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.





Quilt top assembled

19 03 2013

I finished assembling the quilt top. Here is is: DSC_0084

I’m thinking that I probably still want some border around the entire quilt, instead of just binding it. I’ve also begun to wonder if I might want prairie points. No matter what the circumstances, I do intend to have it at the longarm quilter by the end of the week. It’s currently 80″X110″. That’s another reason I want to add the border. I’m hoping to get the width up to …… 90 or even 100″.

I like the “piano keys” striped border here: http://pamcave.blogspot.com/2009/05/african-wedding-quilt.html

I think It would be nice to have the quilt come down over the sides of the bed, without having the blocks hanging down, out of site. Just a thought. More later.





Weaving lessons

2 12 2012

I’m able to offer weaving lessons at Schuyler, VA, Buckeye, WV and Goochland, VA now. Whether you are interested in learning to weave tapestry, or rigid heddle, or floor loom I can teach you. Cost is $50/hr. Last weekend, I taught a wet-felting workshop. It was a private workshop, so I didn’t advertise. We did wall-hangings. We had a great time. Two weeks prior to that, I taught a spinning workshop. Some of these I teach through the Virginia Museum’s Partners in the Arts program. I’ll be looking for opportunities like that in West Virginia. If you are interested in lessons, or booking a private workshop for you and some friends, just shoot me an e-mail. Private lessons are $50/hr, but workshops are priced on a per person basis. I do gift certificates, so you can book a workshop and give gift certificates to up to 3 friends and we can felt or spin together (for a total of 4 participants). 

Currently, I’m working on 4 commissions for the same client. 2 ladies scarves, a man’s scarf and a 4th scarf that is a bit like an ascot. All are handspun chiengora and all will be hand-woven as well. I’ve worked for this client before. She has 2 beautiful collies that are therapy dogs. I love spinning their fiber and they are such sweeties, too. 

My workspace in Goochland is my home; in Schuyler, I have a free-standing studio at the house, and in West Virginia there is a separate studio also. Right now, we are looking for a good heat source for the free-standing studios. Until we get the heat sources worked out, I’m teaching inside the house at each location. 

One last item that keeps me busy (too busy to blog lately, anyway) is that I am an artist-in-residence in the Richmond Public Schools. This year, I have two schools that I work with and my target age group is 4th grade. I’m loving JEB Stuart and the principal, Mrs. Moore is the most supportive principal I’ve met. She has booked every single class to come and spend time with me, the visiting artist. Awesome!  I am felting, spinning and weaving with the 4th graders. They are a loquacious group and i adore them. 

For now, that’s all. I’ll try to post pics very soon.

 





Weaving lessons available in Goochland, Schuyler, VA and Buckeye, WV (near Cass).

13 10 2012

I’m now set up with looms and spinning wheels in 3 locations to teach. If you are interested in learning to weave or spin, scribble out an e-mail and let’s get something booked. Lessons are $50/hr. Count on 2 hours for the first lesson. If you are working on a rigid heddle loom, that might be the full session you need. If you are on a floor loom, it’s a more time-consuming process. Spinners should count on a series of 4 one hour lessons and homework in between. Things you might want to bear in mind as you consider classes:

1. The process is the same whether you do a bookmark or a blanket, so start out with a bookmark, because what you really need to learn first is how to dress the loom. A bookmark might take you 1.5 hours to set up, where a blanket might take you 15 hours of instructional time. That’s a $ difference of about $675.00! I know it’s difficult to shell out $100 to weave a bookmark, but you aren’t paying for the bookmark, you are paying for Knowledge and help in becoming a weaver. It’s an investment in your future as a weaver/craftsman/woman.

2. To begin with, inexpensive yarns, like RedHeart are great to learn on. Move on to finer yarns as your skills improve.

3. If you book a lesson, show up for it on time.

4. Your best improvement will come from practice, so plan on doing homework. 

Hope to hear from you soon! maidensweaver at earthlink dot net





It’s done and delivered!

13 10 2012

The chiengora commission was delivered yesterday. Here is how the final piece looked: 

I wish I could upload a tactile file, so you could feel it! Very soft. And the client who commissioned it picked it up with the fiber donor, Tess. It was Tess’ birthday! Here is Tess and her owner, with the piece made from Tess’ fiber:

She is a precious, retired therapy dog who was rescued rom a puppy mill. As a breeder in a puppy mill, Tess was not allowed out of her cage, but rather, treated like a production machine to pop out puppies and nurse them. She is very lucky to have been rescued. To the right of Tess, is her brother, Toby. One day, I look forward to spinning/weaving Toby also, as his owner posesses his puppy fur! I’ve enjoyed my connection to this family, as with all the chiengora families I’ve met.





Completing a commission

8 10 2012

Today, I’ll remove the current chiengora commission. It’s both hand-spun and hand-woven. It’s been a joy to work with, and now, I begin the grieving process that accompanies the releasing of each of my more time consuming and personal pieces. It’s tough. It will be delivered on Friday.





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.