an informal visit with a group of hand weavers in Northern Michigan and followed by a stroll around Norma’s magnificent Spring garden.

In Denver there was a visit to The Fine Line, a centre for creative arts. Of interest to me was the weaving studio, retail outlet and gallery. The gallery was hosting HGA’s Small Expressions.

The Fine Line

Retail outlet.

The shop.

Weaving studio

The weaving studio

The Woodstock Guild hosted woven shibori. Some great results were obtained in just 2 days.

Applying dye.

Applying dye.


Analysing results.

There were two other highlights of my stay with Su Butler. One was sitting out on their back patio watching the stars come out. The night sky here is of course totally different than back home. The other was a visit to Frank Lloyd Write’s first home and studio. I particularly enjoyed pattern evident in many surfaces.

The front entrance to his home.

The entrance to the family home.

The entrance to his offices.

Stained glass windows.

Stained glass window.

A light fittinhg over the dining room table.

Light fitting above the dining room table.

Denver. Sandy Hutton collected me from the airport and first stop off was Spun at the Denver Art Museum. The museum has several exhibitions with the focus on fabric either as fabric or at the very least in painting.

Denver Art Museum

I couldn’t help taking a photo of these hands of the people who had made donations. There’s a real echo in my current work.

Red, White and Bold was an exhibition focusing on Navaho weaving.

Red, White and Bold

Pattern Play: The contemporary Designs of Jacqueline Groag focused on printed textiles with preliminary drawings. I really enjoyed her designs.

Irresistible: Multicolored Textiles from Asia: wonderful and large scale velvet Ikats too.

Silk and cotton velvet. Uzbekistan about 1890

Silk and cotton velvet. Uzbekistan about 1890

Other textile exhibits include Material World, Western Duds: How Clothing Helped Create an Archetype. In addition there was a wonderful room that had a permanent (?) display exploring various aspects of textile production from spinning through to various forms of construction. Exhibition runs from 19 May – 22 September .

Education room

Section of educational room. There was a lot of information hereand all accompanied by samples.

Sandy took me to lunch at The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan has “sister city” status with Boulder and this teahouse was given as a gift to the city. What a treat! I spent lunch craning my neck to make sure I got to see all the patterns.

And then there were the fires. What tragedy for those many people who lost homes. I had an adventure I wasn’t looking for and experienced minor disruption and a move while Sandy coped with the stress of pre-evacuation. The relief of having the fires under control on the last day of the workshop was felt by all.

Twenty attendees explored many and in the main unconventional aspects of tied weaves. Each developed their own designs.

And then I experienced snow and it was falling. Those who know me understand how rarely that has happened to me. Ginger and Tom took me for a drive up the top of Mt Evans and it is to be a never to be forgotten experience. Above the tree line is an extreme climate: snow, rain and freezing wind. This drive is the highest one in Nth America. At one stage there was an observatory from 1941 to 1979 when it was burnt down by a propane gas explosion.

To prove a point!

To prove a point!

The ruins of the observatory. And then lunch with this view on the way down.

Bellingham and another conference: ANWG. This was the largest conference, superbly well organised with a wide variety of weaving related topics.

I was very taken with this view of mixed technology…. Warping boards in amongst computers. There were many more that aren’t included.

At one stage there were many more warping boards in amoungst the computers.

I have chosen just 3 of the very diverse warps woven by the students. I could very easily have included the whole lot. Each was very different. Each successfully explored a number of techniques.

Frankie working on warp manipulation.

Sotis, wrapping and other things.

Sotis, wrapping and other things....

A drive down the coast: one of those superbly scenic drives.

Jan Paul provided me with essential some quiet down time and special time and an evening looking at velvet.

A jacquard cloth: satin ground with imagery and velvet. Exquisite!

Onto the Silverado Guild and a one day workshop exploring “Recycled”. There were a wide range of materials on hand.

A collection.

And another....

And many interesting results. Here are a few. Donna explores different ways to incorporate rope.

Gynne experiments with different methods of inserting fabric and ribbons. She even plays with combining buttons and buttonholes.

Gynne experiment with different ways of incorporating fabric and lace and joining buttons and button holes.

All manner of different ways of using fabrics and cords.

Kate explored many differnt ways of incorporating fabrics and cords.

Barb took me to see the Hess Collection at a winery. What a wonderful collection of contemporary art: a room of Andy Goldsworthy including his melted rocks. I also enjoyed his series of large scale works on paper: “Earth and Snow”. In these works seeds were boiled to extract pigment. The pigment was then used to colour snowballs which were then allowed to melt on the paper. Other artists whose work appealed were Markus Raetz with his work of 60 eucalyptus leaves pinned on the wall to create the illusion of 6 heads. It was amazing as an Australian to see eucalypts being used so far from home. But they are so very common here, so I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised. Robilee Frederick was another artist whose work attracted my eye with in particular “Fields of Light” It is unfortunate that photography is not allowed. I acquired this postcard of a sculpture of this very thought provoking work by Leopoldo m. Maler.

Hommage 1974

Onto Berkley/ San Francisco.

A walk in the redwoods at Muir Woods with Penny Peters and Anne Rock.

I get to be in the photo with Penny.

Somehow I got on the other side of the camera….

A good reason for creating the park.

Tall trees

Some very tall trees.

An exhibition at Lacis Museum, a small privately owned museum attached to a retail outlet.

Detail of dress.

A couple of workshops and finally July 4th has arrived. The morning provided an interesting experience. Anne, Penny and I went to Albany Bulb(a sort of peninsula). It’s a space that used to be a city dump by the Bay and currently a place the homeless have claimed. We walked past outcrops of dumped concrete, scrappy scrub and paths leading to the homeless humpies. Finally we came to this, our destination: amazing sculptures made out of bits of flotsam constructed by both the homeless and I understand legitimate artists.

One walks over the top of the hill and is greeted. We each had our own interpretation on what she/he was “saying”.

Another sculpture grouping. Again all from discarded washed up “rubbish”.

The 4th July also marked my last day in the USA. This has been an amazing experience. Now to prepare for my solo exhibition: Pattern: A Universal Phenomenon, Redland Art Gallery, 25 August till 22 September.