Saturday, October 27, 2012

October Class at Dragonmoon

  A couple of days after our return from Colorado I had another opportunity to teach a fiber and bead bracelet class at the Dragonmoon Tea House in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  More woven jewelry on Mirrix looms, great food and fun!  In fact I am not sure if it is the weaving or the food that is more highly prized by class members but it is surely a winning combination. Thank you to the staff at Dragonmoon for such wonderful service and attention for our day long weaving adventures!

Here is Jennie busy at her loom.

Gwen is working on her bracelet here.

Another shot of Fran, Donna and Jennie working on some finishing.

Here are a couple of bracelets that Delores was working on.

Everyone seems to enjoy the Flamingo Clips!

Gwen's bracelet has been designed to have some embellishment in the center.

Here is one of mine that I used as a class sample for the beaded edging with a copper button as embellishment finished after the class.

Donna's picture of the finished bracelet.

Donna's bracelet in class.

Another one of my class samples, finished after the class with a ribbon clamp and a bead pattern with Tila beads.

One of my class samples just finished with a picot edging and...

a peyote button closure instead of the peyote slide.

Here is another picture Donna sent after the class of her second bracelet.  I think she is having fun with this.

Above is another bracelet I finished with a different closure of knotted silk and a ribbon clamp with some Magatama beads.

Robin was in the first class and just sent me this picture today.  Two fiber and bead bracelets and an OU, Oklahoma University beaded bracelet in the center.  I think she is enjoying these projects too!

I had several requests in the classes to come up with a necklace on the Mirrix Loom and so this past week I did one. I used hand painted silk for the warp, size 8 and 11 seed beads and some garnets that I purchased on a recent trip to Colorado. I am pretty happy with the necklace but having a hard time getting good pictures of it.

To the right is a detail of the bottom which is better for seeing the effect.

Finally, here is a photo of the catch detail.  It seems like a perfect souvenir of my Colorado trip. Now, if I can just catch up on the October Diary and get organized for a show in Texas the first week in November!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

To the Summit of Pikes Peak and Back with Tapestry in Between

In the last couple of weeks I have been to the summit of Pikes Peak and back again. In between I took a workshop from Kathe Todd Hooker sponsored by the Pikes Peak Weavers Guild. Normally I would have done some blog posts in the evening down time after the days workshop but this situation was unique in that my husband, adult son and two dogs went with me.  We had a great time exploring the beautiful countryside around Colorado Springs and the variety of local restaurants. Combining a workshop with a family getaway left little in the way of down time though and most of mine was spent sleeping.  We had a great time and would love to go back for more soon.

Not long after our arrival in Colorado Springs we discovered a nice spot for walking the dogs at the Stratton Open Space area within walking distance of our cottage.  Here is our first deer sighting but it was one of many. I wish I had a picture of the deer helping itself to a pot of flowers in a neighbors yard!  Also, a picture of our son Josh and his dog Clohe.

On the first day of the workshop Kathe presented a talk about her tapestry work and the things that influence her choices.

One of the interesting things about visiting weaving guilds in other areas is that while each has its own local flavor there is much that remains comfortably the same.  Here is a group of weavers from the Pikes Peak Guild and in the center is Debra Scott who corresponded with me about the workshop and sent me information. Thank you Debra!

Here is a shot of Kathe Todd Hooker right before the presentation to the Guild.

I have admired her tapestry work, enjoyed being part of her online tapestry group - Tapestry 2005, and learned so much from the many books on tapestry she has written and so looked forward to meeting her.

The workshop we were about to take was focused on line and Soumac techniques and much of the information is carefully detailed in her book, Line in Tapestry.

 Here are some pictures from the first half day of the workshop.  There was plenty of room to spread out and get to work.
The first sample was some line soumack boxes using progressively thinner wefts as the boxes moved toward the center.

Many of the class members were working on Mirrix Looms and a couple had Archie Brennan style copper frame looms.

Here is my sampler after the first day exercise .

On the second day we started with a soumac swirl.  We drew a cartoon for this and attached it to the tapestry in progress.

There was discussion about line versus dot soumack and the many spacing variations that could be achieved by moving over one or more warps at a time.

 The transitional areas of the swirl can be challenging and must be worked out as the weaving progresses.

We also worked on a vertical soumack sample on the second day. In my art work I have always been attracted to the possibilities of line. It could be argued that shape is the more prominent element in tapestry work but it is helpful to learn techniques that will allow for designing with line when the need arises.

Here is a picture of my sampler after the second day.  Most of the day was spent weaving that swirl!  I put in some temporary stitching to hold a slit together.

One of the little side discussions Kathe brought up concerned making a half hitch on the bobbin that would allow the weft to flow smoothly as work progresses.  I was interested in this as I find that sometimes mine flow easily and sometimes not.  I assume this is one of those directional details that I often have trouble with so I did some step by step photos of the process with Kathe's suggestion.

Step one shows the loop being formed, the thread coming off the bobbin is on top.

Step two, slipping the loop on the bobbin from back to front.

Step three, getting ready to secure the loop on the bobbin.
Here is a bobbin weft that will flow easily as work progresses. A simple thing but so important.

Here is a shot of the class at the beginning of day three.  My loom is the closest.

A picture to the right of Kathe's loom with the many samples she was weaving in class.  Her Mirrix was warped as a continuous warp without the warping bar in use. It works !

Work continues on the third day with using soumack to smooth out edges and create straight even bases for shapes like squares, circles and triangles, dot soumack, twining variations, and some different techniques like Cicim Overlay-Underlay and Hopi Brocade.

