Thursday, August 6, 2009

Folk School class draws near!

My preparations for the class at John Campbell Folk School next week are drawing to a close--have to, since there are only three days remaining before I leave!

Things get pretty hectic around the studio when I'm getting ready for a class--no time to sort and arrange... just work and leave things where they fall... including one lamp that I managed to break while adjusting it to get better light on a piece while weaving. Its carcass is sort of visible next to my chair--amazing how thin, cheap metal can just snap in two when forced in a direction it doesn't want to go!

I've been weaving new samples to take to this class--for several reasons. One major reason is that I needed to empty my looms for the class--I have twelve people signed up, plus I'll need a couple of demo looms for both my assistant, Meredith, and me. So I must have 14 naked looms on Sunday. As I frequently put warps on frame looms as demonstration pieces and then don't complete the weavings right away (like maybe within the year) I sometimes have five or six frame looms tied up with partly woven pieces. I don't like to simply cut off a few inches of weaving and waste rest of the warp. Eventually I complete the piece--really, some of them after several years time. So now was the time to complete those "ghost" weavings that have been sitting around the studio.

A second purpose for doing new samples was to take photos of stages of various techniques for my handout revision.

This is a detail of joining wefts.

Table full of assorted samplers--six of the small ones are newly birthed this week.

Luckily I completed the handout revision and got to the print shop at the university yesterday--I'd forgotten summer graduation is tomorrow and the print shop had the 1800 + programs to print for the event. My 15 copies were able to be squeezed in before that madness began!

More work today includes making my list and checking it twice while I continue to fill boxes and stack them in the front room, ready to throw into the car on Sunday morning and head north. So off to do it!

Later today...I'm adding a few more photos of what I'm working on today while thinking about what should go on the infamous list. This is a piece that's sampling various eccentric weft methods, including wedge weave and Silvia Heyden's "half-rounds" --I'm doing it on the opposite end of a demo piece that was used last at the Tapestry Weaver South exhibit in Asheville in 2007. The demo piece allowed children to work on a tapestry but only a few lines and shapes had been woven when I brought the loom home after the last demonstration session. I finished it off as a simple geometric house and landscape, since that seemed to be what was suggested by what had been done.

The loom sat around with the rest of the warp in place since I didn't want to cut it off with so much warp remaining--good example of one of the ghost weavings that I mentioned earlier in this post.

Last summer I took the loom to Asheville when I was demonstrating at the Southern Highland Craft Guild Fair. Again I allowed a few children to work on the warp; this time we used yellow and red in a section a few inches above the little house tapestry.

As I started the eccentric weft sampling last Sunday, working from the opposite end to what had been woven, I decided to try to move the few inches of yellow and red down the warp and incorporate it into what I was working on. It took some manipulating but I was able to shift the weft down and fit it around what was in place. So the bright area of yellow and red running across the sample came from that shifting, working in a curving edge around what was there.

Now these two pieces are almost ready to be cut off of this loom... just a bit more to weave to end the last of this sample. Now, where's the paper to start that list?!?


  1. Hi Tommye!

    Seems I'm surfacing for air just as you are about to dive in! I have been enjoying seeing the progress in your latest tapestry & can feel your excitement as you get ready for your class. Here's wishing you happy planning, packing, teaching, & safe journeys there & back!


  2. Thanks, Lyn!
    Just took a look at your slide show of from the conference--thanks for sending the link to the tapestry list to those.

  3. I love the idea of turning the loom over. That had not occured to me and gave me a DUH! moment. That's great! 12 people for the class and an assistant - that's exciting! have a great week!

  4. Yep, turn it over and "burn your candle at both ends!"

  5. Enjoy the class. I know your students will. my duh moment was looking at your weft joining picture. I don't know why I have been making it so hard, Guess i should have asked you in the first place...heh heh

  6. Sue... glad the weft-joining photo "clicked!"
    I've got the car almost packed... hoping for the best for all of us next week!!!

  7. you are so cool! i just LOVE reading your blog. -- juliet