Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Second Scarf

 SCARF 178cm x 22cm.

The second scarf, woven from the same yarn but a much darker shade-set with browns through to purple at the top end of  its colour spectrum.
Woven closer to a balanced weave than the first one, it has blocks of loop yarn woven in every other pick to fill the spaces.

I have woven an additional piece to use to make a matching hand/clutch bag.  I have bought a brass clutch frame to do this.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Finished Scarf

I need a model to wear it for a photo - looks a bit silly on me !!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

How Hot is Hot?!!

So hot, I had to turn off the Octado control box - its 40 degrees here and the solenoids were overheating and not delivering enough power to activate the piano keys !!!!! Phew!!!!!

Heatwave for 10 days. Too hot to work, so weave!

3 metre warp of 'Sonata' yarn in browns - a soft, brushed wool/mohair/acrylic yarn with a lurex thread throughout. Plus 8 fancy warp threads.

 Warped and ready to go. I have started to run these 3 metre warps over the back , down to the bottom second beam before returning, upwards to the main beam ( with the sectional warp bars still in place. This way I can get 3 metres of warp onto the loom with only one turn on the beam...makes getting an even tension a breeze, especially with these fancy yarns with different  elasticity.
 The first half metre woven. Using a very open weave to maintain the warp stripes visibility (using the Sonata in the weft as well).  The fancy felt flags have to raised by hand as they get woven in. I am also weaving in a mesh ribbon yarn (I discovered it in the local bric-a brac shop in Riberac) which snakes its way over the surface on the entire length. It can be twisted (or not) to make it scallop when it opens out.

Detail of the mesh ribbon and the open weave

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Craft Fair at La Tour Blanche, 21st July

Yesterdays Craft Fair was great fun. Gail made a great job of the stand and we had a lovely summers evening under the shade of the plane trees demonstrating weaving and chatting about it.  With the bonus of being right opposite the bar and an invitation to dinner with our friends Anj and (Top Chef) Mark, all in all a great day!
 It is such a beautiful village and there are several events throughout the summer, including a very popular annual Music Festival Day which we enjoyed last month.
Gail took her Ashford 8 shaft loom and we demonstrated and let lots of the kids have a go...

This was the first of what is intended to be an annual event for craft and artisans to exhibit, demonstrate and sell.
 Some of the range of handbags and bags I had woven for the fair. One was ear-marked before we went.  Gail exhibited some of her stuff as well, including the throw in the foreground.

The table lamps looked nice on their display and it got dark enough towards the end of the evening for them to light up the stand...it looked really nice and gail did a brill job of making the stand look inviting.
I brought my wall hangings along too...everything had a price tag, but  a sleepy local craft fair was never going to get big spenders in attandance.... the lady who made her own honey and the artisan ice-cream were about the only sellers...except of course for the bar...LOVELY pinaut :-)

Monday, 9 July 2012

Gails "Memories" project

Gail is developing an idea using rag weaving to provide a momento of childrens' early years. The idea is to produce a woven momento from favourite outfits they have grown out of. As young childrens' clothing is often colourful and colour coordinated, it is ideal in rag strips for weaving into a picture or an item they may continue to use in, say, their bedroom. By using a complementary colour of fabric to accompany the strips cut from the garment, Gail's designs maintain the original impression of the original.
This is destined to be a wall hanging. Table or overhead lamps as well as runners for the bedside table are two other ideas to produce a 2 or 3 piece momento from an old and favourite outfit.

This one is really lovely; I love the design she has used and it really evokes the original girl's dress it was taken from.

Two pictures showing
the details

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Modern Take on the Tea Light Lamp

A self-supporting lamp shade that accepts
an electronic tea-light unit (a 3V 4x LED unit).
Woven double weave on same linen warp as the other lamps. The fringe top and bottom are vitrified; te bottom to allow the fring to support the weight of the woven tube. The 2nd layer is a chenille which is opaque allowing the base layer linen to glow with the light.

 Detail showing the top fringe - I didn't want a 'twee' and neat fringe - so I clumped it together rather than combing it whilst still wet to give a 'bedragled, wet-look to the fringes.
The LEd light at the bottom of the shade

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Lamps in Doubleweave

The first of 6 lamps to be woven in double weave.  I wanted to produce an open but stiff base layer for the lampshade structural material with a very open transparent top layer which I could shape and mould around the shade.  This first one has the second layer attached only at one end. This allowed me to roll it up out of the way whilst I vitrified the linen cloth into a tube. The rigid tube was then shaped and finally, I was able to unroll the top layer and curve and shape it before attaching its open end. 

Shite photo, but you get the idea!!
The layer effect is fantastic and the support given by the linen allows the top layer to be attached in places to make folds and also to drape naturally where it remains unattached.

The remaining ones will use this technique and also weaving in the two layers in places to form pockets which will be used to make it 3 dimensional - in this case I can't vitrify the base layer so these cloths will be attached to a celophane layer before being formed.

