March 18, 2010

Weaving...,

There is a television series currently on here in the UK called Mastercrafts.  Each episode centers on a traditional craft with 3 volunteers undertaking training in this craft.  So far, they have covered Green Wood Craft, Thatching, Blacksmithing, Stained Glass and last week was all about Weaving.

Weaving is the subject I studied at University, so I simply had to watch, it's been such a long time since I did any.  Now, I wasn't the best of students, preferring to spend my time at Uni drinking (alcohol, actually it was cider back then!) and watching bands play, any studying came a poor second.  But nonetheless, I do still have a fair amount of woven samples to show for it...,

looking back, it's really hard to believe that I actually wove these,

everything was done from scratch, including dyeing all the thread,

although some was used in it's natural state.

The looms we had were huge floor standing Dobby Looms.  Each design was pegged out using tiny wooden dowels or 'pegs', hammered into holes to create a 'peg plan' which told the loom which shafts to lift each time the foot peddle was pressed down.

 There were 12 on the course and we were a mean bunch.  The running joke would be to scatter a handful of pegs on the floor under the loom, making you think some had fallen out of your peg plan overnight.  One part I don't miss is threading loom, anyone who has done this before will know it is a very fiddly, time consuming job, and so easy to make a mistake.  But without doing all that, there wouldn't be the satisfaction of cutting a freshly woven piece of cloth from a loom for the first time once it's finished.  A piece of cloth that you know inside out, every single length of thread is there because you placed it there, and together it really does weave something beautiful!

14 comments:

nickynackynoo said...

Beautiful! What a lovely legacy to have from your student years. I just have some rubbishy essays on Latin American literature. Hardly stimulating!

Scented Sweetpeas said...

My husband was telling me how good that programme was, must watch it on iplayer.

Gina said...

Your woven samples are gorgeous.

Blueberry Park said...

I'm so in awe of your skills, Amy and the beautiful fabrics you have produced. I drove Matthew mad watching the programme last week, as I couldn't stop gasping at how incredibly complicated it was and how proficient they had become producing such utterly beautiful fabrics. I bow to you in wonderment x

craftyjemima said...

Wow those are beautiful. I'd love to be able to do something like that. My sister was actually supposed to be getting a weaving loom at some point. I hope she does!
Well done. x

Amy said...

ahhh weaving- the class I avoided at all costs. And now looking back...this actually makes me want to go back and take it. I have done small looms before and I remember all the cussing. I am sure at a larger scale the cussing would be ...well...larger! The pieces look lovely.

x vInTaGe VioLeT x said...

wow those samples are great - i've never used a loom but used to love to weave on a handframe with lots of different types of yarns and fibres - ooh i LOVED to weave . . . . maybe i should revisit that obsession!

Greedy Nan said...

that programme was just wonderful although I think Holly should've won the scholarship. I took a quick look at the others in the series but they didn't really appeal to me. I've done weaving was on a child-sized loom but I wasn't quite sure what to do with it when it was finished. I've also done a little using ribbons and frayed strips of cloth on a polystryene base which I ironed onto vilene to give it a bit of stability. But again, smallish samples and if you don't like to chuck them what do you do with them?
Your samples are very lovely - I would do more if mine had been that good.

Prue said...

That program sounds wonderful - I hope we get it here in Australia sometime. I LOVE your weaving!

Anja said...

Amazing!!!

Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics said...

You made lots of beautiful samples! I did some weaving at college and found it time consuming but the results are worth it.

I've given you a blog award here:

http://charlottehupfieldceramics.blogspot.com/2010/02/cupcakes-ice-cream-recipe-blog-award.html

天氣晴朗 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pouch said...

I loved that series and have huge respect for anyone who can weave! I love your pieces, they must've been a labour of love.

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