Why do some of our projects exceed our expectations and others leave us flat? Of course amazing design skills account for the successes, but what about the others? And what happens when a garment looks incredible the first few times we wear it and then loses its appeal? It might be your choice of fiber or the way the yarn was spun and plied. We all know that wool felts, cotton is soft and silk is smooth and lustrous but that is only a small part of the picture. Some yarns drape beautifully, some stretch, some pill and some itch. Often we can adapt our design to compensate for a yarn's shortcomings. Whether you are a spinner, knitter or weaver, knowing a little about a yarn's properties will increase your chances of success.
Maggie Casey is the co-owner of Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins in Boulder, Colorado. She has been addicted to spinning for more than 30 years. Some people have wine cellars, she has a fleece basement. She holds Part 1 of HGA's COE in Handspinning. Maggie teaches spinning at Shuttles, SOAR, the Estes Park Wool Market, Maryland Sheep and Wool and guild programs around the country. She has been a Skein judge at the Taos Wool Festival, Estes Park Wool Market, Colorado State Fair and Convergence 2004. She is the author of Start Spinning, Everything You need to Know to Make Great Yarn, an Interweave Press book. Her DVDs include: Start Spinning, Getting Started on a Drop Spindle, and Big and Lofty Yarns. She is also featured on How to Card -- Four Spinners, Four Techniques.
This presentation will cover the historic techniques, developments, and the industrial applications of this craft.
This presentation will be a short history of papermaking and its application as an artistic medium.
Ray Tomasso is from Denver and a founding board member of the International Association of Hand Papermaking. He is nationally and internationally recognized as a paper artist and papermaker with work in multiple corporate and museum collections. Ray's commissions include handmade paper for the Pope and the King of Spain. Ray holds an MFA in fine art from CU Boulder. You can see his work on his website.
This illustrated lecture will look at women's rolls in medieval embroidery and trace the development of embroidery from the Anglo-Saxon period to the end of the Middle ages. We will also look at the Bayeux Tapestry, the Creation Tapestry from Gerona, and a number of examples of the marvelous Opus Anglicanum. Jane will also show examples of her work in embroidery adapted from medieval designs.
Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg (PhD History) is a Professor of History in the Department of Liberal Studies and the Arts, Women's Studies, and Medieval Studies at the university of Wisconsin-Madison. Jane is the author of Forgetful of Their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society. She is also published in a number of topics including medieval women and monasticism, sacred space, and medieval women as builders and decorators of churches. Over the years Jane has led thirty-five UW medieval studies tours to Europe. In addition to her teaching and research she is a studio artist working in the tradition of Opus Anglicanum and shows her work in embroidery.
The biennial Felters Fling brings together fiber enthusiasts from across the country for a week of stimulation and creativity. Felters learn techniques and gain inspiration from master felt makers from around the world. Join us for an overview of the 2011 Fling presented by two of the Carol Strickler Scholarship winners as they share photos, projects, and experiences -- from sculptural felting and fish skins to decorative projects taught by a Cirque de Soleil costume designer.
In January 2011, a group of 12 Denver weavers toured the Mayan Highlands of Guatemala. We visited weavers, spinners, Ikat painters, textile markets and museums, artisans, archeology sites, churches, and puffing volcanoes. We were invited into the homes of many local weaving and artisan families, and learned to weave on backstrap looms. Come travel across the equator and tour the tongue-twisting and famous weaving destinations of the Land of Colors.
Pat Martinek of Golden, Colorado, learned to weave and spin from a Navajo family in Arizona when she was in high school. Since then she built then has woven on her left-handed 4-harness loom for over 30 years. She spins, dyes, knits, felts, sews, teaches, sells, writes knitting patterns, publishes in SpinOff, writes poetry, and seems to be losing the battle to control her ever-growing fiber SABLE (Stash Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy). You can see what she does on her home business website.
Deborah's presentation is a fascinating look at her work, technique, and artistic philosophy as she continues her journey of creative exploration.
Workshop: Origami Felted Purse
Accessorize in style. Create a beautiful purse using traditional Scandinavian feltmaking techniques and unique ways of folding and shaping in origami style. You'll learn how to transform fine merino wool into a functional fashion accessory. Explore hand embellishment techniques with beads, stitching, and accents to produce a personal touch. Finished size is approximately 5" x 7". Add a chord for a classic over the shoulder look or attach a funky button to create a trendy clutch. This class accommodates all skill levels from beginner to advanced.
Deborah Pope takes felt and dollmaking to a whole new level of imagination. Her art is evocative, elegant and often eccentric. Through her unique and refined technique, Deborah imbues each of her characters with an incandescent spark of personality. In 2008, she was elected to the National Institute of American Doll Artists (NIADA). Deborah earned her BFA form the Rochester Institute of Technology in printmaking. Her work has appeared in numerous books, magazines and on HGTV. Deborah teaches classes internationally and is known for her attention to detail and willingness to share her knowledge in a way that encourages artistic exploration. Deborah's style is immediately recognizable. In addition to the expressive faces she sculpts in felt, her dolls are costumed with a level of intricacy that is reminiscent of fine clothiers. She meticulously combines fine fabrics, color palates and subtle textures with handcrafted accessories to create a tantalizing visual experience. For more information and see examples of her work visit Altered Threads.
From the 1950s into the '90s, Gloria Ross (1923-1998) traveled the world to commission highly skilled weavers to make tapestries designed by some of America's most famous Modernist painters. These collaborations are described as Hedlund traces Ross's career in tapestry making from New York to Scotland, France, the Pacific and the American Southwest. In this richly illustrated lecture, Hedlund explores the challenges and significance of Ross's artistic adventures, as she worked with 28 well-known painters including Helen Frankenthaler (Ross's sister), Robert Motherwell, Hans Hofmann, Louise Nevelson, Kenneth Noland, Lucas Samaras, and with classic French (Aubusson), innovative Scottish (Dovecot, directed by Archie Brennan), and masterful Native American (Navajo and Hopi) weavers.
