Preparing for the TSA Show: postcards

The TSA show in Los Angeles is getting pretty close. Today we sent off the files for 4 postcards that I can hand out to people at the show and at the conference. We will drive down on September 9 to hand deliver my piece: Four Veils. I’m thrilled with the cards and am getting excited. New business cards are in the works as well.
Photos advance automatically. 

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My work as art by Milton Sonday

Milton Sonday 2014

Milton Sonday 2014

Milton Sonday, who ran the Textile Department at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (as it was called then),  took a photo of one of my ruffles and a brochure for my Weaving for Beginners book and made them into his own art statements. We worked together when I was in New York from 1983 to 1989. It was heaven for me. We both relished looking at weave structures and it was a stretch for me to keep up with him every day I was there. Lately he has been making art pieces out of strips of paper and interweaving them in interesting ways (structures). I am honored to be the recipient.

Milton Sonday 2014

Milton Sonday 2014


More “Bookmarks”

Woven Bookmark - Peggy Osterkamp - click to enlarge

Bookmark Hanging – Peggy Osterkamp



Before I left for Greece I wanted to weave off the warp that was on the loom. I decided to make more bookmarks. [see original bookmark post here] I thought they could be given as special gifts in case someone might be interested in a show. You can see the white wefts I made for the cutting lines. Midway through I thought about trying a black weft and brown horse hair then decided I liked the white better.

When I took the warp off, there wasn’t time to cut so I just pinned it up on my wall–then I thought I liked it the way it was–with none of them cut apart.

So much for planning. that’s the way I like to do it–try something I think will work and see what happens.  Then I said “Oh, that’s the way it is.”




Bookmark Hanging 1

A Favorite Weaving Technique

I’m back from Greece now and recovering from jet lag. I received this comment below about one of my tips which is one of my most favorite techniques: using the 2-stick heading. I use it so often that I don’t think I could weave without using it. Most of my recent art pieces are small and I do a lot of experimenting so I cut off pieces as they are woven all the time.

“Thank you so much. I have some 42/2 linen and it is going slow. Long story short, I signed up for a towel exchange due on Saturday. I have a couple woven and needed to cut them off so I can get them hemmed. This worked SOOO slick!! Thank you, thank you thank you!” 

This is taken from my book, Weaving for Beginners, beginning on page 136.

The two-stick heading
This is a very useful heading. I have used it countless times. One reason is to
eliminate the knots on the apron rod so that the cloth rolls up without lumps
on the cloth beam. Another reason is so that you can cut off some of the cloth
before the whole warp has been completedly woven.
You need a pair of sticks that fit on your cloth beam and won’t interfere with
the ratchet.
They can be lease sticks, dowels, or metal rods. I prefer thin and lightweight
sticks rather than thick ones because they take up less warp and aren’t so bulky.

Two Stick Heading #1

Two Stick Heading #1

After you’ve woven the initial heading to spread out the warps (page 105)
(or at least 1″), insert a stick in one plain weave shed; insert another stick
in the next plain weave shed, and continue weaving for 1″, or so. See
Figure 307. The lease sticks will stay in place because they are woven in the cloth.

Two Stick Heading #2

Two Stick Heading #2

Release the tension on the warp, and carefully cut between the knots and the first inch of the heading that you wove. Leave both plain weave sections and the sticks attached to the loom!
Remember, you are cutting between the knots and the cloth which means only the knots are being cut off—the heading remains attached to the loom because it is part of the warp that is on the loom. Be careful not to cut the loom’s apron cords! See  Figure 308. (If you want fringe, see Figure 311).
The heading will be re-attached to the apron rod. See Figure 310. If the warp is sparse or slippery, put some white glue or tape on the cut edge to prevent the heading from unraveling or the warp threads from pulling the heading out when the warp is back on tension.


Two Stick Heading #3

Two Stick Heading #3

Fold the first stick, with the first inch of the heading, under the second stick and the
second inch of the heading. See Figure 309.





Two Stick Heading #4

Two Stick Heading #4

Tie the two folded sticks across the front apron rod at 3″ intervals. Make the ties
strong by doubling a sturdy but not fat string. Use a tapestry needle to go through
the cloth and around the rod. Make the first tie in the center of the warp to hold the
sticks stable. You might find it easier if you wind up the cloth apron until the apron rod is resting on the breast beam. Then pull the heading sticks (and the warp) forward to the apron rod and tie them to it, while steadying them on the breast beam. Put the knots on the front edge of the apron rod so you won’t make lumps with the ties. See Figure 310.
Begin weaving again. The warp tension remains unchanged; since the heading
sticks were woven in with the warp on tension before the knots were cut off, all
the threads remain evenly tensioned as you resume.
If you want fringe, untie the knots instead of cutting them off and fold the
sticks as above. Then smoothly fold back the unknotted warp threads as well as
the heading.

