Posts Tagged With: Contemporary Handweavers of Texas

CHT Art Camp 2014

It was Art Camp again and so it was get ready and head out early Friday morning for Brownwood, Texas. We meet at the Texas 4H center there which is perfect for our gathering. Now there is no direct route there from the Houston area and sometime I am actually going to sit down with a map and really plot out what looks the best way across, but alas that wasn’t this time and so muddled across with three GPSs to help guide us. Rather interesting how each one gives a different direction even when it looks like you chose the same one. I know there is a lesson in there if I would only ruminate on it.

My First painting

My First painting

My second piece of paper

My second piece of paper

But we arrived and soon the place was buzzing with 30+ ladies all excited about fiber. I was taking the paper basket weaving workshop and our group actually started work on Friday after supper. (Did I mention we eat really well while there and gain a few pounds each year?) We had big sheets of watercolor paper that we were to paint both sides. Now I didn’t understand it all at first and it really is a project that after you do the first ones you get it and want to start all over but that is for another time. It was paint paper night and so I did.

Backsides with glitter.

Backsides with glitter.

After painting one side, it was turn the pages over when dry and paint the other side. Now I hadn’t added a lot of color and what silver I had added was thin so they dried pretty fast and I was back to painting and trying to improve on the look. So in the end my fronts and backs weren’t as different as they should have been but they did come out different as the backs were darker (which is what I had wanted for the fronts) though still not as dark as my head envisioned it and I did add glitter to the backs though most of it was lost over time as well. Again I should have had thicker wet areas for it to adhere to.

The bottom woven together.

The bottom woven together.

At this point, it was off to bed to await what was to happen on the morrow. Saturday morning it was time to strip the paper into thin strips with a pasta cutter.  It was at that time that one realized that whatever you envisioned with your paper would change when viewed in those thin strips. After that, it was pick a pattern for your basket. This is where I missed the boat somewhat as the patterns were color and weave and I didn’t really have two distinct sides to either paper for color and weave but with the blue and red one I did have long strips that I could still work with so off we went.

Finished basket

Finished basket

Hard at work.

Hard at work.

Spending a day weaving, by the end, I had a basket whether you could see it as a color and weave pattern or not. The red corners from a bit of distance show the pinwheel the best. The blue and lavender are not very distinct.

Then it was an evening of learning about Rebecca’s fiber trip to Japan and weaving on my Zoom Loom. To bed. Early morning. Breakfast and back at it to learn how to make a bias basket. Now for weavers of cloth where you only work in two dimensions, the bias basket took a bit to wrap your head about and make work. But once I caught on to what I was suppose to do whether one thought they were going to just tear everything up it was rather fun to weave.

The bottom woven for bias basket

The bottom woven for bias basket

Pulling the corners up and weaving in the sides.

Pulling the corners up and weaving in the sides.

I did lay out my strips so that the two sides of my paper were in different directions and then I also made sure that the different ends were lined up together as well. So the horizontal strips in the picture are one side with the light end to the left and darker end to the right. The vertical strips also kept the two ends separate. So we wove and tightened and wove and tightened and wove and tightened. And then learned to weave in the ends from the corners into the next corner strands. Having kept my sides and ends together made it so that I ended up with diamonds of each color at the bottom as the sides came up. And I know none of this makes sense but maybe it will help me remember how it went.

Finished bias basket

Finished bias basket

Then on one goes till you get up as high as is feasible to make a top and make sure it is all even and then you weave in the ends so that what it looks like around the top reminds one of being a kid again and weaving together chewing gum wrappers. I might add that in this picture you may notice the bandaid. Yes, the day before I was very me and managed to cut my finger with scissors when trimming off the ends. These were even scissors that could be classified as children’s with blunt nose on them. Just incredibly glad I wasn’t using my pointy ones at the time. Who knows what damage I would have done to myself then.

My weird odd contraption

My weird odd contraption

As there was still time when I finished the bias basket and I still had some strips, I started on a smaller basket. Alas as I was running out of strips to come up the sides, I didn’t want to just cut the tall spokes off so decided in a fit of madness to try and weave them in together. It was crazy and Brenda even got in on it to try and see what we could create. It is a crazy odd contraption that has been called many things since its inception. In this picture we still hadn’t come up with a way to weave in all the spokes sticking out. I did get them to connect but just a wrap not a weave.  I am still debating to go ahead and cut the top off as it is totally unpractical and weird but who knows maybe it will sit somewhere forever looking out of place.

So all in all a fun weekend that I learned a new technique. The best part is that I have an idea for a project that learning how to do the bias basket will help with so it won’t be just a fun weekend that I won’t use anything I learned again. I doubt I continue with paper weaving but then I did have a friend last night say she had a pasta cutter she never uses….

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Triaxial Weaving – I Love You

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.

Layer one with the beginning of the second layer

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.

The second layer almost done

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.

Half of the third layer woven

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.

My first completed piece

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.

My second piece withe the second layer started

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.

My second piece with half the third layer in place.

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.

My third piece with the second layer almost done

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.

Third layer half done on third 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.

Third piece completed.

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.

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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