Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back after six months

Though I started this update in May, health and a preference for weaving over writing when energy is scarce, is my excuse.

     A New York kind of Spring
Buffalo has a vibrant weaving guild and lucky me had an invitation to ‘play’ Lustrous Linens Workshop with them in April. I believe every participant courageously tried the live weight tension on their warps and LIKED the results. One glorious perk of teaching is being a guest in a weaver’s home. Suanne lives in an historic and glorious condo. I saw her textile treasures, neighborhood redbuds in rampant bloom, Niagra Falls at its outrageous roaring best, and traveled through rural Ontario in spring-bud.

An ancient redbud in Buffalo

Rural Ontario woven brick lace

The Thousand Islands Arts Center Weaving History Conference (weekend after mother’s Day) was a special treat, first, because after a 5 hour drive, I was chauffeured across Ontario. I spun miles of Jacobs grey with my Hansen Crafts mini-Spinner, enjoyed some good conversation with Bob and Martha Reeves, and even got a nap - none of which happens when I drive alone. Thousand Islands Arts Center is a beautiful facility in historic Clayton on the St. Lawrence River, with an ambitious mission to maintain research collections of some of the best of North America’s handweavers. The 2012 Weaving History Conference brought me face to face with Nell Znamierowski, a venerable weaver who was making weaving history in the 60's when I was a beginning weaver, and with Ruth Holroyd, another weaving great, the rescuer and preserver of the Jacob Angstadt weaving records. There were other VIP weavers and researchers, all making for an exciting and rewarding first-time attendance. My little programs on Double-harness weaving without the drawloom and Primitive inspired techniques for modern looms were well-attended with many good questions.

Bead-leno specialist Martha Reeves presented the Thousand Islands Arts Center collection of fine Tarascan Lace, a patterned type of leno.

Gardening is a must when the weather is good and I wove some cedar branch fencing to help keep the deer and rabbits out, though I don’t expect to slow down the bear that climbed 12 steps to our deck the day after my return from Clayton.

The ‘table loom’ I use for weaving fence

The tools I use for weaving fence

A couple sections of cedar fencing is serving temporary duty in an installation, accepted into the local juried show, along with a couple other pieces. An honor to be accepted and submitting is part of a continuing campaign to get textiles viewed as artistic statements.
...But you can’t take the weaver out of the potter

Rugfight at the Old Cedar Corral

Pure Michigan Glitz - a frame-up at the Besser Museum Juried Show

 In August a guild mate and I took advantage of a Rep Weave workshop offered at Janny Simpson’s (of Connecticut) new summer teaching studio in Northern Michigan. The Weaving Barn at Lynn Lake is a beautiful setting and we had a stimulating study with Lucienne Coifman - also of Connecticut. Rep weave is a technique I relish but use seldom.

The runner I wove on the end of my workshop warp has Morag’s approval.


The Complex Weaver’s Seminars in D.C. was exciting on many levels. Leading two seminars was an honor but participating in the informal fashion show and getting to touch Lillian Whipple’s silk rep cloak was perhaps the highlight, especially as I was fresh from a coarse-cotton rep.


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