Where Did the Time Go?

Is it Wednesday night already?  I have spent most of the last two days sitting in front of my computer, my hand permanently attached to my mouse, processing photos of houses, additions, and renovations for my sister’s website (she is an architect).  My eyes are crossing, I’m not processing anything in my brain, and my hand is in the permanent shape of the mouse.  I have to uncurl the fingers from it when I want a tea break.   But I’m making huge progress.  I am close to the end.  There are a total of about 30 pages for this site, and I have about 6 to go.  My sister is thrilled.  So I’m thrilled too.

timeThis is my favorite clock in the house.  It is in my studio, right by the door, within site anywhere I happen to be.  My husband and I use to collect clocks, until we had no more space to put them.  I showed my work at craft fairs all through the 1980’s, and traded for a lot of craft/art work over the years.  Do you know how many pieces of pottery/dinnerware you can get for one handwoven jacket?

Anyway, I remember trading a jacket to a husband and wife craftsmen team, and I got a few clocks for the trade.  One was this one, done on foam core, the signature is Gail Oring, but it isn’t really clear, so that may not be correct.  It is done in a very Lichtenstein-esque style, (Roy Lichtenstein being one of my all time favorite modern artists, seems to me we saw a retrospective of his work at the Tate in London on one of our trips). The clock keeps ticking away, and I totally identify with the blonde in the artwork.  It is always “beat the clock” with me.

My daughter and I took a break when she got home from school yesterday, and we curled up in my bedroom (which is the only TV I can figure out in this house), and watched the DVD from the fashion show at the Tampa Convergence, sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America, in June of 2008.  One of my previous blogs, I talked about the challenge project I was involved in for this show, and the presentation I put together for it.  I haven’t forgotten, I am still waiting for the “HGA Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”, and then hopefully I’ll have my own disk to market.  But the DVD from the Fashion Show is now available from the HGA, for about $25., including shipping, less if you are a member.  It is worth seeing.  If you belong to a guild, get it for your library.  It is an inexpensive thing to show at a meeting, you just need a computer/projector set up, and this past year’s version is well done.

That said, I have a couple of musings I’d like to share.  I’ve seen a lot of weaving conference fashion shows.  I’ve seen some with professional models, I’ve seen even more without, where the maker or someone from the conference wears the work.  I’ve seen some really professional models, and I’ve seen some models that have no business modeling.  I’m not talking about body types.  It is the way a model carries themselves, walks, and presents the garment.  I’ve seen some pretty bad ones.  The models in this DVD were at best, a mixed bag.  But that happens, and that’s what the agency sent.

But what I really want to talk about, has nothing to do with the models, or in this case, everything.  When I sent my work to the Surface Design Conference in Kansas City in 2007, the paperwork clearly explained that I had to send coordinating support outfits, head to toe, for the model to wear along with my accepted garment.  If I was sending a short jacket, I had to send the skirt or pants, and a shirt with it.  Even the accessories. What that does, is it makes you think of the garment you have made as part of an ensemble.  When I was given the criteria for the design challenge I was asked to participate in for the Tampa show, my partner and I were told our project had to be an ensemble.  I am thinking much more in terms of “ensemble” with my work now, especially if I design it for the runway.

Fast forward to the Convergence show.  I was back stage for much of the preparation of the fashion show, the fittings, and the dress rehearsal.  Sadly, no request was made of the participaing artists to send anything other than their actual garment.  And no one shopped for coordinating garments or accessories.  So that left whatever the models had in their bags.  Which is usually black.  Spandex.  Badly fitting black spandex.  So the artists who sent a beautiful silky jacket in gorgeous Floridian colors, it was stuck on a black spandex body.

So my message to any of you who design garments, and might want to submit work for a fashion show, don’t wait for the sponsoring organization to ask.  They might not.  Design an entire look, like they do on Project Runway.  That doesn’t mean you have to weave the pants and the shirt.  But you could make them out of a commercial fabric and send them along so the garment isn’t orphaned.  When you watch the DVD, you will see exactly what I’m talking about.

The good news here, is that the work is really easy to see.  The models held still long enough for the close-up cameras to really pan the garments, and the details are pretty amazing.  Sadly, there isn’t a clue about what techniques are used, only the name of the artist and title of the piece.  I’d like to encourage the HGA to consider putting that information on future DVD’s as well.

loomAnd, I got the first Overshot placemat woven for our placemat exchange.  If you haven’t been following this thread, since way back over the Winter Break when my daughter started winding the warp for this project, in a nutshell, my daughter and I are each participating in an overshot placemat exchange with our  guild, Jockey Hollow Weavers.  We are each paired with seven other weavers, and each weaver selects an overshot pattern, and we each select our color, and give 2 ounces to each of the other weavers in our group.  The idea at the end is, you will get 8 placemats in your color, each with a different overshot design.  My daughter immediately selected purple, and asked when I select my color, that I pick something that will sort of go with purple so when I die, she can have my set as well.  🙂

So I picked a celadon green.  I love how icy it looks.  I started with my mat, to work out all the bugs with the loom.  This one is a little quirky, and the warp beam is slipping, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get it to hold tension.  I haven’t been totally successful.  But I made it through one mat, only 15 more to go…

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March 19, 2009 5:46 am

Very interesting. Would using a weighted warp take care of your tension problem? Nancy

March 19, 2009 8:59 am

Beam tension problem…

I think the Kati Meek “live tension” method (or whatever she calls it) would solve this problem. Give Margriet a call, and she can describe it to you. Very simple, uses two different weights with a cord wrapped around the beam so you NEVER have to get up and adjust the tension. (She talked about it at the last JHW meeting, but you were in CA.)

Sandy Gunther
March 19, 2009 9:33 am

Pick up a rosin bag at your local bowling alley. When a non-metal friction brake starts slipping puff some rosin on it, usually works. s


[…] weekend was spent trying to catch up on some things, and my daughter started weaving her first of eight placemats, she did a really good job for a new weaver, her edges were straight with no draw-in, but she did […]

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