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The impetus for this favorite thing was a presentation at an event I attended last night.  As a member of the Seattle Design Center, I have the privilege of attending some pretty great functions.  Last night was no different.  The presentation was by Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute (who I also found out is one of my neighbors . . . or at least a neighbor of my neighbors).

Lea’s presentation was a look back-and-forward on color trends in interiors, with insight on color in fashion design over the last century, which she shares in her most recent book: Pantone on Fashion, a Century of Color in Design.   It was funny.  It was poignant.  It was insightful.  Plus, it shared a view on color palette trends projected for 2015.

Previously, I have shared two color-related ‘favorite things’ posts.  The links to these are:

These are a few of my favorite things: #1 – Colourlovers.com  http://spadystudios.wordpress.com/?s=colourlovers

These are a few of my favorite things:  #21 – More color resources  http://spadystudios.wordpress.com/?s=%2321

I wondered if I should do another color-based favorite thing and it didn’t take me long to think Why not?  We can always be inspired by color. Plus, it’s been over 20 months since I’ve shared favorite thing #21.

My latest favorite thing is focused solely on the Pantone Color Institute and the position they maintain on identifying color trends.  We don’t have buy in to them.  We can reject them if we like.  But, I find them interesting.  Plus, if you’re familiar with the projected color trends, you can use them to interject a more contemporary angle to your work.

So who is PANTONE? According to their website, PANTONE began as a commercial printing company in the 1950s.  Their primary products include the Pantone Guides, which consist of a large number of small thin cardboard sheets, printed on one side with a series of related color  swatches bound into a small “fan deck”.  The PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS) is not the only color standardization system, although it is the most widely used and the one that most printers understand. The idea behind the PMS is to allow designers to “color match” specific colors when a design enters production stage.  (In my previous professional life in ‘Corporate America’ we relied on these guides to effectively communicate with others about color.  It’s one thing to tell a printer we wanted a ‘red accent’ added to the cover of a manual.  It’s a completely other thing when you can define a specific red that can be definitively quantified.)

The Pantone Color Institute offers a variety of trend forecasts for every design market.  This provides inspiration.  As I mentioned previously, you can reject them.  They’re not a rule.  But, they often encourage me to explore incorporating new colors.    Pantone even selects a Color of the Year. For 2014, it was Radiant Orchid.  For 2013, it was Emerald.  For 2012, it was Tangerine Tango.  (I was not enthusiastic about orange being a color of the year; however, it encouraged me to consider it and look for opportunities to include it in my work).  Below is a Color of the Year short history going back to 2000.

Pantone-2014-3

Last night, Leatrice Eiseman told us the color palettes for 2015 had recently been added to the Pantone website.  The 2015 Color of the Year hasn’t been announced yet (I’m hoping for something blue).  But, looking at the spring 2015 color trends will show you colors are evolving into a cooler and softer look and give you an idea of what they will draw from when selecting the 2015 Color of the Year.  You can access and learn more about them by clicking on the following links:

Spring 2015 color trends – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=11

2015 Spring

Women’s fashion color trends for spring 2015 – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=3

Women's 2015 fashion(Yeah, I know . . . The Spring 2015 and Women’s Fashion colors are the same thing)

Men’s fashion color trends for spring 2015 – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=4

Men's fashionNotice how the colors for Men’s Fashion are a little darker and more muted version.

The link below will take you to the PDF of the 2015 color palettes for home and interiors – http://www.pantone.com/downloads/pvh/PANTONEVIEW_home___interiors_2015.pdf

In this PDF, there are a series of color palettes.  I really like reviewing these because it gives me ideas for new color combinations and possibly even how to use the odd cone of yarn sitting on the shelf in my studio.  I also love some of the names they’ve chosen to name the color palettes:

  • Style Settings
  • Abstractions
  • Botanicum
  • Zensations
  • Urban Jungle
  • Tinted Medley
  • Past Traces
  • Serendipity
  • Spontaneity

I was captivated as she shared the background stories about how these were developed.  I’ve grown from dreading the color trends, palettes, and the color of the year to anticipating them with eagerness.  They have influenced how I use color.  There are still colors I migrate toward whether or not they are part of color trends (like fire engine red), but color is supposed to be fun and trying something new can feel very liberating.

