Saturday, December 31, 2011

June, July ... December

The other half of 2011 has been filled with lots of new knowledge and wonderful fibre moments.

The Maiwa Symposium - with the quality of its workshops, lectures and events - certainly was a highlight. I was privileged this year to assist Michele Wipplinger  with her workshop and learned a lot about colour theory.  I also learned that banana is a great reducing agent for the indigo vat. Who would have thought?  Well ... Michel Garcia did and his workshop INDIGO: The Organic Vat was simply fascinating.

Beyond indigo, my explorations with the dye pot continued on the back porch with carrot tops, peonies, roses, rhubarb and much more from the garden.

All the while, the knitting needles were clicking away and small projects took shape.  Socks, hats, wrist warmers were created and gifted along the way.

As for my time at the loom, it has been quite exploratory. Jumping from colour to lace, to texture and hand spun yarns. My various lengths of cloth are so different to one another, showing openness and tightness at the same time. The dress form is now ready to be draped, and ideas are forming around the design of these cloths.

Fibrations and a couple of SAORI-kai (gatherings) were  also a source of inspiration this fall. And more recently, some time spent on Salt Spring Island.  

My latest piece "Soft and Textural" was woven at Saori Salt Spring. Intrigued by a few weft variations and the effect of the comb reed, I first learned these new techniques and then played with lots of texture while weaving with a soft gentle touch.  So many variations ... so much more to discover. 

Happy 2012 Fibre Explorations!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Wondrous Work of India Flint

Shortly after taking Charllotte Kwon's Natural Dye Workshop at Maiwa, I discovered the stories and tales from the prophet of bloom - the words and muses of India Flint.

It is with great enchantment that I peruse India's blog - always discovering treasures and detours on and off the path of natural dyes.

To put it simply - I absolutely love India's work, especially her eucalyptus dyes and regional approach to dyeing. I can't wait to take a workshop with India one day.  Hopefully down under where the gum trees abound!

But for now, I shall experiment with India's book at my side. A great source of inspiration, Eco colour is full of stunning images and information to guide me through my dyeing adventures - starting with plants and flowers from the garden. Thanks India for the use of your pix!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Saori Chime, Design Workshops, Lau Niu Weaving

And what exactly do the chime, workshops and lau niu weaving have in common?  San-gatsu - the month of March.

It all started with the completion of Maddy's Saori Wind Chime - a second window - also inspired by the elements of nature and unique to Maddy's connections to those elements.  Each piece was created in the likeness and reflection of my first Saori Wind Chime, but with colours, thoughts and additional inspirations that resonated with Maddy. Thanks to Maddy for this wonderful opportunity and to Stu for taking such great photos.

In the footsteps of the commission, followed the weaving of 4 meters of cloth for Marie's design classes.  I first met Marie on Salt Spring Island last year.  I fell in love with the garments and designs she presented to the Weaver's guild as part of the "Designing Women" series.  And so with great excitement, I left for Marie's classes at Knotty by Nature in Victoria. 

The Saori-kai and design classes were most inspiring and energizing as we all shared our weavings, ideas, and inspirations.  On that weekend, I forgot my camera at home, however Terri has some great photos on her blog of both the Saori-kai and the Saori Design Classes.

 I find the Saori design process to follow hand in hand with Saori weaving.  In all of its creativity, the cloth speaks for itself, and as it gets folded, cut, tucked and sewn, further beauty reveals ... coming together ever so nicely.  My 4 meters of cloth has become a tunic with asymmetrical lines on one side and fringes at the back.  It's nearly finished ... I'll post more pictures soon. Thanks to Terri for this photo.

And from Saori to lau nui weaving, the month ended in Hawaii where I saw this beautiful basket made with a small section of a single coconut leaf. It was a nice traditional ending to a busy weaving month of March!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eastside Culture Crawl Commission

In November, my Saori Wind Chime travelled to the Eastside Culture Crawl, and this month - by means of this wonderful event - I have the pleasure of weaving a commissioned piece rich in colours.

Thank you Stu for displaying my window above your wood work and for sharing this photo of our combined creations.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Colourful Thrum Project

" Painting with Thrums " is my latest piece of weaving and the inspiration for this project came from the desire of exploring what it would be like to weave an entire piece of fabric with mostly thrums of different lengths and colours.

In my post Treasuring Thrums, I touched on colours and textures with a couple of photos: a colourful warp created with the longest lengths of thrums and the weft thrums at the start of my weaving.  I did not have to weave very much to discover that the blending of colours was going to be the true essence of this cloth.

Several more threads of fine silk and silk/wool blend got woven together; nests of tangled yarns found their way into the cloth, and knots from the warp ends were added for texture.

And like watercolours on a painter's palette, a multitude of colours were blended together and woven in the warp.  I nearly made it to the end of the warp before running low on thrums.

A perfect opportunity to explore a different finish. I'm not sure yet what will become of this new piece of cloth, but for the moment - one thing is certain - I keep on treasuring thrums!