Knots cut on along one selvedge, opening the pleats.
Opening the pleats to get a first glimpse of each scarf is always exciting. This was the vertical stripe scarf.
Three very different looking scarves, all from the same warp and threading,… and a couple more to come before a new warp.
June 13th was our Art Gypsy show. I invested in a new tent, tables, tablecloths, and took my wood sign with. Since it rained most of the day, the woven shibori screen spent the day under plastic.
Space on a table for a mirror (for trying on scarves), guest book, business cards, along with Northwoods Art Tour, Artistree Gallery, and Shuttle Works Studio brochures. The columbine plant added a nice touch of color.
I knew it had been awhile since I last posted here, but was stunned when I saw it was March 1st! Where do the days go?
So this is a quick update.
March 2015 – On March 7th, the Art Gypsy exhibit at Nicolet College Art Gallery closed, the woven shibori scarves and screen were picked up and taken to Artistree Gallery in Land O’ Lakes, WI.
April 2015 – A tooth abcess, which had spent six years coming and going, reared its ugly head in January, and for 3.5 months I was in increasing pain and taking 4 antibiotics over those months, finally admitting it was time to have the tooth removed. I’d fought it for a long time but knew I was not feeling well and it was getting worse. Soon after the appointment I realized I as feeling well again, thank goodness! Very little weaving was going on during that period (after the screen was finished), or much else.
After I was feeling better I was able to finish up a scarf that had been ordered, get it dyed, and sent off.
I was very pleased with the results and I believe the customer was, also.
A phone call had come that my father was being admitted to the hospital, and I was on the road two hours later for the five hour drive south. After four days in the hospital (Influenza B and a touch of pneumonia) he was released, feeling very weak, and I stayed to take care of him, fifteen days, I believe, then home.
Earlier in April, I had applied to adopt a little dog, mixed breed, that no one else seemed to want as she has secondary epilepsy. I picked Keda up in Green Bay, a slight detour on my way home. Then came a few weeks adjustment for both of us. Her meds was also adjusted, and things have improved. She is a sweetie, but can be stubborn. So I now have a little companion in the studio where she hangs out in her bed, or sometimes under the rolling cart. At least she has stopped barking at the loom with each depressed treadle!
May 2015 – Back home, I was able to weave again, back working on woven shibori scarves, indigo dyeing, and trying out ideas. This time a 4 shaft Monk’s Belt threading, and 8 treadles tied up for a couple variations.
Do you remember the little sample I made awhile back, with a free-stitched dragonfly on plain weave? It was time to do it again, on a scarf.
There will be photos of this scarf and two others in the next post.
Before placing the handwoven scarves into the indigo vat, I “test” it with small cotton PFD swatches. The indigo on handwovens does not come out the same as on these swatches, but it gives me an idea of where the vat is, so I can estimate how long I want to leave the scarves in, and how many dips. Right now, the swatches are just a little unplanned collection, but they will be used in making small items, even piecing a few. Stay tuned!
I may have written about being interviewed late last summer or early fall, by Nancy Camden, for a segment on Wisconsin Life, on Wis. Public Radio. It was finally aired on Wed., May 27, 2015. If you are interested, you can listen to it here. (http://www.wisconsinlife.org/story/weaving-life)
In my studio, view from the kitchen. Photo by Nancy Camden.
The next blog post will be along very shortly! I’m back in the studio, have a lot of weaving to do, as well as preparing for the summer Northwoods Art Tour (http://northwoodsarttour.com), and more to write about and share here. Life is good!
Woven shibori remains my primary focus in weaving, and I don’t see that ending for a very long time. Working to create a larger body of work is very important this year.
I have an equally strong interest in Norwegian and Scandinavian weaving, as evidenced by a studio full of Glimakra looms, and the ever growing number of books on my shelves on the subject. It’s time to put it into action.
It was interesting last summer and fall, I had said in the art tour brochure that my interests are woven shibori and Scandinavian weaving. Although I had woven shibori for sale, and had examples of Norwegian/Swedish style weaving I had none for sale, and a couple visitors had come to possibly purchase this style weaving. This is the year to make it happen, for myself, my home, and for interested visitors.
