I began weaving with the rose bush canes today. I had to wait until I could borrow good leather gloves and clippers. I’m pleased with this first piece. The canes will dry and it will be interesting to see what happens. Already I see that they are drawing in the cloth as they dry. What fun!
I want to weave in rose thorns in the sewing thread warp. I got the idea in the night Sunday. On Monday I asked when the men were coming to prune the rose bushes in the gardens where I live. They came the next day. I went down and gathered the rose canes before breakfast.
I’m thinking of weaving them in on the top similar to the horse hair pieces I showed in a post recently. In my area, January is when the big pruning takes place. I thought I’d mention it in case anyone else wants to get a supply before it’s too late.
I keep wanting to show how transparent the sewing thread cloth is. The circles are in pockets–in a sandwich between the two layers of double weave cloth. I like to make the two layers when I want to open up the sett (ends per inch). Ask me what the circles are–I wonder if anyone can figure them out.
Here is another weaving from the sewing thread warp. There is a lot of warp left and I hope to keep making more and more pieces. I wanted to have lush horsehair on the cloth. I love the color of the horsehair.
Here’s a new weaving from the sewing thread warp. I used horse hair in the center. I hope to do more with the horse hair–it is a beautiful color–I’d like to make it lush the next time.
The weaving is sheer–I wanted to show that so I ruffled up the cloth so you could see through it.
Right now it’s still pinned to the wall and can’t stand alone yet. We’ll see what happens when it gets finished.
I’ve played with weaving with marl yarns over the years. A marl yarn is made by twisting a dark and a light thread together to use as a single weft. Which way you twist makes a difference in the look. I made two shuttles–each one twisted in the opposite direction (S&Z). I alternated the two shuttles in the sections here (A).
This is meant to be one of my “pages” in my Pages Series. Interesting how the diagonals are stronger when looking at the side of the cloth–and how it looked on the loom (B).
You can see how I had to practice to accomplish what I wanted (C).
I might not cut the two apart–maybe some won’t turn into pages at all (D). Putting a group of them together really looked interesting. I might mount them that way. Who knows? I’ve got lots more ideas. I just need the time.
I’ve been weaving the sewing thread warp. My idea is to weave small pieces that remind me of pages in books. I won’t make books, but show just these “pages”. It’s such fun to see what I can do with only 4 shafts. The warp is 10 shades/colors of sewing thread. I think the sett is 60 epi. I can weave it as a single layer at 60 epi or as a tube at 30 epi. This really gives me flexibility.The supplementary warp is threaded between the heddles so it doesn’t take any shafts. I just put the shuttle below it in the shed when I want it to show on the top. I can have it on the back or in the middle, too.
What fun! Here is the first one and a group of four. I’m tempted to show the spools of threads again to show the colors I’m working with.
The wavy weft cloth turned out interesting, but nothing special. I made it into a ruffle collar–sort of like a ruff.
Just after I sat down to weave the cloth for my new ruffle, another good idea came. The scrap of paper with the idea is on the top of my desk now–on top of many previous idea-scraps. This one is for a ruffle, too. But I’m thinking if I use a soft, supple weft, I can “ruffle it up” warp-wise and weft-wise. I tried it on my last wavy weft sample and think it definitely has possibilities. The warp is linen but I think it will still bunch up nicely.
I’m working yet again on a fiber optics project. I’ve woven two new pieces to take care of the glitches (I dearly hope) in the one shown here. the glitch is that it didn’t light up enough. My collaborator, Rob Suttman, and I went to visit a geek last week. We decided we need stronger LEDs and will go to an electronics shop this week. That’s the next step. It’s just step-by-step at this point. I hope to have it working for our weaving conference (CNCH) in May. The topic is tradition/innovation. I have my fingers crossed that we can make something wonderful that will light up in interesting ways.
I’ve had my work photographed recently and over the years and am working now on a book like a portfolio–sort of like a retrospective. Organizing the photos was the job for today–a big one. It will be hard to cull them because they are all my “babies”. The photographs look wonderful and I’d love to be able to include them all. The next job: titles. My thinking is to make a few copies that I will sell at cost. It’s really a way to see what I’ve done over time.
I made the picture horizontal–a big achievement for me, and a thrill!
Here’s the piece I’m putting in the show as it should be.
This is my first ruffle, maybe a year or two “old”. Today a special friend held it horizontally–it looked fabulous! I’m thrilled to be entering it in an exhibit where there will be mostly painters. I think it will hold its own in the show. There will be 144 pieces. I’ll keep you posted. Be sure to look at it horizontally (turn it 90 degrees).
More from Katie: “Also wondering, what is your inspiration for your pieces? I searched around on your blog and found beautiful work but couldn’t find how you had decided to use certain colors or what motivated you to do certain pieces.”
Usually my inspiration comes from what I am trying to accomplish. For the silk pieces (see the gallery) I wanted to see if I could create sheer cloth. I found the fine, fine silk on spools in my stash. They were easier to use than the silk skeins I had. Then I made several more warps with that silk after accomplishing the sheer that I wanted. I also tried to create moire. Now that the skeins are on spools, I want to work with them.
Often it’s the threads that I want to see what I can do with–or a weave structure. I wove many collapse and supplementary warp pieces, for example.
I like to get started on an experiment and see what inspiration then comes from within. I love it when an idea comes from inside my body. Often ideas start in my head, then the body comes in when I’m least expecting it.
My sewing thread piece is off the loom and ready for action. Here is a detail. There are so many ways to manipulate the piece that I’m letting it marinate awhile (if you know what I mean). The hand is very nice and there is a lot of transparent area–all this pleases me. Stay tuned.
I’ll be teaching 2 seminars at the Northern California Handweavers Conference next spring (May 18-20, 2012) at the Oakland Convention Center. One subject is collapse weave–a technique I love and have experimented with a lot. Here are a couple of pieces mounted in plexi shadow boxes.
Pink Creature has been in a previous blog. Do a Search for it on the home page.