Thursday, June 20, 2013

ANWG Conference 2013

I am in Bellingham, WA on Western Washington University campus at the 2013 NW Weavers Conference. I am tired! But it is fun. I have met some great people sharing what they know with in the weaving world, and already learned quite a bit from my first class.
In this class with Kay Faulkner, we are learning sotis, the West Timor name of a warp faced weave structure she found on textiles from southeast Asia. It has a nice pebbled surface, like the more familiar Andean pebble weave. In order to translate this traditionally backstrap woven structure to a multi-shaft loom, it requires is a fairly complex warping sequence, as well and doubled and trebled threads in the heddles. As it is warp faced, it is also quite yarn intensive. I am weaving at 96 epi!
Actually, I am not weaving yet- that starts today. So I have no pictures to share. But I do have a picture of the view from the cafeteria here on this lovely campus.

The vendor and guild booths and juried shows open today, so I will have LOTS of pictures in the next post. Including a bit of what I have been doing. And I am here until Sunday.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Some tools

I have less than twelve hours to complete my papers and portfolio for the end of this school year, so I thought I would distract myself and post pictures here!
There are some tools I made during spring quarter, things to help me in weaving.

First is a nice long wooded hook, useful for triangle loom weaving.
Second is an extra long, double ended sleying hook / reed hook made of brass.
Third is a set of wheels (rollerskates!) for my Harrisville floor loom.

Now, I must get back to editing the final papers. And self evaluation. Gah.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

   In keeping with my tradition of forgetting to post things, I have forgotten to post pictures from Winter Quarter. I may remember to post pictures of completed work at some point, but we are halfway through Spring Quarter now! 
   I am not in any assigned studio practice this quarter. Instead, I am working on two internships. The primary internship has me working in the Archives at Evergreen, which is fascinating, to say the least! I am processing and sorting the papers of an anthropologist who taught here, and is still working in the area. I am also working with the Olympia Weavers Guild doing photo documentation variety of archival work, so it is related. Explaining it all sounds exhausting, so I will leave it at that. But I am earning a full load in just this archival practices internship. 
   I also have a number of projects in the works personally, and I have made it into both the metals studio and ceramics studio, plus pulling together some tools in the wood shop. I ought to pull together all the practical things I have made this quarter for a photo shoot too.
   By the way, the number of books for the quarter: 22. That sounds exhausting too. So to avoid both exhausting issues, which I brought up, here are some pretty pictures from the beach. (It was over 80 degrees out this weekend, so we ran away.)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter quarter 2013, metal smithing

At school, the Winter quarter of 2013, my program has me in the fine metals studio, as I was a couple years ago. I am learning new things, and building on skills with every day I work in here. Fine metals is much more interesting and appealling to me than I believed it would be.
During this middle portion of the quarter I am focused on learning the fundamentals of Smithing. Basically, that is hammering metal into a shape. Think Paul Revere, the silversmith. But silver is ridiculously expensive, so we use copper. I have done some minor hammer shaping in the past, but this time she has us starting a bit deeper into the process.

First: take a sheet of copper. In our instance, it is 12 gauge, or about 3/8 inch thick.

But to get to that nice circle, you have to cut it out of a larger sheet. With a teensy-tiny jeweler's blade. (I know, there must be something easier. But we are learning all the steps. Charming, no?)

Then you make the metal nice and soft, by heating it up.

Then you hit it with a hammer. A lot. Over and over.

Then you heat again. And hit some more. And repeat. After a few rounds of this, that nice flat sheet looks like this.

Eventually, the nice sheet of metal will grow up into a bowl like my classmate's here. And my arm will fall off. But it is fun, I promise!