My paternal grandparents immigrated from Norway. I have many memories of my Grandma H., particularly about food – her lefse, Norwegian meatballs, krumkake, sandbakkels, doughnuts, and apple pie. It was those memories that for years had me making the Norwegian meatballs, lefse, and cookies for our Christmas dinner.
A few months ago, on Amazon, I ran across a new book that was coming out, “Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving” by Heather Torgenrud. It is a beautiful book, good instructions and photos, and many patterns. The author has a website where the book can be ordered,… http://norwegianpickupbandweaving.com.
Happily, I was able to sign up for a class the author will be teaching, in September, at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, IA. It’s something to look forward to as I weave my way through the year.
Another interest, since reading “The Warp-Weighted Loom: Studies in History and Technology of an Ancient Implement” by Marta Hoffman, is someday having a warp-weighted loom.
This book, recently published in Norway, was also published, a couple months later in English, and I sent for a copy. It has good instructions, clear photos, and thankfully, a large font size, and now I definitely need that loom. I must be patient. The book may be ordered from the author’s website at,… http://www.warpweightedloom.com/apps/webstore/.
There are also some wonderful old videos (1950’s or so) on You Tube, on warp-weighted loom weaving as well as bandweavinng. Just search for Norsk Folkemuseum and they will be there along with many others.
Of course, with my studio already full (and three more smaller looms in the basement, the question is, where will I put it? That was Char’s question to me when I asked about the possibility of her making one for me later this year. It was Char who made the three panel wood screen for me for the woven shibori screen. Her website/blog is at https://charzindel.wordpress.com.
While I’m waiting for the bandweaving class, waiting for a warp-weighted loom, and the Glimakra Standard occupied with woven shibori, I have the Glimakra Regina on which I can weave Scandinavian style ranas, rugs, and/or tapestry; also the drawloom.
Norwegian coverlets are also on my radar. I plan to start with a small baby/christening size, and then we’ll see. I saw three beautiful examples of Norwegian and Swedish coverlets at VavStuga while taking classes there. I don’t know yet when, only that I need to do this.
And last but not least, I need to get back to my drawloom. There is also an opphamta attachment still waiting to be added to the Glimakra Standard. I think I need to clone myself!
There are connections between these various areas of interest in Norwegian weaving. Coverlets can be woven on standard or on drawlooms. They can be edged with bands, or in other ways. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that I don’t need to do it all this year, but I do need to get started, Now. I’m not getting any younger.
Woven shibori and indigo blue will continue. To me it has a contemporary look, and I enjoy the elements of unknown and surprise at the results. The Norwegian weaving is more traditional and will add COLOR back into my weaving. It’s a good plan.
I’ve had people tell me I should specialize, do just one thing and do it well. Create a body of work. Well, I understand that, and that is what I’m working toward with the woven shibori. However, I cannot and will not shut off my other weaving interest, learning and growing is too important to me. Life is too short, I don’t know what the future holds, and I plan to learn, explore, and continue on this path as long as I can work at my looms. It works for me!
It feels good to be back in my weaving studio again, surrounded by looms, threads, and books. I’m a bit late getting started on plans for the new year. A tooth infection, the flu (both in January), followed by a more severe tooth infection (same tooth), so in mid-February, I took time off to heal and take better care of myself.
I did meet the deadline of completing the woven shibori screen and three scarves for the Art Gypsy Trunk Show/Exhibit, now at Nicolet College Art Gallery,… the show ends Saturday, March 7, 2015.
Woven shibori scarves will remain the focus this year, Yes, I have noticed a lot of “blah” photos here, it’s not easy to make them interesting or exciting, until you reach the indigo dyeing stage. I am hungry for COLOR in weaving so I expect to slip a different warp/project in on occasion.
Artistree Gallery, a cooperative gallery in Land O’ Lakes, WI with work of about 30 area artists, is waiting for more new work. I’m told they will take anything I weave that is woven shibori technique. Open now four days a week, they are closed the month of April for cleaning and rearranging, then re-open May 1st. You can find more info at https://www.facebook.com/ArtistreeGallery.
