Thursday, July 20, 2006

some projects from this summer

For anybody interested:
I warped up the mh looms with warps ranging from 4" to 8" and had some rh looms with similar warps. The kids with the rh and mh looms all wover sashes and/or scarves. A few only managed enough for a little bag.
Cardboard looms were a real handy thing for the kids who wanted to make one more thing but there were no looms to hand them. I had bought a huge supply from Dick Blick and made some small ones. By weaving all the way around, the kids made little cup holders to go around a glass of milk or cola etc, or just could be used as a little bag.
There are a lot of simple projects for kids here:
http://www.montessoriworld.org/Handwork/weave/weaving3.html

Kindness of strangers

People can be so great!
So far, two people have seen my posts on Yahoo wherein I commented that I planned to get enough looms for each kid to have either a mh loom or a rh loom to work on and have offered to send me looms! One of them I had to insist on paying her something, because it's a Structo and I know she could get some good $$$ for it on ebay, so I can't let her just send it off like that.
But I am so moved and happy to see so much goodwill out there in the ether!
You get what you give! I so makes up for the times I've been burned! Thank heaven people like THAT are so few and far between, and that there are more "enlightened witnesses" around than the schlemiels!

FIT

About learning to weave:
I went to Fashion Institute of Technology where I studied Textile Design/Wovens under people like Nell Znamierowski and Desiree Koslin. Wish I was still nearby enough to drop in for the occasional refresher, but, so it goes. I was delighted recently to tumble on one of the current faculty and had a fun email exchange with her this week. Nice. Made me feel back in touch with my favourite school.
I am always kind of amused when people assume that weaving is some kind of folk art that I must have learned from my grandmother! One of my grans was a working-class Londoner, WWl war-bride, who loved photography, and worked in her son-in-law's Mexican restaurant, whipping up guacamole and fajitas in later years, (she was a fun Grandma!), and the other was a Southern lady with a houseful of "help." She would have considered weaving to be something the "help" would do, since that's who did it back in the very, very bad old days before "THE War," (meaning, of course, the Civil War). She did do a lot of beautiful crochet, though, and most of us have some examples of her work. Anyway, I like to bust THAT bubble by commenting that I studied it a major fashion-industry college in the SUNY system, which also happens to be Calvin Klein's alma mater. Heh heh.
Weaving gives me a sense of continuity in what has been, for the most part, a rather moveable feast of a life. My working days were full of taking whatever I could get after I left NYC and moving rather a lot, to my great distress, since I love a familiar setting. (I do love to travel, but hate being away from home. Figure that one out! ) When came home and found myself an "heiress," I was able to get a loom again and do the thing I do best for my "butter-and-egg" money, although I hope that this will grow into a self-sustaining business in the future.
I am going to start teaching regular classes when I get back from the UK this Fall, and I guess I will start with something like "make a scarf in one day" workshops.
I am so grateful to God for my life right now. I am able to live in my hometown, go to the church where I was baptized, spend a little time playing with little kids (always a spiritual restorative, I think...keeps you perspectives straight!), do the things I do best, adopt some little critters who needed homes and just enjoy my life, my friends and beautiful Alabama ("so sweet in the Springtime").

Structos

I successfully refilled a Structo spool today! Yay! The trick is that you need sectional warping equipment.
I used my AVL warping wheel and hung a near-empty spool on the warp beam of one of the Structos and wound it on just like a sectional-beam section. Gee, that was easy! Now I can stop desperately buying up every set of the things that show up on ebay! Also, I can load them for the next art camp with an epi that will be good for the kids and save myself some warp-making time and effort in the meantime! I can also get some variations in warp colours and fibers for them! We can do stripe and plaids and things.
whew!

last words on weaving-munchkins

Well, the summer art camp is now history for this year. I had a wonderful time and blush to say that the weaving class won the popularity contest! The kids did want more 'sewing machines" so my goals for next year are to purchase enough Structos and Dorothy Looms and whatever else seems likely so that all the kids can have some kind of "machine" to work on, AND to make sure they all start calling them "Looms" instead of "sewing machines!"
In spite of my loathing for potholders, I had to let the littlest campers make them. Of course, guess who finished off 95% of them! I did hit on a good idea to help them with the concepts of "over-under," which I am also going to apply to the rigid-heddle looms as well: alternating colours! This way I can tell them that, the first time, they all go UNDER colour A and OVER colour B, then, the next time, go OVER colour A and UNDER colour B! The little ones ( and, surprisingly, some of the older kids) have a lot of trouble with the whole "over/under" concept.
Again, some of the kids did astounding work! One of the boys, I think he's 10, did a little scarf with selvedges that any weaver would envy: even, not too tight or too loose, just beautiful. I caught his mom when she picked him up on Friday to tell her about it.
My voice was hoarse for a couple of days, since you really do have to yell a lot to get their attention when they are in a group and all wound up. They tend to go up trees and hang out windows etc! The little ones were bouncing off the walls one afternoon at the end of the day, so I turned on Radio Disney and handed them handfulls of bubble wrap to pop and we all had a great time making a great deal of noise and giggling!
I had a ball! Can't wait till next year and am thinking of signing on as a Sunday School teacher this year!
My mother would laugh her butt off at me turning into a teacher!