Estate Sale Goodies: From the Estate of Barbara Shawcroft

Introduction:
Barbara Shawcroft was a textile artist in the 60’s and onward. She collected wonderful things during her life. The sale of her things attracted the heavy-duty textile people in the Bay Area. It started at 9:00 on Friday. I went with a friend at noon. By then the rush was over and what they missed was left to be discovered. What I missed were many fabulous pieces.

This is a bag from Uzbekistan. The inside fabric is Russian and much sought after. So brilliant the colors.


Here is the bag closed. Have you ever seen red and green so nicely together? The braid trim and long tie add tiny details.


A furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth). I never have enough of these. The Japanese use them to carry things and wrap gifts. I have small to really big ones. What makes this one interesting is that the color in each quarter is different, so can be wrapped in different ways for different looks. This one is about a yard square.


The furoshiki opened out flat. Notice the iridescence especially in the purple quadrant. It comes from the warp and weft being different colors. This piece was woven this way with the color’s crossings in mind.


A genuine Barbara Shawcroft work. She also made huge balls and huge people. Her huge creation, “Legs” hung in one of the Embarcadero Center buildings for many years. It was originally yellow so when they took it down it was pretty dirty and discolored. My ball is about 18” in diameter. The more I ponder it, the happier I am that the early mob left it behind.


A simple basket that is quite lovely.


 A short Japanese kimono (Haori jacket?). The stencil printed sleeves are a beautiful addition to the blue and white kasuri pattern. All cotton. Very wearable.


I think this was a futon cover. It is made of double ikat squares and stenciled squares. A find.


A close-up of the futon cover. Perfection!


Much More Inspiration at the Kay Sekimachi Show, BAMPH, Berkeley, Calif. (ends October 24, 2021)

Introduction:
This is my 4th post about the work of Kay Sekimachi. The others were on June 21, 2021, September 16, 2014, and September 17, 2014. On July 30, I paid my third visit to the exhibition, and I have another one scheduled.  The Textile Arts Council of the DeYoung Museum organized a visit to the show with Kay there to answer questions and receive our adoration.

In the June post, I showed what caught my eye at first. This time here are more subtle pieces that inspire me.

Aka/Kuro II, 2007. Polyester, linen; plain and twill weaves, painted warp, wood dowels, gesso. 38.75” x 5.5”.  Kay calls this one of her scrolls. She has more on the loom at the moment but hasn’t gotten to it in a while. It is stunningly gorgeous and simple.


Detail of above.


Rouge et Noir, 2007. Linen, dye, and lucite. 28 ¾ » x 6 ¾”.


Detail. I love the red at the corner.


Another detail. Notice the care taken at the hem.


Homage to Agnes Martin. Approx.. 12” x 12”. Linen, textile dye, permanent marker. There are several of these pieces. This time I really noticed the subtleties in the painting.


Notice the care in presentation. The linen is stretched over a board and framed with a reveal. There are several of these variations in the show.


Another detail of the frame and more subtilties.


A Weaver’s Weaver: Kay Sekimachi

I love this box. One day when I was naïve and in a workshop with Kay Sekimachi, she told us how she wove it. Now it is in a fantastic solo show, and I want to weave it. I must not have thought it was very tricky at the time, because I cannot find her instructions.


The top and bottom add to the mystery. We know she had 8 shafts.


Also in the exhibition is this book. Looks simple. Maybe it is and maybe not. It needs some thinking about.


She made several of these “books” and I have one. This is a painting that she did that she transferred to the warp for the design for a book similar to mine.


Another box with another treatment for the top.


Another box which looks like warp ikat. I think maybe she transferred the black onto the warp rather than regular ikat. Similar to the books.


There are several of these magnificent beauties in the show. This is called Amiyose III. To get the black monofilament, Kay used Rit dye. I’ve gone twice with weavers and there is a lot to ponder and wonder about.


Details:
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) ends October 24. Don’t miss it! Plan a trip to San Francisco and take a day in Berkeley. $10 each. Reservations required AHEAD OF TIME.


Blue Descending a Staircase: From One Layer to Nine – Woven by Peggy Osterkamp

Introduction:
I’m thinking of posting interesting double woven pieces for some future posts. Interspersed might be my dye project progress. I feel swamped thinking about the June 16 deadline.

I wove this piece quite a few years ago out of cotton sewing thread. It began at the top with weaving the warp in a single layer. Then I opened it up to 3 layers, then to 2 layers. Then I decided to make as many layers as I could given the width and density of the warp. This was based on the idea of weaving double weave like a “Kleenex box” with an opening in the center of the warp and the edges like the edges of a tube.


Here is what the warp looked like when woven as a single layer. I put the red stripe in so I would know where the opening would be.


My Own Fine Weaving

Introduction:
Now that life is getting busier, I’m planning to post less often. Maybe weekly or so. I want to get to my looms and experiment and do some fine weaving again. And I have a dye project I want to start. If you still need something to have breakfast with, try reading the posts I began a year ago when the pandemic began. I still love getting comments.

