Inspiration • Perspiration • Desperation
Last Wednesday our guild had Lisa Scull from the RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) Textiles Department as a presenter. She is a senior critic and the head of the Jacquard Department. The loom below is the RISD jacquard. If I remember correctly – it has 1900 independently operating hooks repeated 4 times across the width of the loom. If you aren’t familiar with jacquard – it means that 1900 threads can move independently effectively giving you a 1900 shaft loom:)) Design possibility much??? What I didn’t know that really blew my mind is that the loom is threaded with an unchanging warp of 20/2 (I believe) cotton in a double weave sett in two alternating colors of black and taupe. This gives the designer the opportunity (necessity) of using the threads and structure to create shades and tones of the colors they choose for their wefts. So they are thinking of pattern, mixing colors into shades and tones all the while using structure to enhance their color mixing (weft-faced/warp-faced/balanced) AND making sure that the taupe warp is taking up at the same rate as the black warp!!! What an education.So, Lisa gave us a mind-blowing slide show of student work (these students have one class in 4-shaft hand weaving, one class in 24-shaft dobby weaving before they can take the jacquard class in which they don’t really “weave” – the loom does that – they design). The result of this exciting show was me really fantasizing about dragging my looms over a cliff or somehow going back in time to do this whole weaving thing right!
After we saw and heard about the extraordinary student work, Lisa brought out her own portfolio of work (sorry I just drooled on my computer remembering the textiles.) Lisa worked for Lenore Larsen for years before teaching at RISD and designing her own line of textiles. She has a 24-shaft sample loom that she works on at home before traveling to India to work with Jacquard mills to produce textiles that I can only dream about. Fine silks woven in multiple interlaced layers in the MOST beautiful colors imaginable . . . more loom over the cliff impulses . . .
During the rest of the week, I was at Vav Stuga with the Swedish Classics class immersed in a totally different kind of textile inspiration.
Above are an array of drool-inducing samples that Becky uses to demonstrate the various types/weights of linen used in her classes. Completely gorgeous!
And below are more experiments in drafts/materials for the “Shifting Threads” class. I am having a ball, but need to get things finalized so I can get into the detailed planning. Every time I weave a sample, I think I want to try a different material or draft tweak . . . this could go on forever . . . must decide. So far, we have yardage in cotton and linen, towels in two distinct drafts in cottolin, placemats in linen and bolster/pillow covers in Möbelåtta wool and Tuna wool.
This is a draft from a sample given to me at Convergence in Long Beach by Elserine Springer of Canada. Hers was a much smaller scale beauty in bamboo.
I am hoping to get the blanket/bolster cover off the loom on Sunday, and assess the array. Feedback please????
This is that same draft as the Möbelåtta, but arranged with borders – so from 6 shafts to 12.
Oh I love the black and natural one near the end. It looks like crochet lace over plaid. Do keep your looms, your explorations inspire me so much.
Back at you Dianne! I think I might keep them – for therapy if nothing else:))
Well, you know I’m a sucker for the Elserine Springer draft. I’ve been sampling on it since taking your workshop for some placemats.
You know…a jacquard loom doesn’t tempt me one bit. I much prefer the look of complicated weaving woven on a minimum number of shafts (like Elserine Springer). And since your class I’ve been really entranced by pieces with multiple selvedges. In fact I think I like the multiple selvedges better than deflections….crazy, huh?
Hey Valerie, I have been mulling your “double selvedge” comment, and I have to say that it is one of the endlessly intriguing and surprising elements that I discovered about DDW. I wouldn’t say the selvedge trumps deflection for me but it adds to the interest. I just edited a piece in Handwoven on pinwheel variations in which the passive shuttle is taken into the warp so that it is carried within the cloth and camouflaged – another adaptation…I look forward to following your explorations!
Luckily I love my 8 shaft looms, and can’t afford anything else, but I do love and admire all weaving from the simplest perfect tabby to the most complicated Jacquard pattern. I just sometimes wished I was a octopus to get everything done that I want to try.
I know Marlene – another lifetime would definitely be gratefully received:))
Your work will be a fantastic enhancement at Vavstuga — Becky demonstrated her good taste in having you teach there. In more relaxing moments we can plan our weaving and tailoring play group…
So sorry to have missed your post until now – I was in intense blog neglect mode. This (finally) glorious weather has made me find “work” that I can do sitting outside . . . “I really have to force myself to sit outside, buckle down and write a blog post . . . life is so hard!”
I can not wait for sewing play time – I need to consult you on what to sew with some of this yardage I am weaving for the Vav class. I want to have finished projects as inspiration for the students, but my brain is not playing nice. Let’s try to carve out some play time soon.
You have a much more demanding schedule than I do now. Give me some possible dates and I’ll find something that works. The one not-always-but-often bad day is Wednesday, a combination of monthly meetings and now our foster parent licensing classes.