Enjoy!

From 1940 to 1971, Lily Mills published a periodical titled Practical Weaving Suggestions.  Before I share with you my latest favorite thing, I want to introduce you to Lily Mills.  For those unfamiliar with the Lily Mills company, they were founded in 1903 by John Schenck as the Lily Mill and Power Company.  The company was located  is in Shelby, NC, which is in Cleveland County . . . North Carolina’s premier cotton county.  Cotton production peaked in Cleveland County in 1948, producing 83,549 bales of cotton.

By the 1940s, there were twenty spinning mills in the Shelby area.  Lily Mills was one of the mills and produced a wide range of products such as thread and yarn for sewing, crochet, tatting, and weaving.  I still covet their cotton and wish it was still available.   To promote their products, they published instruction booklets and other publications.  Which brings me to my latest favorite thing Practical Weaving Suggestions.

Each issue of Practical Weaving Suggestions was focused on a particular topic.  Perusing through the list of authors reads like a who’s-who in weaving.  Mary Meigs Atwater, Harriet Tidball, Berta Frey, Osma Couch Gallinger, and Virginia West to name a handful.  Over the years, I came across an occasional copy of Practical Weaving Suggestions; however, through the convenience of the internet, many of these issue are available.  To see the list of issues available, click on the following link http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/practical.html

To whet your appetite, below are comments and images from some of my favorite issues:

Troubleshooting for the Handweaver

 

Trouble Shooting for the Hand Weaver has many helpful tips and insights that are as timely today as when they were originally published.    http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_8_1.pdf.  Below are just a few of the questions answered in this issue:

  • Why do I have so much warp breakage in weaving?
  • Why do the selvedge threads break so much?
  • Why does a selvedge thread fail to weave on some twills?
  • What makes those light and dark streaks in the body of the woven piece?
  • Why in weaving overshot patterns does the pattern thread not catch at the edge?
  • What can I do to increase my speed in weaving?

When I first saw the cover of Elmer W. Hickman’s Decorative Fabrics issue, I immediately starting considering which fabric would I weave first.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_3-64.pdf

Decorative Fabrics

Mary E. Snyder’s Textures Inspired by Nature looks as fresh and contemporary today as it did when it was originally published.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_2-64.pdf

Textures inspired by natureWe may not be wearing aprons as often as we use to (although, I still love a good apron!) . . . but, look beyond the projects when you look through Harriet Tidball’s Ten Projects on a Long Warp.  It’s a tremendous source of inspiration for different patterns from a single threading.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_21.pdf

10 Projects on a long warp

10 Projects on a long warp - #1

10 Projects on a long warp - #2

Versatility of a single threading is also presented in other issues, such as Mrs. Gordon C. MacDonald’s Four Harness Sampler  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_3-60.pdf

4-shaft samplerand Geraldine Wood’s Variations on a Familiar Theme — Point Twill for weavers interested in an eight-shaft threading.   http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_3-63.pdf

Variations on an 8-shaft point twill

and Eunice Gifford Kaiser’s Let the Honeysuckle Blossom or You May Not Need to Change that Treadling.    http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_2-70.pdfHoneysuckle cover

I love the texture Margaret Newman achieved with her Satin Honeycomb; a Six Harness Colonial Weave.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_3-70.pdf

Satin honeycombAnd, if that inspired you, you may be interested in Virginia M. West’s Decorator Fabrics in Honeycomb.    http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_4-63.pdf

HoneycombHuck is always fabulous (well, at least in my opinion).  I’ve woven a lot of huck over the years and the cover of Nell Steedsman’s Huck Variation only inspires me to return to it as soon as possible.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_1-71.pdf 

Huck variations coverPlus, there are four- and six-shaft threadings available in the issue.

