Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Fun Challenge for the Weavers

The Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild's Weaving Study Group has met regularly for more than a year and a half now. Convened by Michaela McIntosh, the group meets monthly and shares recent projects, explores weaving drafts, watches How-To videos, and delves into the many books and resources available.

In May, the assignment was to bring a paper bag with three random objects. Mystery bags were exchanged, and each weaver was to make something inspired by the three objects. Here are some of the results:

In her bag Jess Jones found a yellow paint brush, a feather, and a handmade tassel. She used those items as inspiration for a stole she sent to a friend as a special wedding present.
Jessica worked with the color yellow, linen and cotton warp (a bit feather-y), and the tassel? Well, the fringe of course.
Close up
 Lynn, a relatively new weaver found in her bag a square stone, a piece of petrified wood, and an interesting nut shell or casing. These things took her mind immediately to a favorite place in the natural world -- Yellowstone National Park, and suggested muted colors and a design of checks to mirror the shape of the stone. Lynn also made a wrap or a stole.
Lynn's shawl was made with wool and silk and she was completely surprised when it Felted upon being washed in cool water! Since it became too small to be a wrap, Lynn went ahead and put it in the dryer to finish the felting process and now has a thick, placemat sized, mat. Surprises happen, but we can clearly see her design and intent to incorporate her three random objects.

Nancy Warren is one of our more experienced weavers. Nancy's three objects were two postcards with deep blues, greens, golds, and reds and a piece of bright red rick rack. Nancy matched these colors up in some kitchen towels and included a red trim border.
Two art postcards suggest "multiples of something" in these deep colors and the rick rack suggests red trim!
Kitchen towels
 Michaela's objects were a cardboard tea box, a penny, and something now forgotten because the inspiration for Michaela's weaving was found when she unfolded the tea box and saw the lovely, subtle design inside.
Michaela's first sample looking for a pattern to echo the grey scallops and waves found on the inner walls of a tea box.  (Life lesson: Keep your eyes open; inspiration is EVERYWHERE!)
The final project kept the grey warp but switched out the weft thread to a bottle green color. Warp and weft are both silk and wool. 

Out of her bag, Garnette drew a wad of "fluff" -- an unidentified fiber mass, a bit of leather, and a tender fern frond. She worked with these textures and colors to make two purses on the same cotton warp.
Both purses incorporate the natural color in the warp, and the green color from the fern but they otherwise vary due to Garnette's use of a "Point Threadling" pattern that offers lots of variations in a single tie-up. The bit of leather simply did not work its way into this project.



The weaving group enjoyed working on and sharing this project and decided to work on another joint project during these fall months -- The next assignment is to make Mug Rugs (large scale coasters) out of any warp, pattern, and weft. Each weaver will make enough to share and Show & Tell will be in November. Stay tuned.

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