Also coming up fast is the Art Gypsies June 13th show/sale in Minocqua, WI, as well as the Northwoods Art Tour (summer and fall). A lot of weaving to do and socks to be made.
I’m having issues with the warp on the drawloom. I really like weaving with the Bockens 16/2 cotton, but the threads stick together and it takes treadling a couple times at this sett to maybe have a clear shed, or clear each shed with a weaving sword.
Random single threads showing (white) should not be there. It was suggested to me to re-sley to a bit wider sett, so I need to do a bit of research for sett for 16/2 cotton in satin weave. With more sunny days (I hope!) it would be a good time to do this, then enjoy weaving in the sunshine.
The Glimakra Regina rug/tapestry loom has been sitting here now for a year. It was a busy year, and sometimes I need time to ponder what I want to weave while busy with another loom. I’ve decided I want to begin with a Rana, weft face weaving traditional in Norway and Sweden. There are nice examples in a number of books, and I need to order warp and weft so I can finally begin weaving on this loom. And yes, there will be COLOR with this weaving! The two harnesses with heddles are on, I just need to remove remaining warp ends from the previous owner, and add treadles.
So, a lot more woven shibori coming up for Artistree, the Art Gypsies show, and the art tours. Also, some Norwegian weaving, also for the art tours as well as for my home. And I now would like some handwoven valances on windows, so there is plenty to weave over the coming months. All this along with occasional visits to my 87 year old father, as well as my grandson & family.
I’m looking forward to continuing my weaving interests, exploring, learning, successes as well as challenges. Now, back to my loom!
It all began with a photo in an old Edward Worst weaving book, a photo of a wood screen with woven panels. I’d been exploring woven shibori for a couple years and when I saw that photo I pictured it with woven shibori panel inserts. I talked with Char, my wood-working daughter-in-law, and she was up for it. This was months before we actually began working on it, but the idea was simmering in both our minds over the summer and fall. Occasional conversations took place about what wood, size, height, fix the panels permanently (no!) or be removable for cleaning (yes!), or eventually to be replaced.
And, the Art Gypsies, a group of artists who do an annual show, had been asked by the curator at the Nicolet College Art Gallery if we were interested in doing an exhibit of our collective work. Yes, we were! The screen idea seemed like a perfect fit.
Life being what it is, there were many delays in getting started, not the least of which was the summer and fall Northwoods Art Tours, and a lot of orders for socks! The deadline was January 2, 2015, it was very early January and we’d barely gotten started when I was hit with a tooth infection, the flu, and one evening, found out what it’s like to have an eagle’s talons gripping your hand (even through welder’s gloves, they can puncture your hand).
Finally we could each begin, I in my weaving studio, Char Zindel, Heirloom Custom Wood Design (on Facebook), in her woodshop. Please click on the link to see Char’s photos of the frame construction.
After we worked out dimensions of the wood and the woven panels, allowing for draw-in while weaving and shrinkage during finishing, warp calculations were made and the warp was wound.
For narrower warps I usually make warps in two halves, allowing for the Texsolv cords coming down from the coupers. This time, however, because of the fineness of the threads (16/2 cotton, 30 epi, 18.4″ wide) I wound the warp in four sections, so extra hands winding on would be helpful.
I’d called Louise to help and she brought her husband George. Between them and Char and Sarah, I was just barely needed, my job being to cut the choke ties. It went fairly well!
Threading went fairly quickly, with only two threads crossed that needed to be fixed before weaving could begin.
Before Char could determine final width of cross pieces, the first panel needed to be woven, off the loom, gathered/tied/dyed/opened/washed/dry/pressed, so we knew how wide the final panels were.
After Panel #1 was air-dried and pressed, it was 16.25″ wide, Char could proceed while I quickly wove Panels #2 and #3.
The other two panels were woven, dyed, and finished. On a Wednesday morning, Char brought the wood frame up to the kitchen where I was nervously cutting into handwoven fabric so I could sew the hems. No photos of the dyeing, and sewing, it was just too busy! We were able to take a couple photos in the weaving studio before it was wrapped in blankets and taped for the ride over to the gallery.