Huck variations threadingInterested in trying your hand at weaving crackle?  Then check out Mary Meigs Atwater’s Notes on ‘Crackle Weave’  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_5_2.pdf

MMA Crackle

. . .  or Rupert Peters’ issue Some Notes on Crackle Weave  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_57_2.pdf

Crackle weave

Crackle weave sample #1Last, but far from least . . . for weavers interested in weaving narrow projects, Mary Snyder’s issue Belts, Girdles and Sashes may be just what you’re looking for  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_2-71.pdf

Belts, girdles, & sashes

 

This is just a small taste of what awaits the weaver.  I hope you will check out Practical Weaving Suggestions and find something new!

Enjoy!

 

I’m going to take a slightly different approach to my latest favorite thing I’m sharing with you.  I want to share with others some background on a very important weaver, Nellie Sargent Johnson.  Then I want to use that as a springboard to bring to light an older weaving publication, Handweaving News.

Many modern day weavers are familiar with the big names . . . e.g., Atwater, Tidball, Alderman, Collingwood, van der Hoogt, and more.  One person I think is more than deserving of more recognition is Nellie Sargent Johnson.

Nellie Sargent Johnson

Nellie Sargent Johnson

Nellie Sargent Johnson was born Nellie Sargent in 1887 in Massachusetts.  She married Charles S. Johnson in 1922 when she was 34 yeas old.  She started teaching weaving privately in 1927.  In 1929 she became the Weaving Editor for Design Magazine.  In 1933 she started her own publication, Handweaving News.  She continued writing this monthly publication until she passed away in 1951 . . . 220 issues in all.

I have learned a lot over the years from Handweaving News.  A few copies I found among my great-grandmother’s weaving items.  Others I have come across here-and-there.  Handweaving News is not one of the longest or most beautiful of publications; however, I must keep in mind what it took just a few decades ago to put together even one page of information and make multiple copies.  The idea of using a typewriter makes me shudder with memories of my pokey typing speed in order to reduce errors, the foreboding effort it took to correct an error, and don’t even get me started on what we had to do to make copies.  Mimeographs and carbon paper, anyone?  No, thank you!  I’ll bask in the convenience of technology while I sing praises to those that came before us and correct the multitude of errors I made in this paragraph with a click or two of my mouse and keyboard.

Anyway, back to Nellie Sargent Johnson and Handweaving News.  The internet has made accessibility to approximately 100 issues of this publication readily available at the Griswold On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics located at https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/hwn.html (a stupendous resource in itself).

By scrolling through the resources listed on the link, you can see that each issue of Handweaving News is on a single focused topic and only two to four pages long . . . just long enough to make a cup of tea (or pour a glass of wine) and take it in.  What is so impressive to me is the incredible range of topics covered . . . loom-controlled weaves, such as Bronson lace, crackle, overshot, summer & winter. . . weaver-controlled weaves, such as tapestry, inlay, soumak and other knotting techniques . . . design techniques, insight on equipment and materials, and more.  It’s almost as though there wasn’t anything related to weaving Nellie Sargent Johnson didn’t appreciate.  It’s also one of the earliest articles (earliest, maybe) on the use of algebraic expression in handweaving.

Below are just a few of my favorite issues along with an image . . .

  • Designing “Crackle” Weave Patterns in February 1940 (one of a number of articles on Crackle)  Crackle
  • Designing Four-block Twills and Squares in July 1942Designing Four Block Twills and Squares
  • An Experimental Sampler Using 8 Harness Twills. May 1943Eight-shaft twill sampler
  • Handwoven Hats in August 1944Hats

For more information on Nellie Sargent Johnson, I invite you to read a short biography on her life written in 1998 by Nancy McKenna.  You may find it available at the following link http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/hwn_intro.pdf

I think it’s well worth it to know about this remarkable weaver and wonderful resource.  Scan through the topics.  Something just may interest you in learning something new or intrigue you to try something different.