Where to begin and how to proceed with understanding an unknown textile from the American Southwest, whether a Pueblo, Navajo or Spanish-American blanket, poncho or rug? We'll cover fibers, yarns and dyes; loom techniques; weave structures; and end, side and corner finishes. Workshop offers hands-on analysis of varied museum textiles under magnification, coupled with digitally illustrated discussions of diagnostic traits for identifying and dating Southwest textiles. The award-winning book, Blanket Weaving of the Southwest by Joe Ben Wheat (edited by Hedlund, 2003), and numerous articles will serve as resources.
Workshop participants should bring: Biology dissecting kits, minus scissors and blades (available at most college bookstores); any available hand magnifiers or pocket microscopes (do not buy especially for workshop; others will be available for use).
Ann Lane Hedlund directs the Gloria F. Ross Tapestry Program at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson.
With a BA (1974) and PhD (1983) from the University of Colorado at Boulder,
she has served as a curator of ethnology and professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona since 1997.
As a cultural anthropologist, she has conducted ethnographic fieldwork among Navajo weavers since the 1970s.
Hedlund edited Joe Ben Wheat's award-winning book, Blanket Weaving in the Southwest (University of Arizona Press, 2003).
Her 2004 book, Navajo Weaving in the Late Twentieth Century: Kin, Community, and Collectors (also University of Arizona Press), won the Arizona Highways/Arizona Library Association Award for Non-Fiction in 2005.
Ann's most recent book, Gloria F. Ross and Modern Tapestry (Yale University Press, 2010),
expands her research from weavers of the American Southwest to those in Scotland, France and beyond,
as it documents the far-flung tapestry-making career of Gloria Ross.
What is a block? A block is a basic unit of design. It can be as simple as a patch of color or as complex as a pattern or texture. For artists in most media, a block is something tangible which can be arranged into specific patterns. For a quilter, a block is a square of fabric; for a mosaic artist, it is a tile; for a surface designer, it may be an application of dye on a cloth.
For a weaver, however, a block is more abstract and will have different manifestations in different weave structures. A block design intended for a woven textile must be expressed through a weave structure. Therefore, decoding the blocks in a design requires a weaving plan complete with threading, treadling, and tie-up which corresponds to a specific weave structure.
Learn how one weaver used the textures of 4-shaft huck lace to develop the definitive set of two, three, and four block motifs which become the building blocks of complex block designs with literally millions of patterns to be discovered by the adventurous weaver/designer.
Rep is a plain weave technique where the warp almost completely covers the weft. The warp consists of two colorways, one designated as pattern and the other as background. Designs are created by the exchange of the two different colorways. As such, rep is a reversible fabric -- where pattern occurs on the surface, background is on the underside and vice versa. It is a technique suitable for wall hangings, rugs, table runners, and placemats. With finer threads, the technique can be used for clothing fabric as well.
In this lecture, you will see one weaver's approach to warp-faced rep, showing how to warp a sectional beam, thread, tie-on a wide warp to the front beam, and how to weave the structure of rep. You will also learn about block theory, and see how one weaver's designs have evolved over the past thirty years of experimenting with this versatile technique using 4- to 16-shaft looms.
Two different warp colorways combine with thick and thin wefts to become the exploratory tools of warp-faced rep. Color plays an important role in both the pattern and background colorways. Weavers will be sent suggestions for a 2 or 3 color blending for the pattern colorway. Weavers will choose in advance one of several different weaving drafts for this workshop using 4-shaft and 8-shaft looms, and may choose to design their own warp stripe combinations based on the draft selected.
Discussions will focus on movement of blocks in independent and linked fashion, skeleton tie-ups to maximize the number of design possibilities, and various threading systems. The minimum warp length is three yards which will be yield a fabric long enough to use as a table runner or several place mats.
Workshop participants will need the following equipment: 8-shaft loom (at least 12-15 inches wide); 10-dent reed (will sley 4 ends per dent); reed hook; tape measure, one boat shuttle; two ski or rug shuttles; about 10 yards of cotton, mylon, or linen coard (like seine twine) for lashing-on technique; waste yarn or torn rags to use as a header to open out the shed; scissors; tapestry needle; graph paper (4 or 8 squares per inch); 3-ring binder for workshop handouts; a few colored pens or pencils for block designs; paper for note taking; pocket calculator; masking tape, weights for broken warp ends.
Suggestions for warps and wefts will be sent in the course description handouts as participants register.
Rosalie Neilson has been weaving for forty years. Her interests revolve around two areas of interlacement -- warp-faced rep weaving and kumihimo braiding. Her rep wall hangings have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including three exhibitions in Kyoto, Japan. Her rep work was also featured in the Chicago 2005 SOFA exhibit. Her weavings hang in corporate offices and private residences. She has written articles for Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot, Handwoven, and Weavers' magazines, and the Braid Society's journal Strands. She helped create Braid Runner, the first software program to predict braid designs, and published a limited edition book in 1997 called The Thirty-Seven Interlacements of Hira Kara Gumi. A second limited edition, companion book, The Twenty-Four Interlacements of Edo Yatsu Gumi, was released September 2011. She lectures and teaches workshops throughout the United States, Canada, and England and is on the Adjunct Faculty of Oregon College of Art and Craft. She is currently writing a book about design called An Exaltation of Blocks. Visit Rosalie's website Orion's Plumage for more information.