This past weekend I got to participate in the first CHT (Contemporary Handweavers of Texas) Art Camp. It was a great time with other weavers and fiber people who enjoy playing as much as I do. I signed up for the two day Triaxial Weaving class and walked into a world I had only glimpsed once and am now in love with.
We had a kit handed to us of all the items we would need to make three 11 x 11 pieces of weaving. We each got to choose from sets of three colors of ribbon and made our boards to pin our layers onto. Triaxial weaving is a weaving where you weave three layers of ribbon going in three different directions. Now the hard part for weavers is that the angles you are dealing with are 60 degrees and not the normal 90 degrees weavers are used to weaving.
The picture above shows the beginning of my first piece. The first layer of ribbon is pinned at the proper angle on the board. Then you can begin anywhere within the second layer and make sure that you get the angle at that 60 degree mark.
You know you have your second layer correctly done if the “old men are holding hands”. That means that the diamonds that form are attached moving across the work and not stacked on top of each other. And yes, I had times when my men weren’t holding hands and had to take them out and redo them. But if you remember to keep holding hands or as one gal put it “make bikinis” then all is well on your second layer.
After the second layer is done you then take your third color of ribbon and start on the third layer which will go up and down. This then forms cubes that you can have fun with from all different angles. Focus on one color in the cube and make that the top and keep switching. It can drive your eyes batty.
I loved this piece when completed despite the fact I really don’t like the color orange. Just very thankful I didn’t end up with yellow in my choice of colors. You can turn this every which way and have a different color as the top of the cube. It is wonderful play time as you twist and turn looking at it.
I then started my second piece which was chosen from 4 color and weave patterns. I picked the stars and used my green and burgundy ribbon for it. I chose this picture of the progress because from an angle it has a 3D look. It was a bit disconcerting that each color only crossed over itself at this point but the valleys and hills were fun to see progress across the piece.
Then when the third layer is added we no longer are making cubes this time but wonderful six pointed stars. I forgot to take a picture of it finished while at camp but here it is with half the third layer done. The interesting bit with this piece is that though it doesn’t have a strong 3D look, when you look at it from different angles it looks like there are 4 or more colors involved instead of just 2. How the light and shadow hits the ribbon and the angle it is running and layer it is in all plays on the eyes.
Since I used twice as much burgundy ribbon than green in my second piece I had to use twice as much orange in my third piece. So I picked a pattern and set to work. Only I had forgotten all about the “old fat men holding hands” and had to take quite a bit of my second row out when it was discovered. So back to work and then the geese started flying south for me. If you look closely the “men” are holding hands here just they are a different color so not as noticeable as in the first piece.
Now my poor geese are falling out of the sky as they get turned into cubes. The third layer was pretty easy here as you just close up the ends of the green to form cubes.
So here are my green cubes surrounded in orange cubes. I was able to finish all three pieces in the two days and had so much fun, I bought more ribbon and plan to keep playing with my new found toy.
I had an incredible time at art camp and plan to attend again as I do believe it will be repeated in two years as everyone that went had a great time.