weekend overload

posted in: Blog | 6

I’d love to tell you all about yesterday’s workshop, but it went by in such a blur that I can hardly remember a thing about it. I think I probably had too much material, but of course I had been afraid of having too little and erred the other way. It’s the sort of thing you only learn by doing — and I did warn the hapless participants that they were all my guinea pigs.

We were flying under the banner “weave a cloth of many colours” and looked at some of the different ways you can introduce multiple colours into a woven fabric, and specifically into a warp since that is my “thing”. Of course that meant that we got to do some yarn wrappings, which is one of my favourite things. And the results were fantastic – look at these, for example:

Anyway, I was suitably exhausted at the end of it, and I think I had worn everyone else out too.

Today I was allowed a treat, so we went on a wet drive around Fife, encountering flooded roads, closed roads and roads hosting bicycle races. This is what passes for a treat in my life. No! It was Fife Open Studios weekend and I dragged Stuart away from his homework to go and visit a couple of local weavers.

The first was a weaver I hadn’t met before, but who was known to me through someone at my guild. Turns out that I was also known to her through the same guild member, so cheers to Di for making connections! Jan Shelley used to be head of textile design at Duncan of Jordanstone but has now set up her own teaching enterprise, the Weft Textile Studio in Pittenweem. It is very exciting to have this initiative practically on our doorstep (OK, on the other side of the county, but in weave terms — well, you know what I mean). However, the studio which was Open for this event was the lovely place where she does her own weaving, and I came away with some serious studio-envy. I also came away with more optimism for the future of handweaving in our corner of the world, since Jan is full of passion and energy. This is counted a Good Thing.

The second was a weaver I do already know as she belongs to the selfsame guild. What a guild-y weekend this has turned out to be. Dominique is actually quite new to weaving, but experienced in many other kinds of textile work including knitting and felting. She is another person with spadeloads of energy and is all fired up to develop her weaving practice. Plus she is also a person with a fabulous studio! It is not that my studio isn’t fabulous, it is just that it is small and fabulous rather than large and fabulous… Still, I must count it a Very Good Thing that I have a studio at all otherwise I risk turning into a wicked witch.

For this off-the-scale introvert, that was more than enough social activity for a 48-hour period. However, we did get a brilliant tip from Dominique, which was to have our lunch in the next village to hers at the Kingarroch Inn. Should you ever happen to be hungry in the middle of the day in the middle of Fife, I recommend you have your lunch there too. If you are hungry there at other times, then other meal options are available.

Since we got home I have been looking out a few images for the P2P challenge. I am at the stage of having too many choices but not quite the choices I want. My natural tendency is to pick things which (I think) “go together” but I really need more contrasts: some bright colours, some neutrals, some hard-edged shapes, some softer focus, etc etc. More to do here.

weekend overload” was posted by Cally on 8 May 2011 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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6 Responses

  1. Julia
    | Reply

    I’m so glad the workshop went well, but of course I knew it would. The thing about teaching is you can never know what is just the thing your participants need to hear, but rest assured, someone heard something that gave them an AHA moment! As an off the scale introvert myself, I hereby grant you permission to take a vow of silence until you recover!

  2. Meg in Nelson
    | Reply

    (((Julia is funny…))) I bet your class had an fab day, Cally. And though tired out, I bet you did, too. And a fab lunch, too. We love Scottish pub meals….

    I’d be nice if your students from Saturday upload photos of their inspiration, wrapping, and/or woven cloth somewhere on the Internet, and let you know. They we can see them, too.

  3. neki rivera
    | Reply

    good to hear the workshop went well. better to hear you made new weaving friends.

  4. Evelyn
    | Reply

    The wrappings are great – will your students translate them into warps? So many links to study! The Fife Open Studios looks wonderful, but 71 artists to see in a few days is a big tour.

    • Cally
      | Reply

      I hope some of them will. The next part of the plan is a hands-on warp-making day in June, so we’ll see what happens…

  5. dorothylochmaben
    | Reply

    Hi Cally – so glad you met up with Jan ! I went to a workshop at the weft in Pittenweem and had a great time. I asked her if she knew you and explained about your blog etc. She would be pleased to meet you. I found her very inspiring, creative and helpful. I hope the Weft Studio will do well for her.
    I also met Dominique at that workshop and she said she knew you from the Guild. Again very creative and enthusiastic about her weaving and fibre work.
    We weren’t here at Crail last week so I missed the Open Studio thing.
    Maybe over the summer when you have a break from uni we might manage a meet up for a coffee or something in Dundee ?


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