In this post, I separate what is going on in the studio and my trip to Laos and Cambodia. Both are so different that they deserve their own space.
Two days after my arrival home from the trip to Laos and Cambodia, I held another Linen and Lace workshop in the studio. Four weavers attended. We explore many lace weaves (Canvas weaves, Spot Bronson, Bronson Lace, Swedish Lace, Huck). Nine warps were woven off so they went home with quite a collection. The following are some images taken over the five days.
Four weavers with some of the warps being cut off.
Experimenting with finishing using a modified mangling process: glass bottles filled with cold water. A marble rolling pin on a tile or a piece of glass would be a preferred option.
Then two days later I had Joan, a weaver from Hawaii who combined a tourist trip to Australia with an opportunity to weave in my studio. She decided to explore weaving on a draw loom. But first, there was a minor problem. I had a warp on this loom. It had only been there for about nine months waiting for me to eventually get around to weaving it. There’s nothing like someone wanting to weave on a loom to get you to actually weave. This warp was designed to explore 4 shaft ground weaves. Using just 4 shafts how many basic structures can be woven? But before I show what I wove, I’ll outline the parameters that I’d set. The design was to be basically the same with only variation being in the frame in one corner. I wanted to have a fairly restricted design so that I didn’t spend too much time thinking and moving around pattern shafts (time was of the essence after all). Yet to prevent boredom I allowed myself a small restricted area to play in. You will see the overall standard design with variation.
How many structures can be done on 4 shafts? This many!
Let’s take a closer look. There’s a 1/3 and 3/1 combination. The direction of the twill line is the same.
There’s a 1/3 and 3/1 twill with opposite directions. This is a very common effect employed in 8 shaft twill blocks.
Instead of straight twills, how about warp and weft faced broken twills?
In the High Court judges’ robes I employed “network drafting” of warp faced straight twill with weft faced broken twill. Here I repeat the effect on a draw loom.
Moving away from twills, a three end lace weave is possible. This followed very nicely from the previous week’s Linen and Lace.
A standard 4 shaft straight threading can also be used for pick up Summer and Winter (2 tie unit weave).
And of course 4 shafts can also be used for doubleweave. Normally the sett would be twice as dense and alternate colours would be used. Instead here I have compensated by using alternate colours in thicker yarns. Obviously by the size of the same I ran out of time before Joan arrived.
Joan got to pull cords and look at how the loom worked before even getting to wind a warp and thread by playing on the tail end of my warp.
Joan had come with a prepared design based on a photograph of a tiled floor. After planning her project/s, drafting her design, and winding the warp prior to learning about setting up the loom, she got to weave that design. The next challenge was to alter the set up of the pattern shafts to interpret a new design. This one was a simple modification.
This image shows both her first and second design.
The last challenge required her to use as many pattern shafts as possible threaded individually with the exclusion of a border and design a motif across the full width. She enjoyed the freedom of dropping off all the pattern shafts, rearranging them in a different configuration to allow for total freedom of pattern design. The following images shows Joan cutting off her warp and the different patterns she had designed and woven.
This is what I love about drawloom weaving: the freedom of developing “block” designs using the pattern shafts of a drawloom. The design potential is so much greater than what can be achieved on any multi-shaft loom (even one with the most number of shafts available on a computer assist loom). The only other loom that has greater potential is a jacquard. It however involves computers. This is the “slow food” equivalent of weaving where there is a much greater “hands on” experience.