ElephantThe Christmas Weaving a Zoo animals continued for 2011 with Elephants.  These were fun to make.  The handwoven fabric was a little bit easier to work with since one of the warp yarns was wool that fulled to help stabilize the fabric.  These were made from wool, cotton, and both cotton chenille & rayon chenille.  The kids seem to enjoy them again.

My senior year of high school, I used some beautiful wool suit fabric to make my prom dress.  I love the fabric.  The pattern woven into the fabric is a series of squares and rectangles that together give the impression of a circle or sphere.  I recently found a similar pattern in Strickler's 8-shaft Patterns on page 55 so, I had to try it out.  Working through the pattern and design process helped me to gain more familiarity with both block designs and 1/3 twills.  It is amazing to me that such a seemingly complex pattern is truly very simple to create on an 8-shaft loom.

I bought the weft yarn for this project at the Earth Guild in Asheville, NC earlier in the summer.  I don't usually buy yarn when I don't have a specific purpose in mind for it... but this was beautifully hand-dyed yarn in colors I love.  I had been interested in working with hand dyed yarn, so, I couldn't resist it.  This ended up being another limiting factor in the design process though.  It is fairly thick yarn compared to what I have been working with lately (4/2) which meant that the design wouldn't be as fine as I was first conceptualizing.  It also meant that I would weave up a lot faster than the other things I have been working on lately - which was a nice change.  I also only had 4 oz. of this yarn, so that also limited how large a piece I could weave.  What I ended up with is a wall hanging for my dining room.  Check out more pictures of this project here.

 

 

6-layer piece - on the loomIn June 2011 I took the opportunity to return to Penland to take Amy Putansu's multi-layer weaving class.  Amy is an incredible weaver, teacher, and person.  Suzanne Gernandt had suggested that I take Amy's class and I am very grateful for the wonderful suggestion.  I was able to use a 12-shaft Macomber loom during the 2 week class and really explore not only double-layer multi-block weaves but was also able to experiment with weaving up ot 6 separate layers on the loom - playing with the way they intersected one another.  6-layer piece at show and tellIn her own work, Amy was experimenting with sculptural effects from multilayer weaving and she showed us some interesting effects using hardening agents.  It was a wonderful 2 weeks for experimenting and for starting to seed ideas for future work.  A year & a half later, I am still working through ideas that started in that class.

ElephantThe experiments I started at Penland in 2010 led to the piece Cascade. This piece was recently accepted into the Valley Art Center's 41st Annual Juried Show.

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