Photos of the rigid heddle workshop

18 11 2013

DSC_0004 DSC_0005 DSC_0003 DSC_0002 DSC_0001Just putting up a few pics of the work the students did Saturday at the Rigid heddle workshop. This was a privately booked workshop for 2 friends. They were such fun folks and their works is lovely.

The folding loom is a Schacht Flip and the non-folding loom is an Ashford Rigid Heddle loom.

The ladies had taken a dye workshop the day before with Barbara Gentry of Stony Mountain Fibers and used some of those beautiful yarns in these weavings. Barbara is a very knowledgable fiber artist with a great retail selection on Hammocks Gap Rd just north of Charlottesville. I’ve long enjoyed her kind, creative personality, and she has provided supplies for my classes. I also think that one of my early looms came from her file box of people selling used looms.

Anyway, the workshop was fun and as usual, I’m humbled by the beautiful work my students have created.





Long overdue

22 01 2012

Since closing my studio to travel the US by bicycle, I’ve not been able to sit at a loom often. I’ve been home twice since leaving in April, and each time has been for a couple of months. Each time I’ve been home, I’ve worked on putting a studio in my home into working order. It’s fairly easy to do that with the sewing aspect of the studio, but getting the weaving/spinning/felting aspect of the studio squared away has been nearly impossible.

This weekend has been a perfect opportunity to get my looms more accessible, and my yarns equally so. In preparation for the Rigid Heddle Weaving workshop, I had to re-organize my storage cabinets and closets, as well as locate specific yarns for the class. While doing those things, I got much put away, thrown away and put in working order. Since Saturday at 4 pm, I’ve dressed one of my rigid heddle looms and woven a merino/mohair scarf for my Dad’s wife and picked up threading the large Toika free-standing tapestry loom. Hooray! It’s good to be back at the loom. I’m a long way from opening the studio for group weaving classes, though. There simply isn’t room enough in my house to accomodate that right now. I’ll have to pick up some very compact floor looms again and a few more warping boards. Then we’ll be back in business, right?

I’m thinking about offering a wet-felting workshop on a Sunday in February. We will work on either hats or rugs. Anyone interested? Cost would be about $125 for a 6-7 hour workshop. Maximum # of students would be 6.

 





Rigid heddle workshop – jan 21, 2012

21 01 2012

Today was the scheduled Rigid Heddle Workshop. There were 4 openings in the class, 3 registrants. As the day greeted us, it was cold and very wet. I was glad to have a workshop scheduled, rather than a bike ride.

We began at 9 am with winding yarn balls from skeins, and found this a good way to begin class since students often arrive in stages and yet the first student should be able to begin at the scheduled start time.  by 9:30, we were well on our way to measuring out the warp.Each student in class had her own loom and each loom had a stand. This makes for easy weaving, I think. The warp is Louet’s washable merino. Perhaps Pearl. Each student’s project was to be a 10″ scarf. One student had dressed her Kromski Harp previously.

The student with the Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom direct warped her loom, while the Kromski owner measured her warp on the warping board on the back of the loom. Using this method of direct warping, we sley each slot and dot, rather than double sleying the slots only, then re-sleying after beaming. It was easier, however to double-sley from a front installed set of lea sticks on the Kromski. The loom owner said this was more clear for her than the method she used previously. Love to hear that! The looms were dressed in record time.  Since the Ashford loom arrived with a cardboard version of warping sticks, we used them: For the Kromski, we simply used bathroom tissue for warp separator.  Both ladies were weaving very quickly after lunch. We had a warm bowl of chicken soup and biscuits for lunch by a fire provided by my DH. Quickly back to work, the weavers began their work.

Progress was quick and the only real question of the day was about those darn edges!!!!! I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t need to fidget with them, and yet….. if that’s the only thing that brings results for you…….   The ladies did convince me that the selvage loops are a result of my method of beating…… humility is a very good lesson;0)

The student using mohair for weft opted to remove her piece from the loom although it wasn’t complete, so I could demonstrate hem stitching, and she was a quick study and did a great job. We then moved to the sink with the sample fabric (approx 18″ long) and wet-finished it. At that point, the ladies pack it up and we said our Goodbyes.  I’m thankful to have met/re-met these ladies and hope they are new friends. On student asked about a local guild and I told her that Richmond used to have, and may still have 2 weaver’s guilds. James River Weavers was one guild and Richmond Weavers Guild is the other. There is also a spinning guild in Richmond: Clothos Children. I’ve heard that Clothos Children are active in a variety of the fiber arts.

Weave Joyfully!





Honestly, my favorite rigid heddle loom is……

29 12 2011

If you’ve read the rigid heddle loom review, you may have used it to help you find the right loom for you, based on your criteria. If your criteria is cost alone, you bought the Beka, If you are specifically interested in using your rigid heddle loom for tapestry, hopefully, you got the Penelope. If you are traveling, and want a compact loom, you probably got the flip, or the Kromski folding loom. Whatever your specific criteria or expectations are from the loom, the review offered some guidance.

Through the years that I’ve had product reviews up, people have drawn from the reviews their own conclusions as to what my preferences were. So, tonight, I’m going to tell you what I choose to weave on, and why. For tapestry that I will take with me,  I like a rigid heddle loom, and use the Penelope II. It doesn’t have the ability to use the rigid heddle as a beater, and that’s fine with me. It limits the loom in it’s use for continuous, pattern weaving, but it’s just right for me for tapestry. I can warp it with a nice long warp also. Because I use an upright tapestry floor loom, the upright feature of the Penelope is a natural choice.

