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This first photo shows my fingernails after my first dyeing! Don’t know if the will ever come clean. The second photo is one of the patterns we learned that we dyed today. The workshop is sponsored by The World Shibori Network. It was a surprise to see the big sign outside the classroom building.
Shibori is everywhere–big banners waving in the train station–even the sign for the restroom. The last picture is of a Shibori pattern on a Noran which is a curtain over a doorway. I thought it might explain what I am talking about. We are doing specialized tie dye. At the end of the week we will come back to the town for their annual Shibori Festival. The town is Arimatsu which is near Nagoya. Class was only in the morning. In the afternoon we went to a flea market at a temple a train and subway from
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We took so many trains today I lost count–small, medium and the bullet train. We went to the town of Udea in the Nagano area surrounded by mountains. The name of the weaving company is: Koiwai-tsumugi. Www.htp://~Koiwai-tsumugi.shop-prob.jp/ The photos show the outside of the building which is a large, very old, beautiful traditional Japanese house in a residential neighborhood. The hand hewn beams in the weaving room
were lovely and worn. The daughter showed us around and answered every one of my weaving questions. Cathy’s two friends shepherded us on the trains and taxis and translated. There were about six looms with three old ladies weaving the tsumugai cloth (spun silk weft yarn) for kimono, place mats and coasters. We saw the dying area and the warping area and the show room with things to buy–expensive, of course since everything was hand woven. It was heaven! We bought bento box lunches at the station and ate in the showroom.
More train rides as we went to Matsumoto. We admired the gorgeous castle (please Google it) on the taxi ride to a lovely Japanese inn. We had a bath, of course, and dinner. The four of us slept in our room on futons and tatami mats. We found WiFi on the second floor–available but not spoiling the tradition of the 300-year old inn.
After croissants and coffee across the street from our hotel,Washington Shinjuku, we discovered we were next door to a famous costume museum, Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum, and fashion school. It felt like FIT in New York. The exhibit was a big one and beautiful–18th century European gowns and dresses in movies we knew and several that Princess DIana wore. Here is a picture of one of the students studying the show. I couldn’t resist asking for her picture!
After a lovely lunch of sashimi Cathy’s friend helped buy our train tickets for our advevture to silk weaving places on Thursday.
Then We walked an hour from our hotel to the Minami-Aoyama District. This is an areas on everyone’s list where the Issey Miyaki and other like designers have shops and where lots of young people are walking the streets in interesting costumes. We happened on an absolutely wonderful place.
We were looking for a place to rest and have tea and saw a sign in front of the Aoyama Flower Market for a tea shop in the market. The flowers were lovely but when we slid open the door to the tea shop we were totally transported! These pictures are of the tea shop at the Aoyama Flower Shop. We both had glorious raspberry parfaits. A large, black plastic bucket was underneath every stool–to put your purse and shopping bags in. This is a great idea. I can’t say enough praise for our experience there.
We got settled in the hotel in Tokyo then went out to explore. It was surprising to see lots of people on the street, at 8:00 maybe going home from work. We are near a big subway station–Shinjuku Station. We knew we were in Japan for sure when we saw all the plastic food
displayed in front of the dozen or so food places in our big hotel. Cathy and I decided to have pot stickers–perfect for slight hunger before bedtime. The 10
1/2hour flight was easy. Now to see if we can sleep all night. I love the Frenchi Toasto sign the best!
Just textiles! No shrines, gardens, just textiles and wonderful food and Japanese inns! I’m turning my bog into a travel blog with daily updates and photos of my adventures. From Tokyo we’ll go to a town with silk manufacturing. The tour begins in Arimatsu where we’ll learn shibori techniques and participate in the annual shibori festival. After that, more artists and crafts people along the way. We’ll end after the tour back in Tokyo and go to Yuki City to see tsmugi weaving.
I got 15 small collapse pieces back from the framer in New York who makes may special plexi shadow boxes and had to do some rearranging in the studio to get them on the wall. If you like how they look, let me know and I can give you his contact information.
We decided they would look better with a black background so up went the felt pieces I had and I think they look really nice. They are the small pieces on the black background.
While I was at it, I thought I’d share pictures of the studio as it is just before I leave it for 3 weeks while I am in Japan.
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Packaging the gifts in Japan is important. This is what I invented. A Japanese friend wrote my name in Japanese with a ball point pen and Office Depot made the gorgeous stamp that I used on the front of the folder. A previous post showed just the bookmark.
I have wanted to combine thorny rose canes with the sheer silk from the beginning of this warp. Kept trying fleeces with no luck and finally I got back to my original idea. I found nice, thin, curvy stems and a few dead blossoms in the bags of cuttings I got when the gardener pruned the rose bushes in January. It looks nice on the wrong side when you see the curved lines through the sheer cloth. From the right side the twigs look fairly thorny and wild. I think it has the feeling of a black and white line drawing. Of course it is a tube.