The work on the screen, for both of us, was approximately 10 days or so, days and several nights for me. Althought during the last 24 hours, we were both saying we would NEVER do another one, on the drive home after getting it to the gallery, we were already talking about the next two or three.
Artistree Gallery, which I’ve just returned to, said they would like on there, and I want one in my studio for the Summer and Fall 2015 Northwoods Art Tours (see 2015 Calendar page above for the dates!).
I also took three woven shibori scarves for the exhibit, woven on the previous warp but with the same advancing twill threading, and the same tie-up.
This exhibit at Nicolet College Art Gallery, Co., “G”, Rhinelander, WI, runs through Saturday, March 7, 2015. Please check the Nicolet College Art Gallery website page for hours.
Now, I’m back at work on more scarves and other items for Artistree Gallery, the June 13th Art Gypsy show/sale, and the art tours. Life is good!
Woven shibori scarves continue to come off my loom. They don’t look like much at this point, no color, but color there will be,… indigo blue!
The scarves are looked over for any problems or skips that will need to be repaired.
The scarves are gathered, first on one side and knots are tied. Then the other side is very tightly gathered and knotted to create the needed resist to allow the “pattern” to show, which comes from the threading, tie-up, treadling, and tabby rows between pattern rows.
A deadline has become uncomfortably close, and I am far behind. Two months of making socks placed me behind my schedule before the end of 2014. A tooth infection closely followed by the flu, then a wildlife run for an eagle, and the ensuing discomfort in my right hand from experiencing its talons (even wearing welders gloves) is making me a bit panic-y about meeting my goals. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, I have 10 days (and nights) and I’d better return to the loom and finish weaving another scarf,… or two. I know the end of the warp is there somewhere but I can’t seem to reach it!
2015 stretches out ahead, a new year of exciting weaving challenges and opportunities!
January will be totally focused on weaving for an area exhibit. The Art Gypsies, of which I am a member, were asked if we would like to have an exhibit at Nicolet College Art Gallery. We all agreed, and the exhibit will open Friday, February 6, 2015, and close on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Visit their page (link above) for details. (I know, poor photo, but it’s all I hard to work with!)
I will be working on a collaborative piece with Char, and hopefully a garment along with a couple scarves. Designs and detailed calculations are being worked on now, and the weaving begins tomorrow morning. I have a woven shibori warp on the loom to finish (the first scarf is already sold), and I’m hoping another 3-4 scarves if enough warp, The next warp will be wider for the exhibit weavings.
Along with weaving for the exhibit, I’ll have weaving at Artistree Gallery, Land O’ Lakes, WI, beginning mid-January. Artistree is a cooperative gallery so I will be working a couple days a month there, and always have weaving or sock handwork to take with, or a spinning wheel for a good days of spinning wool.
The Art Gypsies will also have their annual art show/sale on June 13th, more information here and on my webpage/blog (see 2015 Calendar page) for details of time and location.
2015 will also include the Northwoods Art Tours, always a good time, and this year my daughter Sarah Zindel will be a guest artist with her handmade jewelry. The summer art tour dates are July 24-25-26, 2015, fall art tour dates are Oct. 9-10-22, 2015. Mark your calendars!
Another part of my year will be the Weaving Study Group I am part of. I belong to an area weaving/fiber arts guild, and we meet monthly at our homes for a potluck supper and a show-and-share. While nice to have time with area weaver and fiber artists, three of us began meeting every three months or so for our own gatherings.
We each enjoy learning and exploring, in-depth, weaving areas that interest us so that is what we do,… work/study/weave independently, then get together and share information, resources, samples, and larger works in our area(s) of interest.
Both Carol and Louise have a great interest in the Norwegian weave, Krokbragd, and that is what they have been working on for the past several months or more.
My focus the past two years has been woven shibori and indigo dyeing, with no end in sight. I’m just beginning!
We also have other related areas or tangents we plan to explore this year, including warp painting. It is very nice to have weaving companions who are serious weavers and enjoy in-depth studies.