Here is my finished sampler with some of the day three techniques.  A triangle with a sumac base and a vertical soumack going up the edges to smooth them. There is also a half circle with soumack outlining.  On the left top of the sampler are some horizontal and vertical samples of twining in one and two colors. In the top center is the sample of Cicim which I enjoyed and to the top right some Hopi brocade.  There is also a small area of Hopi Brocade done in a Pick and Pick configuration which was interesting.  I finished off the little box with my initials after the class was over and I was so pleased with the sampler that I decided to do a little finishing after I got back home.

 Sunday was the last day of the workshop but we decided to stay an extra day so that we could drive to the summit of Pikes Peak.  Francis and Josh had tried a couple of days while I was in class but the weather at the top was unfavorable and they were unable to get a permit.  We were fortunate to have a lovely sunny day on Monday and so it was a trip we all made including our dogs Clohe and Laddie.  I was so excited to be able to do this.  As a native of Florida I can truly say this is the highest I have ever been!
It was an amazing drive. Here is shot of our ascent, close to the top and after we had passed the tree line.

 Francis and Laddie at the top of Pikes Peak. I had envisioned taking amazing pictures from the summit and did get a few but it was so cold.  The beautiful sunny day at the bottom turned out to be below freezing with a wicked wind at the top!  We were so happy to be able to go inside the summit shop for some hot coffee, famous Pikes peak donuts and some souvenir shopping. Watching from the cozy building we observed several visitors who were even less prepared for the weather at the top in short sleeve shirts and one lady in sandals with no socks.

The wind was literally lifting Laddie's ears up in this photo.

Here are a couple more shots from the summit.  Looking out over the sea of mountains from the top is an amazing moment and hope I to visit again, perhaps in the summer when more exploring will be possible.

At this point in the descent it was warmer and less windy so we were able to get out and really look around with the dogs.
 Here is a photo taken close to the bottom. Although it was a little late for the height of Fall we did enjoy some beautiful golden Aspens shimmering in the breeze.

After our descent from the mountain I was able to get in a little shopping at a Rock shop close to the base of the mountain and brought home some garnets , apatite, abalone and amethyst stones which I intend to use in some jewelry later. We also stopped for lunch at a restaurant that featured a selection of Colorado wines and came home with a few bottles.

After lunch we visited Seven Falls, which was an interesting side trip.  There are stairs that lead up to the top of the falls where this picture was taken.

Here are Francis, Josh, Clohe and Laddie taking a little break after all the exploring at the Seven Falls.  We packed in as much as we could that day and left the next morning with a car full of dogs, dirty laundry and tapestry supplies.

A couple of days later we returned home about noon and unloaded the Subaru.  That afternoon I vacuumed out the Subie and loaded it back up with supplies for a class I would teaching at the Dragonmoon in Tulsa, but that is another story.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Class at the Dragonmoon

On september 29th I had a bracelet class at the Dragonmoon Tea House.  Many of the participants were weavers but new to the Mirrix Loom.  It was a very grey day which made picture taking problematic but I have a few to share. We had a great time, a wonderful lunch, some enthusiastic visitors and every bracelet was unique.  These fast, fun and creative projects are a great way to break the ice with a new loom offering practice with warping it in different ways and becoming familiar with the many options available.

Here are a couple of pictures after everyone has chosen their bracelet style and warped the looms. From near to far, Annie, Arleen, Susan and Lynn are busy weaving.

This one shows the other side of the room with Marilyn, Karin, Becky and Robin.  I was very glad I had purchased some extra lights for the table so that everyone had their own.

Here is a close view of Marilyn working on a fiber and bead affinity bracelet.

This is Karin's affinity with all beads,silk warp and a little fiber at the beginning so that she could use a ribbon clamp to finish.

Here is Annie's fiber and bead bracelet in progress.

Susan chose an all beads with the addition of some Tila and Magatama beads.

Here is Arleen's bracelet in progress, also all beads with a unique woven bead pattern .

Here is Becky who had an accident a couple of weeks before the class but would not be discouraged.  It may have taken her a little longer but she made a beautiful bracelet and I have a finished picture coming up.

Margaret came by for a little while and had lunch with us. At one time we had several visitors that came up after having lunch to see what we were up to.

Robin was busy experimenting with new ways to use bead embellishments on her bracelet and I can't wait to get pictures from her.

During lunch we just pushed our looms back and had a little break time.  Later in the afternoon we had a dessert break which is always a treat at the Dragonmoon.

Now for some of the finished projects.  I am still having pictures of these coming in.

This is the one Annie did in the class.

Here is the second one she did after. Notice the bead button she made.

Here is a picture that Becky sent me. Remember the hand cast?        
The one to the far right was done in class and the center bracelet was woven on the same warp on her 16 inch Mirrix. The Tapestry Bead Cuff on the upper left was her first project on the Mirrix and we warped it during a show in July.

Here is the bracelet Karin did in the class...
Complete with the ribbon clamp attached.

Here is the the second one she did after class with the addition of some extra beads.

I just finished this bracelet using the no warp ends kit on my Mini Mirrix. I really like the Mother of Pearl button on this one.

I also have a couple of updates from the beginning Tapestry class.  Here is a picture I took at the Tulsa Handweavers meeting last Saturday of Katherine's tapestry made into a small bag.

Karin's Tapestry has been mounted and framed and also was seen at last Saturdays meeting.

Tomorrow I will leave for Colorado for a little family getaway/ tapestry workshop and I hope to make a couple of blog entries while I am away.  When I return I will be teaching another class at the Dragonmoon on October 20th, catching up on the October diary and the Mango Hunters which is slowly progressing.  It promises to be a busy and exciting Fall.