Cutting Off As You Go

Cutting Off As You Go

Another situation: Cutting off the cloth as you go
You can cut off pieces as you weave them; it’s not necessary to wait until the
entire warp is used up before cutting off the fabric. The headings and two sticks
save precious warp because you don’t need to tie the warps back on to the
apron rod.
When you’re ready to cut off a length of cloth, make the complete 2-stick
heading just as above. (Weave 1″ of plain weave, insert 2 sticks into the next
two plain weave sheds, and weave one inch more. That’s the complete heading.
You do not leave any space between the cloth and the heading—you’ll just cut
the cloth and heading apart.
Cut between the cloth and the first inch of the heading you wove, leaving the
complete heading attached to the loom. See Figure 311. Remove the cloth from
the front apron rod. Fold the two sticks, and tie them to the apron rod, as above.

Weaving Again after Months!

Rose Hips Collapse

[ click to enlarge ]

I finally got to the loom this week after months of distractions. There were lots of ideas in my head, but not a specific one to start on. I saw the rose hips on my desk where I left them months ago so I thought to put some in the new weaving. At the loom, I decided to wet the pice and see how the “cloth” would collapse. Here is the result. I had thought of removing the headings and rag weft, but am thinking that’s part of it so I’ll keep them for awhile.
The background cloth is from a coat that came from  the San Francisco Opera costume sale last week (the first in five years). Rumor has it that one of the divas wore it in the opera, Mary Magdelin, performed last season. It’s monumental–probably a foot too long and weighs a ton but I think it’s beautiful–the cut and the fabrics. Notice the gathers on the sleeves–a great idea to shorten them without cutting anything. I have a gorgeous Afghan coat with very long sleeves. I’m going to try this on it. I see there is a gros grain ribbon (1″ wide”) inside the sleeve that is hand stitched to the cloth to gather it up. The ribbon adds the support needed.

[ click to enlarge ]

Hooray! I Got into the Show!

Four Veils (detail) click to enlarge

Four Veils (detail)
Peggy Osterkamp
click to enlarge

I just found out that my Four Veils were accepted in the big, big Textile Society of America juried exhibition which is in conjunction with TSA’s first ever New Directions Symposium in LA in September! Hooray! Only 19 works were selected from 400 entries! This is a very big thing–the jurors were the top of the line (Gerhardt Knodel, Matilda McQuaid, Carol Shaw Sutton, and Tali Weinberg) and the entries were from textile artists who have exhibited regularly. I hope this will be the beginning of a new phase where my work is shown in more galleries. Please see a video on how I make the ruffles.

Four Veils - Peggy Osterkamp > click to enlarge

Four Veils – Peggy Osterkamp > click to enlarge

Putting My Color Class to Work

Blue Scarf on JacketLast weekend I bought this gorgeous blue scarf made by the artist, Jean Cacicedo of Berkeley, Ca. Then I couldn’t decide what to wear with it. I painted these samples to see what I liked and what I had in my closet. I love the yellow-green, but don’t own anything that color. The reds I have and found this red jacket. It’s much bolder than anything I usually wear so the color class is making an impression. I never really liked the red in the jacket until now that it has its blue scarf around the neck.

Yet Another Color Class

Peggy Osterkamp’s color class watercolor – click to enlarge

I’m taking a color class for ordinary people in an Osher Lifetime Learning class at Sonoma State. It’s mainly for people to be able to put colors together in their own lives–clothes, furnishings, etc. I’ve taken dozens of color classes and hoped this would help mesh all the rules I’ve learned. It has. The teacher is a quilter but she knows how to teach people who have no innate talent for color. Last week we talked about Intensity–and its two aspects. Saturation is how much dye there is (weak or strong) and also how “clean or dirty” the color is.

The page from a book by Gunta Stolzl that I used as my example - click to enlarge

The page from a book by Gunta Stolzl that I used as my example – click to enlarge

When everyone else in the world was watching the Super bowl I went to my studio and tried to paint light colors (unsaturated) as well as a little bit “muddy”–not kindergarten colors. It was fun. I found a page to copy in a book by Gunta Stolzl. It was a challenge to try to mix my paint to match her colors. You can see I didn’t get nearly light enough. Oh well, the next time. My next assignment to myself is to try different values of colors mixed with their complements. She didn’t use the word complements but said they were mixtures of the other 2 primaries. These should be neutrals or colors that are not easy to name.

Peggy’s Weaving Snippets in CD Cases

CD Case 1

CD Case 3My holiday gift shopping is done! My first weaving teacher told us to keep every scrap weever wove. I sort of have–at least saved the sheer scraps I’ve woven. I put them in CD cases and voila!  I like to have the pieces seen from the front and the back so you can see through them, but you could put a paper behind them as a mat. I found an inexpensive easel. They can stand alone or be hung on a nail on the wall.

CD Case 2


Another Weaving Tour – This Time to Italy!

In a little over a week I’m going to Italy on a Textile Society of America tour: Velvet in Italy: Florence, Zoagli, Venice. We are going to see ateliers where they are handweaving velvet on huge, old looms.