Enjoy!

This particular ‘favorite things’ post may be viewed as a little self-serving; however, I’m solely motivated to get more weavers intrigued with overshot.  In the current May/June 2014 issue of Handwoven I have a project that is a pair of overshot gamp dish towels.  I’m so pleased with how they turned out . . . if you haven’t seen them, below is a picture of one of the towels hanging from the bar on my oven.

Overshot gamp towel

The first thing I ever wove was a fingertip towel with an overshot border.  Over the 45 years since I’ve learned to weave, I have woven a lot of overshot.  I’ve always remained fascinated by the multitude of patterns possible . . . even on four shafts.  Yes, the above towel was woven on merely four shafts.

Weaving overshot reminds me of how important the tie-up and treadling is . . . not just the threading.  If you’ve never woven overshot, there are a multitude of resources available.  To get you started, here are a few you may enjoy.

Original Miniature Patterns for Handweaving – Parts I and II by Josephine Estes

Available for download is a pair of overshot publications by Josephine Estes titled Original Miniature Patterns for Handweaving.  This is a wonderful collection of many of the smaller overshot threadings.  I have always gotten a kick out of overshot pattern names . . . such as Young Lover’s Knot, Royal Crown, Queen’s Delight, and more!  They sound rather grand, don’t they?

The two publications each provide 24 different overshot drafts.  Pretty cool!  What I really like about these patterns is how accessible these patterns are because of the relatively short threading sequences.  Check out some of the pages . . .

Original Miniature Patterns for Handweaving – Part I  – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/monographs/eje_min1.pdf

Miniatures cover - part I Part I - index

Cambridge Beauty Royal Crown

Original Miniature Patterns for Handweaving – Part II - http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/monographs/eje_min2.pdf

Miniatures cover - part II Part II - index

Small Single Snowball Young Lover's Knot

Now, if those resources encourage you to weave overshot, you may also be interested in a couple more.

Different Methods for Weaving Overshot by Nellie Sargent Johnson http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/hwn_39_12.pdf

An overshot threading is really a type of a twill threading and just because you’ve threaded for overshot doesn’t mean you have to weave it as overshot by alternating a pattern weft and a tabby weft.  In the article above, it outlines a few more ways to weave an overshot threading, such as on-opposites, twill, and honeycomb.  Below is the threading in the article, but these treadling approaches may be done on other overshot threadings.

Different ways to weave overshot

 

Last, but certainly not least, is an article Six Block Overshot on Four Shaftshttp://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/zmw_42.pdf . . . you will need to scroll down through this November 1958 issue of Master Weaver to page 8.  No, it’s not the prettiest article, but it’s definitely worth checking out.  Six blocks on four shafts???!!!  Hopefully, more than a few weavers will be intrigued to see how to get more out of less.

Six Block Overshot on Four Shafts

Six Block Overshot on Four Shafts draft

 

Overshot sometimes gets a bad rap since many people equate it with Colonial coverlets, but overshot is so much more than that.  If you haven’t tried weaving overshot, give a chance . . . you may be pleased with the results.

Enjoy!

I find Celtic knots and knotwork attractive and very ‘weaverly’.  I think it’s my Irish ancestry bubbling up.  I enjoy tying (or at least trying to tie) a simple cord and transform it into a Celtic knot.  When I need a Celtic knot “fix”, there are a number of resources available that allow me to basically doodle away in designing Celtic knots.  Sometimes they turn into something real . . . like a pendant.  Sometimes they are merely a diversion . . . although, time seems to pass quickly.  Sometimes I develop ideas for new projects.