Here I am again with more tubes. I needed gifts for my upcoming trip to Japan and wanted to use the warp I’ve been working on. This time I wove in horse hair. I tried black but liked the creamy white better. I also have brown horse hair but didn’t think I would like it. The challenge or inspiration was how to make bookmarks when the warp is about 4 inches wide. Each one is woven about 2 ½” high. The supplementary warp holds the horse hair inside the tube and it floats inside when not securing the horse hair. What fun it was when the inspiration struck when I had 5 minutes of quiet in our hot tub just before water aerobics class.
More things I’ve inserted in my weaving. The rose buds and canes I collected when the gardeners pruned the roses where I live. The buds were dried on the stems.
The twigs were trimmings from a pomegranet tree. I thought the lichen on the stems went with the pink sewing thread wefts.
More tubes and supplementary warp. This type of supplementary warp I learned to call “split broche”. The threads lie in the middle of the sheds just like floating selvedges do. You put the shuttle over the threads if you don’t want them on top of the cloth. You put the shuttle under them to put them on top. And I usually weave with them in the middle of the layers and only bring them up when needed for tie-downs.
I wanted to try some color and thought the pinks would blend with the white warp threads. I used light, medium and darker pinks to try to create depth in the cloth–a la Randall Darwall.
Finally I’ve woven something I like! After my show in January, it’s been hard to get going again. I’ve been trying to weave “out-of-the-box” and for February and March nothing pleased me. I was trying to incorporate locks of fleece. Everything was ugly–oh, one small part looks all right but it isn’t a composition…yet.
I cut lots of rose hip stems and really like them. In the second piece I was interested in the shapes of the stems–then I looked at it from the back–voila! Lovely shadows plus the moire that I’ve been trying for.
I’m still weaving tubes on my 4-shaft loom. I have a supplementary warp that is threaded between the heddles. Those are the threads that hold the rose hips. They are weighted separately so I can slip extra things under them as needed.
I love making the tubes and only using 4 shafts. For the moire, I need certain shafts for the top and bottom layers. When I want one side to be a different color from the other I use other shafts for the top and bottom layers. 4 treadles: I just dance a different dance.
A color wheel that was introduced to us in our guild program on Optical Mixing is the first one shown here. It is called the Magenta, Yellow, Cyan (turquoise) color system or color wheel and the one more suited for weavers. Our speaker told us it was better to use this one than the one we all learned and are familiar with which is the Red, Yellow, Blue system or color wheel (which is for mixing light). This is the second one shown here.
If you look at my previous post showing my own stash of colors, you won’t see anything like on either wheel. That’s because the color wheels show us intense colors. In real life, most of us don’t stick to only those intense colors—we darken, or lighten, or dull them, or mix them optically with other colors.
So, how do you use a color wheel if the colors aren’t what you like? The colors on the wheels are NAMED. That is what is important. You need to name the colors or read them first. For example, red and red-orange and red-purple are names of three colors (officially called hues). Then you can use the wheel for relationships of the hues to one another or to put together color harmonies. For example, harmonies might be hues that are opposite one another or beside each other on the wheel. THEN when you know the names of the hues you are looking for, you can “doctor” them us (so-to-speak) so they aren’t so intense and to my mind, more beautiful or interesting.
You can change a hue these ways:
Change the value,
Change the intensity
Change the temperature
One of my teachers, Cameron Taylor Brown, had us make different color wheels. We named the colors from the regular color wheel we were used to. Then made these: one color wheel with all the hues being light in value (pastels), one with all dark hues, one with duller hues, etc. You see, we named the hues but then made up color wheels (like pallets) with the same hues but changed in the ways I listed above: value, intensity and temperature. There were some I liked better than others. Using the yarns from one wheel makes your work look coordinated: to add punch, she suggested adding something from a completely different pallet (color wheel).
For our talk on Saturday about Optical Mixing, we will be talking about value. Threads that are of the same value will blend or mix.
One important thought: You don’t need to have all the colors in the wheel—just work with the ones you like or have.
Use what you like and used the color theory color when you are stuck.
My mentor, Helen Pope, always used to choose what ribbon for her pony tale by using a color that was one step from the opposite of the color of her outfit. In other words she used the harmony “split complementory”
What a surprise it was yesterday morning when I got an email telling me that I was in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. This is an ad for the wonderful place where my two cats and I live. It pretty much says it all!
I’ve been planning a little lesson for my weaving guild about color—especially optical mixing. I’m going to show color wheels we are used to seeing and talk about using yarns and threads that aren’t on the wheels, per se. That is, not the vibrant, intense colors you see but what I think are more beautiful colors. I’ll show how beautiful colors are made and how to use them, using the information on the color wheels.
