I spent Wednesday working on my Red Fish rag weaving and coincidentally, parked in front of a fish shaped bench that day. This weaving is an experimental prototype for a large commission that I'm planning to propose. I think the process worked well. I really liked the blending and subtle colour variations that I was able to get by combining different pieces of fabric. Most of the fabrics that I used are printed cottons, but there's a bit of heathery wool, a jersey knit, a tartan plaid and some shiny synthetic bits thrown in as well. I think one of the things I liked best is that the technique uses up a LOT Of fabric. It was very satisfying to see my "stash" decrease.
I did a hand stitched quilt workshop last year with some folks from Gee's Bend Alabama, and I found myself thinking about them after the US election results. I decided to do a small hand stitched piece with some of the fabrics I used in the weaving. As I stitched, my thoughts went to the stories that they told us about growing up in rural Alabama and the hardships that their community faced when the money lenders came and took everything of value from them - all their food stores, tools, livestock, everything that they would need to survive in their remote community (which is still almost an hour drive to the closest town - grocery store, doctor's office, school. Imagine how isolated they would have been without cars or even horses.) Somehow, they managed to persevere, and found ways to survive and to make things out of pretty much nothing like the beautiful quilts that they hand stitched from rags to keep their children warm on cold winter nights. I wrote the words "Winter is coming" on my piece, because that's how I feel about their country right now. You can find your own meaning in the Game of Thrones reference.
I had a very nice visit with Mary on Thursday. I know her through the Vancouver Artist Trading Card group. When she learned that I'm a weaver, she gave me three LeClerc backstrap looms that she found at her local thrift shop. They even have rigid heddles. I've been saving them to play around with during this residency. It was nice to be able to show her what I've been doing with one of them.
After finishing the Red Fish weaving, I decided to take a bit of a break from weaving for the rest of week, but I do have plans to use the backstrap loom to reacquaint myself with the patterns and textures you can get using a pick up stick or two. Maybe next week.
One of the people in the Tuesday Spinners group took pity on my poor broken drop spindle. She had fixed a similar spindle issue with some gold Fimo polymer clay and she gave me the her left over clay to fix mine. I still have to bake it to harden the clay. Fingers crossed that all goes well.
I also played around with the felt beads that I made a few weeks ago for one of the mini workshops. I did some needle felting to "fix" some loose bits, and then did some embellishments with beads and bits. I think they'll become necklaces for some of my upcoming sales.
Next week is looking pretty busy. I'm doing a full day weaving workshop on Thursday. Joanne is going to bring her Cricket loom and we're going to figure out how to get it set up. I also have a workshop in Burnaby on Thursday evening, then on Friday, I'll be setting up for our weekend "Possible Omissions" show and sale at Mission Possible in Vancouver