Sunday, April 3, 2011

In preparation for Southeast Fiber Forum next week ...

I'm tying up of loose ends... quite literally!  There are 15 people enrolled in the class (one of those is my teaching assistant) so I needed extra looms.  Last year someone borrowed one and hasn't yet returned it so I was short by four looms in my stock of Archie-style copper pipe looms I take to workshops ... of course, I would have been three short, if that loom had been on hand.  But when I looked around I saw that there were three looms with partly woven samplers in place and one of those had two of the short loom sides together--I could built two new long sides and I'd have not just four looms--but five!  Time to exorcise the ghosts on the looms!  (Are exorcisms done for ghosts or simply demons?)

So I spent yesterday weaving the remaining few inches of the three sampler on those looms.  Each one was begun at a past workshop.  I'm embarrassed to say that the oldest dated to 2003 when Sharon Marcus was the instructor at a workshop that Tapestry Weavers South sponsored in Sarasota, FL!  It was one in which I was exploring two setts in the same fabric.  I'd woven most of it but had just a few more inches remaining to level off the piece.  Since there was a bit of warp left I'd thought I'd use it for another small piece--but hadn't ever gotten around to doing it.

The next oldest were three narrow warps on one loom that were from Joan Baxter's workshop at the ATA Tampa retreat... that was in 2008.  Two of those were wool and one camel hair.  I hadn't woven anything on one of the narrow wool warps; it was just in place beside the other two.  I hitched the top of the others and cut them off; cut off and wound the remaining unused bit of wool warp into a ball.  That freed two of the three looms.

The third loom held the weaving I'd begun during the James Koehler workshop at the ATA retreat in Santa Fe last summer.  I'd assembled the loom with two of the short sides of the copper pipe looms so I could carry it on the plane more easily.  I almost completed it at the workshop and when I returned home I put it away for a calm day in which to finish it.  Well, calm days came and went, along with many hectic ones since last summer and the little loom sat in the back room, forgotten.  Forgotten until yesterday when I realized there were two more looms--if I made two new long sides--and if I could weave it off in a few hours.

So here they are... ghosts exorcised from the looms--from the Koehler workhop at left; middle, from the Marcus workshop; two at the right, from the Baxter workshop.

I also wanted to weave another sampler for the upcoming workshop, one in which I use meet and separate in a way that could be done in a few hours time.  I've got several samplers of meet and separate in my stash already but I almost always do a new one when I have a workshop upcoming to see what might be possible in the time we'll have for the class.  I also wanted to free my demo loom so that I can use it to show how to warp.  I had another sampler in place on the warp from the workshop that Pat Williams and I taught in October.  Because I wanted to have as much weaving room as I could squeeze into the warp I turned the loom around and began to weave from the other end.  I've done that several times in classes and it maximizes the warp area if two separate pieces are desired.

The bottom part of the sampler is using clasped weft technique.  We won't do much of it in the workshop but it will be one of the techniques I discuss on the second day, along with soumak.  The upper part of the sampler at first has two colors in meet and separate technique, to build vertical slits and then to do hatching, both one pass and two pass hatching.  Pick and pick is next, then back to two colors and then a third color is introduced.  A couple of ways to correct the shed will be shown as the third color comes into play.  Last are diagonals with three different angles.  Of course, many variations of these simple methods can be done.  But I wove this 3" x 9" piece in about four hours so I think these concepts will be possible in one class session.  The second day we'll work with designing and weaving a small piece to make use of these techniques.

Weaving both ends to the middle... sort of like burning a candle at both ends, I guess!
The two new long sides for the loom mentioned above are lying at the left side of the table.  I use a paste epoxy to hold the elbows and the pipe together and let it lay flat overnight.

I'm looking forward to the class and hope to post some photos of the session next week.


  1. I know you'll enjoy your time at Arrowmont. Your finished pieces are amazing.

  2. Tommye, I have a copper pipe loom I made you can have.

  3. Hey Donna, that would be great to borrow for the weekend! Give me a call on Tues. if you have time.

  4. Hi Tommye, I'll see you in Gatlinburg! I'm taking Pam Howard's "Lumpy, Bumpy Scarves" class. It'll be good to see has been a while. Suzanne