Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ahh….August! Back from our summer vacation….

After being on a break for two months it was good to get back to classes and seeing students again. We started off the month with our annual indigo intensive (see the blog before this one on that), a few new students and a few old regulars. Joan Funk was here from Ohio for the first time as was Claudine Bouchard from south of Quebec city. Claudine wanted help with weaving tartans as she had been working on creating her own designs using a fine two ply worsted. Joan chose the old stand-by - our striped throw - and both did a beautiful job on their respective projects. Bob Clarke, from Ottawa,Ontario was back for his third year and will be with us for a month. He started off with a full sized Scottish Wedding blanket and then moved on to overshot and summer winter. Also that week was Jillian Westfall, from Athens, GA who had come for the indigo intensive and dyed the fabric that she was going to use to weave the Japanese fabric Saki Ori. This is a very time consuming project as the fabric strips are only 1/8" wide but she perservered and wove enough fabric for an apron. The following we had a new local student come for the first time - Tashni from Adamant - and she will be with us for 6 weeks doing as many projects as she can fit in. Along with Tashni was Alexandra Kohl who wanted to expand her weaving knowledge of some 4 shaft weaves and chose a log cabin design that she wove with grey and white. It was incredibly stunning! The next week our two new students also came from Ohio - Susan Conover and Mary Beebee - and both of these experienced weavers chose something to give them a challenge. Mary decided to work with a 60/2 silk in a fairly intricate twill pattern and Susan wanted to weave one of the most complicated Silas Burton warp faced carpets in the finer weight. Much to our dismay, the yarn ordered for that was not really suitable for a warp and when every yellow thread in the pattern starting breaking with every shot, we decided to do major surgery and replace it with another yarn. The color choice was actually alot more pleasing and the warp was redeemed. Lesson for us though….don't try out a new yarn on a student! Michael Lobel, our Van Gogh expert frzom NYC was here again to resume his new found weaving passion and delight us with more images of Van Gogh's little known drawings and paintings from his "Weaver's" series. With Michaels permission I would like to do a whole blog sometime on these incredible paintings. Michael chose to start off the week with a wool throw with striped borders and then finished up the week weaving some cotton towels. Mary was also able to fit in a second project and finished off one of our linen rug warps with a multi-stranded wool weft. And last but not least, Dosia is back! Leaving the city life of Brooklyn behind she has moved back to Marshfield and will be a ….hopefully!…permanent feature at the school. Her first project was a painted silk warp and this coming week she is going to teach a practice class in warp painting to one of her friends to see if this is something that we could offer in the future. Stay tuned!
Joan Funk weaving a Scottish Wedding style throw.

Claudine Bouchard wove a tartan scarf
of her own design.

Bob Clarke back for a month…first project a
full sized Scottish Wedding Blanket.

Jillian's prepared rags for her Saki Ori….dyed in
Indigo the week before at the Indigo Intensive.

Jillian working on her Saki Ori.

Jillian's finished piece.
Alexandra Kohl's log cabin shawl.
Detail of the pattern.

Tashni working on her first warp of dishtowels.
Dosia helping Bob with his second project of overshot runners.
Dosia's painted warp in silk.
The finished piece!

Lynnette helping Michael  beam on his wool throw.
Mary threading her 60/2 silk scarf.
Susan warping her Silas Burton warp faced carpet.
The carpet on the loom.
Mary's second project - a wool yarn rag rug.
Susan's resurrected carpet with color change.
Close up of the color change.
Mary's rug.
Michael's throw.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The first week of August saw our 4th annual Indigo Intensive and we had a good crew of four students and three instructors. Justin Squizerro and Zoe Saldana led the first day of setting up the four different vats - Lye/Thiox, Zinc/Lime, Copperas and the old faithful - Urine Vat. The second day Zoe taught resist printing, the third day Jane Quimby was back to teach Shibori and the fourth day was a free day to experiment with all the different surface techniques using all four vat. The students this year came from near and far - Juna Muller from California, Caroline Goddard from RI, Jillian Westfall from GA and Joann Darling from Barre, Vt. The weather ranged from hot and humid to cold and rainy with even a major hailstorm thrown in…but the vats performed remarkably and some great dyeing insued!
Day 1 !

Zoe and Justin explaining the different options
for making an indigo vat.

A little hail storm added to the excitement the first day!

Joann, Caroline and Juna making the samples for each vat.

Caroline and Juna starting the samples.

Justin taking advantage of the warm weather to
dye 12 lbs 2/20 worsted for our job
for the DAR.

From right to left - Zinc/lime vat,  Justin's urine vat
and Kate's urine vat.

Justin with two perfectly reduced stock solutions!

Jane Quimby with the Shibori making equipment.

Some Shibori samples.

Caroline cutting open her stitched Shibori.

More Shibori….

And more...

And more….

And more...

Jillian working with the Bentonite Clay resist past.

Juna using a stencil and silk screen with the Bentonite resist paste.