Years ago, I was fortunate enough to take a workshop on Celtic line drawing with Cheryl Samuel.  In case you may be interested in learning to design your Celtic knots and lines, one of the resources below may be just the thing.

To start, there’s one website offering a number of different resources, so allow me to introduce a few one-by-one

Interactive Celtic Knot Designer – Automatic – http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/knots/mkknot.htm

This resource literally allows you to click your way into designing a Celtic knot.  Using your mouse, select the Celtic knot type from the right side.  Then, click into the space on the left side and watch your Celtic knot develop.  Very easy!

Interactive Celtic Knot Designer - Automatic

Interactive Celtic Knot Designer - Automatic #2
Interactive Celtic Knot Designer – Manual – http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/knots/mkknot2.htm

If you would like to kick your Celtic knot design experience up a level, the same website has a ‘manual’ way to design Celtic knots.  In addition to to selecting your style, you also have a set of tools that allow you design corners, edges, and more.  This is important since designing the interlacement is one thing . . . designing the edges and corners is another thing altogether.

Interactive Celtic Knot Designer - Manual

Another area of the website pumps up the volume, try the Interactive Celtic Knot Designer – Tilted – http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/knots/mkknot3.htm

Tilted knot

The Obyx Celtic Knot Generator - http://www.obyx.org/knots.obyx?width=20&height=20&border=8&style=14&tile=0&mirror=3  The Obyx Celtic Knot Generator allows a user to manipulate the parameters of a Celtic knot (e.g., height, width, mirroring, etc.) to see how it impacts the results.

Obyx Celtic Knot generator
Fly Pig
at http://www.flypig.co.uk/?page=celtic offers another method for designing Celtic knots.  The one fun feature this resource has is a “Weirdness” component.  By increasing or decreasing the “Weirdness” value, the interlacement changes.  (Frankly, I think we need more opportunities to adjust the “weirdness” in our lives)

Flying Pic Celtic knot generator
If you prefer a paper and pencil approach to designing, Knotwork has Celtic knotwork tutorials – http://www.aon-celtic.com/cknotwork.html

Knotwork website
To get started, go to Basic Celtic Knotwork . . . there you will find a three-part tutorial . . . plus, even a short video animation.

Knotwork - basic knot page
The Celtic Knot Generator at http://w-shadow.com/celtic-knots/ is another option to indulge yourself in Celtic knot drawing.  Again, you can manipulate the parameters and see what happens.  Below are images of the default screen and one of a simple knot I made.

Celti Knot Generator

Celti Knot Generator sample

Is your mouse not working?  Don’t worry!  You can make Celtic knots by using your keyboard. Clan Badge offers tutorials in two different ways to draw Celtic Knotwork. –  http://www.clanbadge.com/tutorial.htm . . . one of them shows you how to use your keyboard.

Clanbadge - Two ways to draw Celtic knots

 

Keyboard method for Celtic knotsIf you’re interested in even more options, you may be interested in downloading an application

Knotter - http://knotter.mattbas.org/Knotter – This takes a little longer to learn, but it’s worth it if you feel up to the challenge.

Knotter
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of Celtic knot design resources . . . just something to get you started.  I hope you have fun while you learn how to design Celtic knots.

Enjoy!

Anyone who has woven more than a few weft picks in their life is aware that weaving has been around for a very long time.  Today, we have access to so much information and we’re able to create patterns with a couple of stokes and clicks of our mouse.  In the past century, weaving publications have come and gone.  Some were around years ago and many weavers today may not be aware of them.  This brings me to my latest favorite thing . . . The Weaver magazine. The first issue of The Weaver was published in 1935.  There were four issues a year.  The last issue was published in July 1942.  Fortunately, through the beauty and convenience of the internet, we have access to all 26 issues.  You can access all of them at the following link http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/weaver.html The Weaver cover 1-1 All it takes is a look at an issue or two to appreciate the peek into the history of hand weaving.  The authors include such weavers such as Nellie Sargeant Johnson, Osma Couch Gallinger . . . and the legendary Mary Meigs Atwater.  These are just a few of the weavers that contributed so much to our craft and their articles help continue their legacies for future generations of weavers.