I’m looking forward to a productive year,… time to begin!
Most of December was spent cranking socks, successfully getting all but two pairs done and either mailed or delivered before Christmas. I estimate between those socks, the ones tossed, and those sitting on a counter that have small issues where I won’t sell them, I made somewhere around 140 socks in November & December, a record for me!
In the midst of the sock machine problems (see the previous post), I had an email requesting a woven shibori scarf. I had developed severe pain in my right wrist and hand from all the cranking, In December, and had to stop working on socks for four days, but by day 3 figured I could last on the warp, tie up the treadles, and see if I could weave without causing additional pain. I could! So I spent two days weaving the scarf, and doing the gather/tie preparation, and making up a new indigo vat.
The vat was ready quickly, lots of good “flower,” and the dyeing went smoothly, putting the scarf into the vat twice. It was then rinsed and allowed to air-dry. When nearly dry I started clipping the tight knots and opening it up.
It was a beauty!!! After washing it twice, rinsing well, air-dry, pressing, hand-twisting the fringe, and taking a few photos, I had to package it up and get it in the mail to hopefully arrive before Dec. 24th.
Starting Christmas Day, I took five days off for family and rest. Now, it’s time to get back into the studio and create more.
2014 is nearly over, it was a very busy fall, and unfortunately, blog posts fell by the wayside. It is time for a two-part update, starting with October & November.
October was a busy month with Spinzilla, Oct. 6-12. This was the first time I participated and wouldn’t you know, it was the same week as the fall art tour! Still, I managed to get some spinning done.
While preparing for art tour visitors, I managed to spin 965 yards, two full bobbins plied together, and the remainder as a smaller singles skein, for a total of 0.548 mile. I ended most days with some late night quiet spinning or plying.
In the middle of Spinzilla week came the Northwoods Art Tour – Fall, Oct. 10-12, with approximately 125 visitors over 3 days. Most stayed quite awhile, visiting, asking questions, ordering, and being fascinated by this unique studio and home.
By the end of the art tour I had a lot of sock orders, and more came in via phone calls and emails, In the end around 50 pairs!
I began work on the socks and things went fairly well, but then the sock machine developed a problem and I had no idea what it was or how to fix it. I was throwing away more half-to-nearly completed socks than I was keeping to fill orders. Disaster!
The needles and spring were removed, cylinder slots cleaned out, and reassembled, and the problem persisted. Then we took it all apart, removed the crank and cylinder, cleaned it thoroughly, greased and oiled parts and reassembled again, and still the problem persisted. Then Char said if you have another 72 slot cylinder, let’s put that in and see what happens. So again, remove needles and spring, substitute a different cylinder and reassemble.
Let me tell you, changing to a cylinder that had not been used in perhaps 30 years or so, it was STIFF CRANKING!!! After a couple days, it was better, and SUCCESS!!! I was making socks again. I was also a month behind, so now cranked by day, closed toes and washed by night, and managed to get all but two pairs to my customers before Christmas. And she was fine with waiting for those two pair. I still have seven pairs to make this week.
Last weekend I was at a basic indigo and shibori workshop. Taught by Mary Hark, a professor in design studies at UW-Madison, WI, she is also a paper artist and proprietor of Hark! Handmade Paper Studio, also in Madison (http://maryhark.com). The workshop was held at Debra Ketchum-Jircik’s Circle of Life Studio outside Eagle River, WI (http://circleoflifestudio.com).
There were five people participating in the workshop including Louise Engelbrecht, artist/painter/weaver; her friend Eugenie, a felter; Ann, a batik artist; Tim, a new UW-Stevens Point graduate and paper maker; and myself (weaver).
Mary Hark shared with us about her travels and living in Ghana and her work there. The photo above and the next two are examples of shibori she brought with her most (or all) from Ghana.
The workshop ended with a powerpoint presentation of Mary Hark’s experiences in Ghana as well as her beautiful handmade paper art. She may return next summer for another workshop.
The weather cooperated on Saturday and we had a beautiful day to work outside, exploring a few basic forms of shibori and indigo dyeing. A nice workshop and a wonderful group of artists!