Here is my color stash of sewing threads. I just picked spools of colors that I liked when visiting a shop in the garment district of Manhattan on several trips. I expected to mix them together and whenever possible I took colors with different dye lots. Variations in colors make them more beautiful, in my opinion.
A few weeks ago our guild had a speaker who explained the theory of optical mixing. When I got home, I noticed I’d been doing that without knowing it for a long time. I kept finding pieces that were examples of taking two colors and mixing them to form a third color. I was excited to see several examples so decided to do a study group after our next meeting to discuss optical mixing and show some examples.
I’m also going to talk a bit about using complementary colors. The table runner is woven of oranges and blues.
There is so much to learn about color theory that I get overwhelmed easily and not much sticks in my brain so I just want to talk about these two subjects.
This runner I wove for my mother-in-law but I knew she wouldn’t appreciate it so I never gave it to her. It’s one of my very favorite pieces. The linen fabric is thick because I put together the two warps from a previous double weave project into a single layer.
I ironed it hard with a rolling pin on a bread board while it was damp. I love the weight, the sheen, and the subtle colors.
The idea of putting two warps together as a single layer happened when I was sampling for making some table runners. I ran out of color combinations to try, so just wove the warps together for a warp face structure where the warp was completely hidden. It still made a thick cloth which I wanted and I loved the way the two warp colors mixed.
Getting this email from Judy Wheeler really made my day!
I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! for writing the New Guide to Weaving books. I have all three, and literally could not weave without them. I learned to weave many years ago at a weaving shop that was only in business a short while…
I love weaving, but it was always a struggle. Warping was difficult, tension was never good, and my projects rarely turned out like I had hoped. Then I found your books. Weaving is now so much more enjoyable and rewarding, and your books are just amazing! I always refer to them when weaving, but often I pick one up and just read it, because I always learn something new.
Thank you again!
When I was ruffling up the tube for the ruffle for the Room Art Gallery show, I got an idea for the next one. I like this photo of the ruffle–not so tight. Maybe I’ll make one “loose” like this that would be a sculpture and sit on a pedestal in a plexi-glass box (called a vitrine).I loved the look when the ruffles were tight together. My idea for another one is to make it tight so it would be a sculpture and sit on a pedestal, rather than hang from the ceiling.
I’m having fun knitting this necklace out of the stainless steel/silk yarns (threads?) from Habu Textiles in New York. The pattern is from a book using Habu yarns: “Ori Ami Knits”. I had to learn to do “short rows” and it is fun learning something new (and easy). I had yarn left from my sweater then needed a second strand of another color for the necklace so needed another cone. I guess this is how a stash begins.
I gave a lesson the other day about planning projects and gave out the worksheet my students have liked and that is in my book, Weaving for Beginners. I thought it would be good to share it. It is used to calculate the many things needed when planning a project. This worksheet lets you figure out how long and wide the warp should be and the amount of warp and weft yarn you need. When I was starting out, I was always worried that I’d forget a critical calculation. I’ve used it with my students for many years so I don’t worry that I’ve forgotten a calculation they needed for their projects. You may download the worksheet HERE.
Here is a short video of my reception at the Room Art Gallery. The gallery was packed most of the night. It was wonderful seeing all of the loving and supportive people on this fine evening in Mill Valley.
On the day of Peggy Osterkamp’s Room Art Gallery show reception, Marin County newspaper publishes a featured article on Peggy and her work.
My exhibit is up and I’m very proud of it. If you can’t make it to the opening on the 8th, remember the show is up until the end of January and the gallery is open Tues.- Sat. from 11:00 to 5:00. I’d love to see you at the reception or maybe we can make a date to meet at the gallery and have coffee or something. It’s in a wonderful location in downtown Mill Valley, California, across from The Depot and next to Pete’s Coffee. Here are a couple photos. I’ll have more of the reception.
I love to knit mindlessly (or nearly so). This sweater I knitted using stainless steel and silk thread and cotton yarn. The yarns and pattern are from Habu Textiles in New York. If you don’t know them, please check the web for amazing things. I thought it would take a year but I’m now sewing the pieces together having begun the knitting in September. It was easy—all stockinet and easy to keep track of the rows for shaping. I hope to wear it to the opening of my show which is on January 8. We’ll see. At first I thought it would be too small, then too large. You can’t tell anything until you start sewing it together and trying it on the body. I think it will be just fine. I can’t decide yet whether to sew the side seams or let them loose. The stainless steel/silk yarn has a wild mind of its own. Any thoughts? Also, I’m not sure if I’ll block the stainless part—so far I only blocked the cotton areas.