 A 10/3  Linen warp 12" wide, variable set at 8-12epi with the second layer at just 5epi. The base layer weft is 8 lea's linen, plain weave to produce a firm but fairly open cloth to form around the vitrified tube. The second layer used a fancy yarn in the weft woven open (4-6 picks layer 1, 2 picks layer 2)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

A New Range of Table Lamps

I have had several designs for table lamps made entirely from fabric for some time in my notebook and finally got round to doing one - I have to say I am VERY pleased.
I have woven some linen with a subtle lace pattern and also a transparency, like the "Lark Rising", with beads inset.
The vitrification of the linen for the lampshade worked first time! None of the texture of the cloth has been lost as it was moulded around a plastic tube - the inside surface is hard and shiny from the vitrifier, but the outer surface is unchanged in texture and colour - Brill!!
I used the same process for the base as I want my designs to be entirely in handwoven cloth. Using the transparency-woven cloth to mould it freestyle around a 'boss' which will take the lanp fitting. The combination matches the rather 'gothic' aspect of the design theme I want to pursue.  This was only meant to be a practice but it worked first time.

With the lampshade in place, I just love it!!
We will see what Joe-public think when they are on the craft stand on 21st July as I should have the whole range (12 designs based around the same theme) to display...Not for sale as I have my own exhibition planned for September.

Busy for the Craft Fair on 21st July, La Tour Blanche

Been busy the past 2 weeks; initially on paper designing some things for the up-coming craft fair and then lots of weaving. Gail has booked a stand for weaving at the fair - standing all day chatting is not my thing really so I am doing most of the items and she is going to 'man' the stand and pracice her french :-).
Got a nice range of designs for handbags, make-up bags. Also, finally woven some of my ideas for table lamps - they are now a reality rather than pretty sketches on paper.
Will post about these seperaely later.

Here are a two of the bags. I have done 5 so far - awaiting the materials to do the handle and am doing the satin linings at the moment - Me! Sewing! lol

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Khumba Puja - Finished

Finished this piece now; have made and atached the prayer flags. Difficult to photograph but the close up gives a better idea of the effect.

It has found its permenant home now on the old stone wall in the lounge area of the kitchen where there are picture spots to light it properly.

Lark Ascending - First piece finished

Finished the first piece, the foreground, depicting the larks in rising flight. After several trial attempts, I settled for a warp varying from 9 to 30epi across the width using 20/2 cotolin. Weft was the same and by separating the reed from the loom, the variable fell angle was used to create a rising zig-zag pattern. The central part remained very open and the 'birds' were woven into this using beads and ribbon, rising through the clouds (alpaca fibre) to the sky. With the warp-faced bands at each selvage, the piece has good shape and stability.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Lark Ascending

I heard and saw this performed last week and immediately had the idea for my next piece. Having thought about it since, it hasn't changed a bit, so that is a good sign. I have quickly put the necessary detail on the idea and even ordered the yarn.

Probably the best piece of English classical music; possibly the best known; and definitely the piece that paints a picture most readily in the mind. I still haven't woven a tryptych, even though several of my ideas started off with that in mind - so this will be the first.

It will also have a background and foreground layer

I think each background piece will be about 14" wide and the pattern is an 8 shaft twill based on a pattern I found when researching Network Drafting as a technique to make vertical curves; part of the imagery to support the picture of the ascending flight of the bird. Each piece will be in a different colour pallete to reflect farmland, moorland and seashore - three habitats of the skylark. I have found a space-dyed wool which I really like.
I have also found a wool/cotton blend in variagated colours which will give a similar effect but the colours are more subtle and taken from the different heather colours at different seasons.

The foreground layer will be a near transparent layer to allow the background to show through and it will not be as wide as the back panel. Each of these foreground panels ( I have not decided if there will be just one or one per panel) will have a ascending birds woven into the open weave structure...each one showing a bird at a different point of its ascent. I will also weave-in a complementary spiral into this piece, showing the birds path up, as if it were leaving a trail as it climbs or falls. If i am really brave, i might do these by weaving in beading....if not, I will use the tapestry weaving techniques or pile loops I used in the Khumba Puja wall hanging.

I am hoping the finished piece will be three vertical hanging weavings with a 2nd layer, hung side by side, showing larks at stages of its ascent, against a background of a different colour suggesting the different habitats in which it is found.

The yarn should be here before the end of January, but I have the yarn for the foreground so I am going to warp this and experiment until i have the three skylark silhouettes I am happy with.

Back on Track!

I just wasn't inspired by my last idea. the more I got into the design, the more forced the result became...so i have abandoned it. Maybe on returning to it another time, the simplicity I originally had in mind will return.
As is often the case' create a vaccum and it is quickly filled...I have a new, and exciting idea!!!