Penland weavers in 1935

Penland weavers in 1935

Beyond the weaving information, there are a number of things that are surprising when I look at issues of The Weaver.  First, the authors (mostly women) are listed by their own names.  If you look back over 75 years ago, women were often listed as Mrs. <insert husband’s name>.  Were weavers over 75 years ago their own contemporaries?  It may appear so.  Another thing I really marvel at is the hand-drawn drafts . . . including the penmanship.  Such beautiful handwriting!  Plus, I can only imagine how much work went into creating one publication since the publishing tools and advantages we have today (namely, computers) were only a dream at the time. In looking through some of the issues, the following were just a few of the articles that caught my attention

Volume 1, Issue 3Miniature Patterns for Hand Weaving by Josephine Estes (below is one of the five pages of the articles drafts) Minature patterns - 1-3 Volume 5, Issue 3Miniature Patterns for Hand Weaving by Josephine Estes (below is one of the five pages of the articles drafts) Minature patterns - 5-3Volume 2, Issue 4 – Lightning Weaving by Elmer Wallace Hickman . . . Before reading this issue I was unfamiliar with Lightning Weaving.  Yes, it’s a Scandinavian tapestry technique . . . but, I love the name and the drawings!       Lighting weave - 2-4Volume 4, Issue 1 – Know Thy Thread by Osma Couch Gallinger . . . If you’re looking for a little guidance on what is the appropriate yarn or thread for your project, there are four pages that may be of help.  Not all of the yarns may be available, but it’s amazing how much of it is still relevant. Know thy Threads - 4-1Volume 6, Issue 2 – Bronson Weave – Four Ways by Mary Meigs Atwater . . . A nine-page article that may intrigue any weaver interested in learning more about Bronson lace. Bronson Weave 4 ways - 6-2Volume 7, Issue 2 – Types of Overshot by Osma Couch Gallinger . . . I thought this was a wonderful look at overshot patterning.  The image below is just one page of the four pages of hand-drawn images.           Types of Overshot - 7-2Volume 4, Issue 4 – How Many Ways to Weave Honeysuckle by Berta Frey . . . Looking for one threading with some versatility?  Check out this article!   How many ways to weave Honeysuckle - 4-4There are even numerous articles that I would consider off-the-beaten-path . . . the two below are just a couple that may capture your attention.

Volume 7, Issue 2 – Finish of Edges by Mary Meigs Atwater Finish of Edges - 7 - 2Volume 1, Issue 3 – New Ideas for Tablet Woven Rugs by Beatrice A. Shephard . . . I’m totally and completely intrigued by the idea of a tablet woven rug.  It’s not a project I would likely undertake, but I can certainly marvel at the work of others. Tablet woven rugs - 1-3The Weaver magazine may lack the visual impact of color . . . but, so what?  Hopefully, some of the above articles will encourage you to check it out . . . and, while you’re looking at your first issue, think retro . . . think nostalgia . . . and then think how incredible these projects could look in color. Enjoy!

Mention the word tapestry in the company of weavers and at least one person will proclaim they dislike tapestry (sometimes even stronger and more passionate language arises).  In fact, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said something disparaging about weaving tapestry.  I could have a pretty good dinner with a nice glass (or two) of wine.

I think I started thinking about tapestry recently when I realized my friend and amazing tapestry weaver, James Koehler, passed away three years ago this week.  He was incredible!  Not only as a tapestry weaver, but also as a teacher and friend.  He once watched me give away awards for a bath towel exhibit at the ANWG 2007 conference in Red Deer, Alberta wearing nothing more than a bath towel.  Nearly every time I saw him after that, he would would say Robyn.  I didn’t recognize you with clothes on.  The chance he would say it increased with the number of people that would hear his comment.  Talk about watching heads whip around.  A former monk saying something like that sounded rather shocking.  One can’t help but love someone with a sense of humor like that!

