Friday, 18 November 2016

Weaving Day School with Jenny Blair

We had very enjoyable day with Jenny learning how to weave on a simple loom. Jenny brought looms for us to use, and also brought her own lovely selection of wools and textiles for us to use. All we had to bring was a pair of scissors - what a luxury not to have to pack bags of stuff to take along (I always take too much and never use it!). The first photos below shows some of Jenny's work and the wools she brought along.

Jenny showed us how to set up the loom with the warp threads of dishcloth cotton, then we chose a some wool and started with a few rows of simple weaving. Over this we learned how to make tassels, a very simple and satisfying procedure. The we selected our own colour schemes and textures, and began to weave our pieces. Using Jenny's materials was very liberating as it stopped us fussing over what to use from our own stashes. We learned some new stitches, one of which looked like knitted fabric (can't remember the name unfortunately), a loop stitch formed over dowel wood, and how to make shape and gaps in the weave. It was unusually quiet - everyone was concentrating hard and working furiously to try and get finished before the day ended and the work had to come off the loom.  Then Jenny showed us how to tie off and finish the piece and gave us a strip of wood so that we could hang our masterpieces. Everyone enjoyed the day immensely, I loved using the slubbed and sparkly wool to make textures and contrasts, and it was very satisfying to go home with a finished item of work. I shall be getting the DIY man of the house to knock up a frame for me and will definitely be trying this at home. Here are some of the member's weavings.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Recycled Tins and Textiles with Philippa Johnston

This year has seen us having our stitching boundaries stretched by having speakers from other disciplines showcasing their working and sparking new ideas. Philippa Johnston's talk certainly did that with her work in recycled tin. Philippa has an array of tools with which she cuts up old sweetie tins and the like, and creates imaginative sculptures and jewellery out of them, incorporating the painted designs on the tins as part of the art. Some of the items had a distinct textile look, while others looked like sculptures or castings. Many were whimsical and brought a smile to the face, like the stitched teapot. As one member said, we'll never look at old sweetie tins in the same way again!
Philippa's website is

Christmas tree ornaments from sweetie tins

'Recycled' mouse

Mementos from stitched tin

Golden retriever

Beaten lantern

Stitched teapot