Of the horizontal, rigid heddle looms, I choose the Ashfords. I have two of them. One is narrow and one is wider. Both have stands. I may even have 3, couldn’t tell you for sure, tonight. I like the heft of the loom in my hands,  like the stand for the Ashford, and I like the colored rigid heddle. The thing I don’t love about it, is the dumb plastic things that connect the warp rod and the warp beam, as well as the front “apron” rod and the cloth beam. Oh well, nothing is perfect, and I often choose favorites that aren’t the most popular looms or items on other people’s list. There you have it;0D

This isn’t to say that these are the best looms. They are the looms that harmonize with my weaving self. A natural “fit” with my weaving quietude. Though I weave professionally, I’m not a production weaver. My work is on a commission basis, because I prefer the peace of weaving in conjunction with my natural rhythms, rather than working on a pushed schedule. Unfortunately, I am most inspired to work by a looming deadline.  My commissions are generally woven on floor looms, but I’ve sold pieces off the rigid heddle loom for respectable money. Don’t undersell yourself, because you are then underselling all weavers and all handcraftsmen.

What’s your favorite loom, and why?  You can respond by e-mail, or in the comments section. I really want to know, and think other folks do too.

Weave joyfully.

C.





Rigid heddle weaving class

13 12 2011

I’m trying to put together a Rigid Heddle weaving class in Goochland (just west of Richmond), VA for January 2012.

If you’re interested, let me know. Currently, it looks like a Sat, or Sat/Sunday workshop will be best. Cost is based on the # of hours.

Usually, a 6 hour workshop (10am – 4pm) is about $125.00 + materials. This limits us to keeping the lesson to learning the basics of dressing the loom, and weaving off a small, potentially short piece, like a simple scarf, using a single weft. We would cover measuring the warp, dressing the loom, weaving off a single warp, removing from the loom, and finishing/wet-finishing. It would be a “run-through”

A 2 day workshop is difficult for out of town students because of the additional cost of a hotel, and the nearest hotel is 20-25 minutes away. However, a 2-day workshop would be 10-4 on Saturday, 2 hours of independent work time, from 4-6, which is without the instructor (rather like “Open studio”). Then we would return on Sunday and continue class from 10-4 again.  The two day workshop, with open studio time would mean students who are using looms from my studio could complete a larger, more complex work than in a shorter class. It would also be a much more relaxed weaving/learning experience for slower students. Class fee for the 2 day workshop would be $250.00 + materials fee. Overnight accomodations would be the responsibility of the student, but I’m happy to offer suggestions.

Is anyone interested? If so, what dates are best for you?





Studio closing- temporarily

2 11 2010

Word does seem to have gotten out. Yes, the studio is closing, but the plan is to close from 3/31/2011 and re-open on 4/1/2012. I’m taking a year to cycle 15,000 miles or so around the U.S. including Alaska, and can’t keep the studio open during that time. It’s been so much fun acquiring my equipment, that I want to do it all again upon my return, so what I have is or will be for sale.

The studio needs to continue to pay for itself until the lease is up  at the end of March, so people are viewing, and making deposits on their equipment or buying it and leaving it until the end of  March.

Equipment for sale is as follows (date it can be removed from the studio is in parenthesis):

Leclerc Tissart upright tapestry loom with 2 harnesses                       (immediate removal is available)

Leclerc Artisat 45″ floor loom   – 4 harness                                              (March 25)

Macomber 16 shaft, 48″ loom with 2 sectional beams + much more   (Immediate removal is available)

Macomber 22″    8 shaft loom (baby mac)                                                (Immediate removal)

Harrisville 45″    4 harness floor loom                                                        (March 25)

8 harness Leclerc Compact 24                                                                     (March 25)

Leclerc Penelope, table top tapestry loom                                                  (November 8)

Kromski Fiddle                                                                                                 (November 8)

Beka rigid heddle loom 20″                                                                            (November 8)

Leclerc Bergere                                                                                                 (November 8)

Schacht 4 harness table loom without reed                                               (November 8)

Assorted rigid heddle looms                                                                         (November 8)

Lillstina 4 harness canti-lever loom                2500 texsolve heddles   (Immediately)

Freestanding horizontal warping mill or reel                                             (Immediately)

hand crank bobbin winder                                                                            (immediately)

wooden swift                                                                                                    (immediately)

Strauch drum carder – petite                                                                         (immediately)





Returning to the Studio – Wed. 10/28/09

25 10 2009

Ahhh, we are almost home! We have been on the road since last Sunday at the crack of daylight, traveling to Grand Canyon with all kinds of fun stops along our journey. We found ourselves ‘Standing on a Corner on Winslow, Arizona” just yesterday, gettin’ our kicks on Route 66 the same day! We visited the Grand Canyon, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, toured the Celestial Seasonings plant, and Schacht Spindle and Loom Company in Boulder, and much more.  It has been an awesome trip. We traveled 700+ miles today, and will do the same tomorrow, finishing our trip on Tues…. a day early….. with a little over 600 miles (WHEW!).  Total miles have not been calculated, but it looks like 4000+ miles for the 8 days.

Don’t ask me how few I drove;0)

I’m looking forward to being back in the studio with you all on Wed. and then Thurs and with the folks in the Learn to Weave in a Weekend class on Sat. and Sunday. I still have an opening in the weaving class this weekend, and a couple of spaces in the Wed. night weaving classes beginning in Nov. Hope you will join us in my weaving and fiber arts studio in Richmond, VA.

C