Found a rusty bit yesterday during our walk in the Wissahocken. Lying there in the mud it had been flattened and at first I thought it was a bit if twisted string but went back and sure enough it was a rusty bit!
Love the twists – perhaps some sort of hanger?
This am I used a piece of folded rough watercolor paper I had prepared to insert in a sketch book and layered my new Rusty Bit with my tea bag from breakfast!
How much fun is this!!!
Been a very busy Spring Break! Finished the long warp, Worked on drawing each day, and just wrapped up a project I’ve been working on since last summer on eco dyeing with leaves etc.—little major gets done during the school year. The eco dying was done while I was dying fabric for “Stitches, not Words”, only it was on paper and also involved plant material.
I layered various leaves from my yard between pages of fairly heavy paper, bundled them up and dyed them in a pot over heat for an hour – let them cool for several days before opening the bundle. Very happy with the etherial result, on both sides of the paper.
The original idea was to make a small book but when I saw them I wanted to see them much larger. That’s when they went into a drawer with other ideas, waiting for a final solution. Sooooo, a bit ago I took them out and scanned them at a high resolution to be printed archivally at 18 in x 24 in. This one and two others are posted on my printmaking page
One of a series, more on my Printmaking page.
I’m really happy with the results and have entered 2 in different juried shows (not pieces shown here)—so we’ll see where this goes. I’m always nervous about entering work but regardless of the outcome there, I will be doing more of these – once school is out in May and once something grows in my snow covered yard!
Two and a half years ago I decided to explore Theo Moorman’s weaving technique. I have done double weave before and long wanted to try the imagemaking possibilities of this method. It is basically a double weave—one fine warp is used to tie down a supplementary weft. Being fine it does not show and is also integrated into the thicker main warp of the background. I sent away to Halcyon Yarns in Maine for my yarns. Green for the main warp and black for the tie down warp. Purple and green were to work as the main weft and I did lots of experimenting with the image weft. The yarns arrived and I got busy winding the warp!
First the green warp through the front heddles and then the black through the back two. I used strings to keep my two warps separate as they went through the reed. A 12 dent reed with 3 ends per dent—one black and two green.
My small Harrisville Loom!
Finally all tied on and winding the bobbins. This is a hand bobbin winder that belonged to my grandmother’s cousin. I was given her counterbalance loom which is currently in my attic.
For additional weft I also used some pine needles from walks in the Wissahickon, some sticks that I soaked, shredded, and dyed with rusty bits. I used some yarn that tied up lunch from my trip with the Garden gals… This warp turned into a journal of my life during this time.
And I did The Moorman Technique with it’s ability to make wonderful densities of design. A square within a square. Towards the end there were squares – positive squares, negative squares, heavy squares, delicate squares, squares with stripes…and then I ran out of warp!
My “Stitches not Words” project uses squares and lots of squares appeared here. One early bit of weaving that was removed to adjust the warp didn’t have squares but it ended up in a rusty bit dye pot with stitched bits on it! It has since become a work on it’s own titled “Liar, Liar”.
“Stitches not Words!”
Need to get back to work. This has not been a pleasant month. Been doing things I can do by rote, dealing with my classes and students, and taking more long walks in the woods.
Signed up for a workshop on little looms with Rebecca Mezoff. Got inspired after doing the small weaving with the dyed yarns I had used to wrap my fabric bundles and while I’m pleased with my result I realize I need a whole lot of brushing up—also for some reason I’m terrible with half hitches… Seem simple enough when I try them in an isolated situation but then on the loom…. think it just takes doing, and doing and doing – like everything else.
Some of the students in this course are posting beautiful work…got my work cut out for me.
I’m starting with the small frame I used with the dyed handspun and have ordered a sm Hokett Loom which should arrive this week. That’s exciting. Long story short—workshops always shake me out of a bad place and get me going. So here’s hoping it helps now.
Starting anew and finishing up the old
I’m also finishing up the looooong green warp I have on the loom using the Moorman Technique – which is sloooow for me and I’m getting back to my stitches.
Oh, and working on some drawing. Here is the start of a charcoal drawing of leaves— from the long walks in the woods.
and then there’s my painting…
Finished my little tapestry woven using the hand spun that tied up some of the rust/tea dyed fabrics. Wasn’t sure how to finish it off and was going through some baskets of odd bits and came across this heavy ring—I think it’s glass—that I’ve had for years and never knew what to do with except keep it in the basket. And there was the answer. Might seem a little large for the small work but the small work is large in it’s importance to me and needed such a presentation. So here it is! Gives me some ideas for other bits in that basket…
Also continuing to work on the stitching on my dyed pieces. Adding another layer of information to this conversation—dyed, reassembled, applied, and now a flood of stitches—of new purposes, new lives, new reasons for being.
This summer I did a bit of eco dying with tea and rusty pieces. I tied all my bundles with some white hand spun yarn. I like to spin for the zen like process but don’t have really have a use since the last weaving project with handspun was to make chair seats and moths ate them leaving me traumatized! They not only ate them but they left them so infested with moth eggs etc that after I totally stripped off the chair seats I have never replaced them…
But here were these pieces of yarn all died in warm browns and grays and I wanted to do something with them but what. I knit up a bit but that wasn’t the answer. Then I thought of tapestry. Again, I just have short pieces so didn’t want to set up one of my larger tapestry looms so I decided on a small frame loom which is really a picture frame I had in the attic.
Then I remembered a wonderful wooden needle that would be just right for this project, dug out a small hand beater and began. This is just the thing after I spend hours wrangeling with technology that won’t behave and new operating systems that don’t play nice with existing software and all this is discovered in front of a class of students and oh my head hurts…
The plan for this piece is simply a gradated light to dark with the spacing as it falls – but I have lots of ideas for other bits of hand spun and dyed yarns stored around here—in moth proof containers!