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.