This is my 125 ends per inch silk weaving. I had big plans, but it was almost a “dog on the loom”. I wanted sheer fabric and I didn’t want to beat in the wefts too hard. I wove a double weave tube so there would be more resistance on the beater to prevent beating too hard and still be sheer. A tube meant only one shuttle, of course. I made so many threading errors, I thought I had lost my mind! It’s really not hard to thread so many ends when the cross is right there to guide you. Sometimes I crossed threads and sometimes it was in the heddles. I already had made several fine silk tubes before at 96 epi. This shouldn’t have been so difficult. I’ve got more  fine silk threads from Junco Sato Pollack so am eager to weave them up.


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The weaving went terribly with a huge number of stops and starts to correct broken or mis-threaded ends. I properly repaired many threads and replaced many warp threads with colored sewing threads so I could see what I was doing. I had to throw away a lot but managed to get 40” woven as a tube.


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After the 40” I decided to just weave off what I had left and not bother with corrections. I managed to get a hanging out of it. It hangs in front of an ikat hanging I got in Okinawa.


In the end, I gave up weaving the sheer cloth and decided to just weave off whatever I had left of the warp. Probably the warp was on the loom a few months before I made up my mind to get it off. I wove the layers separately.


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I used the handspun cotton from Bhutan for the weft.


I couldn’t snug up the wefts at the selvedges so just let the wefts all hang out.


The handspun cotton on the fine silk. I think it looks OK. I do like where the cloth splits into the two layers and divides to hang on either side of the “single layer” the tube.


Scrolls Project Ending!

Introduction:

I began making scrolls a year ago. Now I’ve made 55 or more scrolls in four collections. The first was dyed linens, the other three about putting texties together. The first two collections were in two shows in the gallery where I live. The last two groups I’m photographing now and are in this and some future posts. I must admit everything in the last half of the project has its art pinned onto the background fabrics! It’s like they are the first drafts to me.

This is a shibori hankie I dyed and gave as gifts on one of my trips to Japan. One man immediately put it in his shirt pocket which was fun. The background is a piece of a kimono found at a flea market in Japan. The narrow width tells us it was part of the collar/borders on the front. It is precisely done double ikat. That’s why the pieces were saved.


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I folded the cloth then wrapped it on a pole for the resist. It was then dyed in indigo. The folding I did after taking a workshop in shadow folds with Chris Palmer at Slow Fiber Studios in Berkeley. I used silk handkerchiefs from Dharma Trading Co.


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I wove the background with a deflected double weave recipe some of my weaving friends were doing. It’s from the book, Double Weave with a Twist. The square you may remember from a Chines boutique. I love the stitching, so this is a way for me to get to enjoy it rather than have it stuck in a drawer or under a mug.


This shows the stitched piece. There are layers of cloth. Ms. He Haiyan, in her boutiques in Beijing and Shanghai, uses scraps for lots of lovely projects and keeps her sewers busy. You may remember the post, “More Ideas for Projects” November 15, 2020.


1. I did the shibori
2. I dyed the background black walnuts
3. Close up of bag on previous scroll. I love it. The squares are the skins of cocoons from tent worms or something similar from Japan. I also have an obi made of them. And a collection of them framed.
4. I dyed the scarf. The purple is an old piece. The dye precious.

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Both are felt pieces I made on cloths with heavy indigo coating (I think).

This is another felt piece on the indigo background. By mistake I ironed on the fusible lining on the front side late last night. I quick went to th internet for how to get it off. Steam and a press cloth. I was desperate. It didn’t come off but I decided it was interesting with the press cloth wrinkled up when I pulled it off. Thank goodness I was using a scrap of the interfacing so some of the original pattern of the indigo coated cloth was still visible. Whew!! If I had more cloth I might try it again. Or on something else. How ideas are born I guess.


Playing with Light: Now You See It; Now You Don’t

Playing with warp wise and weft wise orientation


Introduction:
I began this project maybe 1 ½ years ago. Had the inspiration, almost finished it. Then it got buried on my worktable. I had just gotten my 12-shaft dobby from my dear friend, Jan Langdon, before she died of ALS. I wanted to use all the shafts to make a 12-shaft satin. Then I wanted to gradually in steps go from weft face satin to warp face. That would be 1/11 (1shaft up and 11 down=warp face on one side and weft face on the other) to 2/10, to 3/9, to 4/8, etc. ending with 11/1 (11 shafts up and 1 down). It was interesting but didn’t turn out to be attractive. I’d been playing with dyed silks, cutting squares and playing with how the light affected them whether they were oriented with the warp direction up or turned 90 degrees. So I decided to cut up my fabric into squares and see what I could do.

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Depending on how you look at this, the border is darker or lighter. I put the warp faced squares on the border with the warp going horizontally. All the middle squares were oriented with warp wise going vertically.


Here the same piece when I walked to the other side of it to take the picture.


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These were on white warp working sequentially from weft face to warp face. I started with canvases I bought at an art supply store. They are 16” x 20”. I covered them with a gray linen that I had. I do love the surface of a nice linen.


I couldn’t bear to throw out the scraps! For a long time I’ve toyed with the idea of making a mosaic out of small pieces.


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Now my dilemma: what shall I do with the leftover squares?


Before cutting anything, I ironed this double stick adhesive on the back. Then I cut the strips using a rotary cutter, and finally cut the strips into squares. To adhere them to the backing, you pull off the paper backing to expose the adhesive and iron the pieces down.