OK, second part! And the original motivation for this trip: weaving in the Dordogne. As if that doesn’t sound good enough in itself, the deal also came with three days of tuition from Marian Stubenitsky and the company of eight other weavers, all friends – some recently minted and some going back to Bradford and beyond.
We brought a fascinating variety of table looms with us, and spread out around a lovely working space. Look at those walls! The first morning was spent designing our threadings and setting up the looms. Then we got stuck into the first of seven different structures, alternating drafting and weaving and drafting and weaving for the remaining two and a half days. Drafting time was really, really quiet… Loom time was pretty focused too – we were doing all sorts of double weave variants on eight shafts, which requires quite a lot of attention on a table loom! – but the looms themselves were very chatty and I did enjoy the variety of noises they contributed.
As a key idea was to explore polychrome effects and iridescence, as per Marian’s book, there was a lot of leaning this way and that to see how the colours changed from different angles.
My warp consisted of light blue, dark sea green, lilac and a colour we named radioactive salmon.
In this double cloth sample, the wefts are dark red and a light green which I snaffled from Stacey at the next loom, which was one of my favourite combinations – although the purpose of this sample was to create texture with colcolastic rather than a special colour effect.
At the end of day three we cleared away the looms and spread out our samples for evaluation. See what I mean about the angle?
And then to test the powers of the colcolastic, we had to wash them and hang them up to dry. Then we were forced to stop weaving and endure fine weather and the drinking of wine. It was shocking.
I was quite pleased to have finished my warp as I could pack my samples in my rucksack and my suitcase was that wee bit lighter! I managed to squeak under my baggage allowance by a few hundred grammes and so escaped the punitive excess baggage charges I had been afraid of. Now I have my handwritten notes half transferred onto the computer, and hope to finish that off once the marking mountain has been vanquished.