I hope to have a finished smithed object to share sometime within the month. LOL

Scarf for my grandmother

Just a quick snap of a scarf I pulled together at the last minute yesterday so that I could gift my grandmother on her 90th birthday. Because obviously, I didn't have enough time to prepare ahead of time. But who needs sleep!
The warp is a very soft wool/silk. I got it in a brown-bag swap, so I am not sure of the actual type, but I would bet on it being a Jagggerspun. It was 12 wpi, and I set it at 12 epi. The weft is a curious yarn I found at Yarnia in Portland, OR. It is a ply of one strand cotton and three strands of rayon, resulting in a very loose, and shiny fiber. There was a tag inside from Brentwood Yarns, which I have found no information on. Oh well. It wove in like a thick and thin, resulting in some nice variation in this undulating twill.
I am sorry I didn't get more photos, but weaving a scarf all in one day, and staying up that late... Well, photography was not a priority! Lovely drape though.
This was the first time I did any weaving on my new-to-me Harrsiville loom. Delightful! She is an excellent little beastie. It will take me a few more warps to learn her likes and dislikes, and get familiar with the friction brake. I need to make a few things as well: a tray for the top to keep tools, some easy on/off wheels for when we go to classes. That sort of thing. But a wonderful first. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I seem to wander off for longer and longer periods. Oh well. I am still around, still making things. Just not documenting very well. I will have to post some photos from my Fall quarter when I was focused in the Ceramics studio. But for now, this is a picture of my first finished project for Winter quarter, where the focus is in the Fine Metals studio.

Amulet box, brass, agate.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tablet Weaving loom

I made a loom today :)
I have been planning on making a loom I can use specifically for tablet weaving (aka card weaving), but hadn't gotten around to it. But when I suddenly had a free hour this morning, I ran over to Hardel's Lumber and bought my stuff!
It took about an hour to put together, and its pretty simple. And pretty! The red is the natural color of this wood, padouk.
To make it, I had the shop cut me a piece three feet long, then had them take off four pieces from one end: two @ 1.5 inches wide and two @ 2 inches wide. The 2 inch wide pieces became the uprights the warp is stretched across. They are attached with screws to the base. The 1.5 inch wide pieces are laying flat at the ends, with the wingnuts and bolts, and are the tensioning devices.
I am sure I will discover some "should-haves" as I work on it, but the simplicity should work in my favor.
The work that is on right now is a piece I started in a class with Linda Hendrickson. It is destined to become a leash for my pug dog named Zaboo.
Here is a close up of the end so you can see the gorgeous color of the wood!

Total cost: $27, of which about half was the cost for the wood. A piece of nice strong maple or oak would have been less spendy. But pretty!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

And just because I took some pictures!

Here is my loom set up and working, with a pug in the background, of course.

And here is a bit of the overshot weaving I am working on. 

I forgot to post one of favorite things I made last year in my metals/printmaking program.  It is technically a bead, but it is large than the palm of my hand. 

This is a piece inspired by a spindle whorl and inspired by images and ideas associated with weaving from many cultures. The top is a stylized spider and the bottom is the plate I used to make the owl print in the last post. You can almost see the engraved owl in this bottom picture. The center post is not attached to the bead sides, allowing it to spin in my hands as I contemplate things.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Apparently I am neglecting this blog. So be it.
I will try to post a picture from time to time. If you have a question, feel free to email. :)
Mid quarter production check in for my Visual Studies program during Spring Quarter of 2012. Samples and trial weaving and unfinished pieces.
What has been happening? School.
And I moved. 
But mostly school. And weaving. I have been combining the two as well, getting credits in school for independent studies in weaving. I love that I get to study things I am actually interested in and get credit for it. What an idea!
Here are some pictures from my Fall/Winter 2010 printmaking & metals program:
intaglio print of an owl

Brass sleying hooks. The assignment was to make an art tool, so I played with the idea of "tool to make art" vs "tool as art".
Reduction woodcut of meadowlark

During Spring quarter of 2011, I was able to pursue independent studies in weaving. Specifically, I studied backstrap weaving, rigid heddle weaving, and tablet weaving. And I did a huge amount of work studying the history of weaving, especially what we know about its origins.
from my rigid heddle loom

a tablet woven band
During the Fall & Winter quarters of 2011, I took a program called Equatorial Studies, which focused on our ideas about the equatorial regions- peoples, creatures, energy issues, cultures and all sorts of interesting things. I was able to continue my weaving studies a bit during this time too, looking at cultural practices and techniques from a couple places in the tropics. I didn't do any production.
BUT- this spring quarter or 2012, I am working in an SOS (Student Originated Studies) Program in Visual Arts and I am focusing again on weaving, especially Overshot. I will have some completed projects to share. Some day. 
And that is my whole past couple years, minus the grueling moving and painting stories. (Just a hint of the grueling: Hand painting an entire house with rollers takes FOREVER!)