Seems like there are always tons of things to do to get ready for a trip. I’m ticking off my lists every day. I’m working on getting photos of my work on my mini iPad to show people I encounter on the tour.
iPad Translation App
Today I mastered the use of this iPad app translator.   I can speak English and hear the Italian translation. How neat is that?

Velvet Weaving > click to enlarge

Velvet Weaving
> click to enlarge

Here is a picture of the velvet piece I wove after the class with our tour leader, Barbara Setsu Pickett in 2006. We made our loops with 2 brass bars and cut the loops using a blade passing between the two bars. I loved playing with cut and uncut areas and voided velvet areas where all the pile threads were incorporated into the foundation.

My Rose Hips in a Frame

Weaving with Rose Hips #2 - Peggy Osterkamp > click to enlarge

Weaving with Rose Hips #2 – Peggy Osterkamp
> click to enlarge

Here is one of my rose hips pieces in its frame. The frame is deep and I think the almost white mat and the narrow black frame really enhance the piece. Now it really looks like something where before it was just a piece of fabric that I held in my hands. I especially like the shadows the stems make.

Sheer Silk Weaving on a Monk’s Prayer

Weaving and japanese page
This is my first piece using one of the books I got in Japan. It is falling apart, so I don’t worry about taking pages from it. I understand it is a book of Monks’ prayers—or it may be just one prayer, I don’t know. I used two adjacent pages for this piece.

I wanted to show how sheer my pieces are. There are two that overlap in the center. The top piece was partially wetted to collapse. The upper part shows how it was woven.

Creating Again: Finally

Pieces on Blue Runner

> click to enlarge

I haven’t created anything since before my trip to Japan in May. In June I had a knee replacement—so finally, I got into my studio yesterday to play around. I’ve been wanting to use scraps of my sheer fabric, but not sure what I would do. I played around, wanting to show how transparent the pieces are. I pinned them up on my wall where my blue table runner was hanging to see what my composition was like. It really looked good on the runner, so I sewed the pieces in place with a few tiny stitches. I had to use the thread I wove them with because sewing thread was too heavy.

I have loved this runner for a long time—finally it can be shown. (It did win a competition many years ago and was in an international show.)

It’s woven with two linen warps used together as one in a dense, warp faced twill. I ironed it very flat using a rolling pin on a breadboard when it was damp from the washing machine. I think you can see the flattened threads when you click to enlarge. I was inspired by Lia Cook’s flattened textiles she made years ago. I think I made this in 1982. (Yikes! That’s over 30 years ago!) It was to be for my mother-in-law but I knew she wouldn’t appreciate it so I never gave it to her!

Loot from Japan #2

Japanese Books
I found two old books in a book store in an arcade in Kyoto, I think, and I loved the first one I saw because of the beautiul worm holes that were in the pages. Then I found some more at another book store in Tokyo. I had begun thinking of using the glorious pages for mounting my sheer weavings on. The thick book is a collection of accounting books bound together and came from the Kyoto flea marke. There are hundreds of beautiful pages. I don’t know if I dare take any pages out, but I might. They are wonderful to look at as is. (I don’t know if they are right-side-up or nort in the photo.)

Peggy’s Weaving Studio Update

Peggy Osterkamp’s Weaving Studio

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.
[click first photo for slideshow]

Weaving with Rose Canes

Rose Canes Woven in Silk Peggy Osterkamp - click to enlarge

Rose Canes Woven in Silk
Peggy Osterkamp
– click to enlarge

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.

Woven Bookmarks by Peggy Osterkamp

Woven Bookmarks  - Peggy Osterkamp - click to enlarge

Woven Bookmarks
– Peggy Osterkamp
– click to enlarge

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.

My New Weaving (part 2)

Peggy Osterkamp - Rose Buds - click to enlarge

Peggy Osterkamp – Rose Buds – click to enlarge

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.

Peggy Osterkamp Pomegranet Twigs - click to enlarge

Peggy Osterkamp
Pomegranet Twigs
– click to enlarge

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.

My New Weaving (part 1)

Rose Hips 2

Peggy Osterkamp – Rose Hips – click to enlarge

Moire with Rose Hips - click to enlarge

Peggy Osterkamp – Moire with Rose Hips
– click to enlarge

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.

My Thoughts about Color Wheels

screenshot.02-04-2013 15.43.36A 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 screenshot.02-04-2013 15.44.02showing 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

 That’s how you get nice interesting colors that don’t look like kindergarten colors.screenshot.02-04-2013 15.48.20

 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 screenshot.02-04-2013 15.49.00better 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”

A New Wrinkle for My Ruffles

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).

Peggy Osterkamp's Sculptural Ruffle [click to enlarge]

Peggy Osterkamp’s Sculptural Ruffle
[click to enlarge]

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.

Peggy Osterkamp's Pedistal Ruffle [click to enlarge]

Peggy Osterkamp’s Pedistal Ruffle
[click to enlarge]

My New Knitting Project


from "Ori Ami Knits" © 2010 Vanessa Yap-Einbund [click to enlarge]

from “Ori Ami Knits”
© 2010 Vanessa Yap-Einbund
[click to enlarge]

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.