To learn more about James Koehler, you can watch a short video of him describing how he became a weaver.  The video was produced when James received a New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2007.  http://www.nmartmuseum.org/governors/awards/video.php?select=231

James Koehler

James Koehler

James Koehler tapestry

One of James’ amazing tapestries

Fortunately, James left behind many inspired weavers to share his techniques with other weavers.  In fact, Rebecca Mezoff was kind enough to post a video on YouTube of his tapestry join technique.  You may see her video by clicking on the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TwNVX3nPGc

Koelher tapestry join by Rebecca Mezoff

For years I avoided tapestry.  Why?  It was slow and time-consuming.  Then came my decision to complete HGA’s Certificate of Excellence in weaving (COE-W).  Three of the 40 woven samples required in Level I of the COE-W are tapestries (albeit, small ones).  If I wanted to complete the COE-W, I was going to have to tackle tapestry.  I went forward kicking . . . but, not screaming . . . and guess what?  After developing my skills, I was able to weave a nice little tapestry.  Below is one of them.

Cherries by Robyn Spady

Cherries by Robyn Spady

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I didn’t abdicate from my floor looms in favor of weaving tapestries; however, I developed a new appreciation for tapestry techniques and tapestry weavers.  I also pursued incorporating tapestry techniques into my regular weaving.  For example, I sometimes use a clasped weft technique to create a bi-colored weft effect.  Below is an example of clasped weft in the weft pile picks used while weaving corduroy.

DSCN0443

Corduroy weft piles picks woven using clasped weft (uncut)

Corduroy weft piles picks woven using clasped weft  (half the pile weft is cut - notice the shift in color)

Corduroy weft piles picks woven using clasped weft (half the pile weft is cut – notice the shift in color)

Tapestry techniques are just one set of skills I think weavers should develop . . . at least to some degree.  There are even some resources available.

First stop for more information, should be Weaving Today.  They have a free tapestry ebook available for download.  Just click on the link http://www.weavingtoday.com/tapestry-weaving/

Handwoven tapestry PDF cover

When you’re ready to move on, head on over to the American Tapestry Alliance’s website http://americantapestryalliance.org/.  There’s tons of information and inspiration just waiting for you.  There is also a significant collection of tapestry-related articles listed under the Education tab.  Below is an image of the top of the list.

AMA articles images

Interested in more on tapestry???  Cool!  Check out the on-line PDF available from Archie Brennan and Susan Martin Maffei.  http://www.brennan-maffei.com/images/TapestryWeavingTechniques.pdf

Brennan's technique

Also, there’s a wonderful 16 minute video made available by Debbie Herd that introduces the viewer to tapestry techniques that may get you inspired to purchase Archie’s 8-disc DVD set.  http://debbieherd.blogspot.com/2013/07/woven-tapestry-techniques-with-archie.html

If you need a little more to inspire you to learn more about tapestry techniques, I’ve included some images from some of my favorite tapestry artists.

Maximo Laura – http://www.maximolaura.com/about.htm

Maximo Laura

Sarah Swett – http://www.sarah-swett.com/

Red Nuns by Sara Swett

Red Nuns by Sara Swett

Cecilia Blomberg – http://www.ceciliablomberg.com/

Cecilia Blomber - Multnomah Falls

Cecilia Blomberg – Multnomah Falls (1998)

Margo MacDonald – http://www.margomacdonald.com/

Margo MacDonald tapestry

Kathy Todd Hooker – http://kathetoddhooker.blogspot.com/

Kathy Todd Hooker

 

If you’ve shrugged off or even runway from weaving tapestry, give it a try.  It’s easy to get started.  A piece of heavy cardboard with some notches cut into the top and bottom can made a good little loom to warp up.

Enjoy!

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