Wednesday, 12 February 2020

More on the Megado

I got round to opening up the box of electronics on the Megado. Inspection showed that it was surprisingly undusty and that the capacitors in the power supply were okay. I am not expert enough to carry out more tests so I consulted with Alan at Handweavers Studio and it was clear that lots of testing would be required. It also turned out that buying a completely new box was nothing like as expensive as I expected and that would have some definite advantages. So Alan is going to get a formal quote from Louet. But this is clearly going to take some weeks to get the Megado up and running again. So I am getting on with the red cashmere scarf I described in my last blog. Warp is wound. And when I have finished a spot of framing photos, I will install the warp on the Schacht.

I have finished binding `Amusements in Mathematics. It is shown below.




Monday, 10 February 2020

Megado, Megado

Last time I blogged, I was saying that the Megado was about to be brought into use. The last time I wove on it was October 2018. Since then I was ill for 6 months, then took some more months to get better while coping with getting the Jeremiah Fielding book printed and on the market. Well, the Megado does not work. It was quite adamant about this. It does not work. My first thought was the device to get a serial port speaking to a modern day computer. And I got in an expert but he thought that bit was fine. So I turned to the unthinkable - the Louet itself. And suddenly realised that when I switched it on, there was no satisfying loud Clunk. Eventually, after consulting Cally Booker, I called Handweavers Studio and talked to Alan who was most helpful. So I have to take off the side of the relay box and check the power supply. After all, I bought it in 2004 so it is a bit elderly. I can manage this operation/inspection myself BUT on Thursday I managed to turn my ankle (excoriating) and have been limping about the house with a wrapped up ankle. But it was not serious and I will be fit enough to uncover the works tomorrow. So all in all, an eventful few days.

Because it is clear that I will not be working on the Megado for a week or two, I am working on a new project on the Schacht. I am taking the opportunity to use some of my stash. This time 2 skeins of  cashmere from Just Our Yarns, space dyed in red and dark red. I am doing a variant  of a Bateman weave.

So now I need to wind the warp!

I am also about finished binding another book for The Bookbinders annual do in July. Called `Amusements in Mathematics`. And when that is done I shall start on a Coptic Book and a book, as yet undefined or designed but to hold one print of each lino-cut I have done in the last few years.





Monday, 3 February 2020

Starting back on the Megado

I have caught with lots of deadlines recently and gone back to bookbinding classes with Lori Sauer where I am enjoying myself enormously. I managed to finish the binding of Curlew Coast when at Lori`s. This is a book written by Judith Ellis about East Anglia. She wrote `Two Points East`  and my binding of that book was one of those exhibited all over Norfolk last summer. For the cover of this one, I managed to get two photos of curlews from an RSPB warden and processed them in Photoshop, then printed it on canvas and bound the book.



But more important, someone at the bookbinding class said she was into Coptic books after seeing mine and she was just about to start on a new one. At which point, I remembered that years ago, I had obtained from a furniture maker three sets of wooden covers for Coptic books, all A5 size and all gorgeous black walnut. So this Wednesday, I start on a Coptic book. I have prepared the paper (130 gsm) for the text block (A2 cartridge paper under the spare room bed!!!!!). If you detect an air of glee, you would be right.

So what else? Well I decided that I could do with some cards for notes and thank you letters and so on. I found a nice suitable lino block for a card of caladium leaves and practised last Friday. This week, I will have solved the registration problem and we will set out to print 20 or so.

And what about the Megado? It is all ready to go but I need to see to the IT side of things. Tomorrow is laid aside for that. I have a lot of other ideas for weaving. I listened to a talk by Sue Hiley Harris last Saturday and it did spark a number of ideas. I will be warping up the Meyer to do some experiments.

The new website is coming along nicely. Next week I think it will be up and running.





Monday, 20 January 2020

Cars, illness and the Megado

I have been ill which as removed two weeks of my life - generalised bug going about according to my GP. And the car behaved very badly and had to be taken into the nearest garage where they changed the spark plugs but aroused alarm and despondency by saying you must take it into the nearest Ford garage because we think your (automatic) gearbox may need replacing. so I was in fear and  trepidation about the bill. However when the car was collected, the service man said `Oh that`s a common fault with Bmaxes, no trouble at all to fix`. It was delivered back at 1600 hours with a bill for £105.00. Was I relieved!!!!! Since then I have driven to Malvern and back and it ran without any funny behaviour, and very smoothly as it usually is.

What that, being ill and trying deliver all the text for the new website, there has not been much time for anything although I did go to a Linocut class and start on a new project - a row of beach huts on the Dorset coast. I have however tied on the Megado double warp and it is ready for weaving which I hope to start tomorrow. I also took the Megado`s photo for the website. It is so big it has always been difficult to photograph but this time I needed the photo so I stood on chairs, knelt on chairs, moved furniture and yarn and achieved one in the end (see below) It is not wonderful but it will do.
And just to keep you up to date, a photo of Jerry and me in our garden



Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Christmas Eve 2019

I have finished editing the new website and sent off the files. No doubt when the web designer, she will scream with rage and want lots of changes. So today I carefully checked the proof of my three pages in the Complex Weaver celebration of being 40 book.  I cannot say that anyone would be able to extract the draft from the photo shown. It is double sided  Biederwand on 16 shafts. I wonder if they will have the wifs available?

My sister Dorothy has complained a lot about my last blog entry. Her objection is my complaining about how little I have woven in the last four years. She reminded me quite correctly, that six months was out being ill and the rest of the four years was spent organising/writing the Jeremiah Fielding book. Both comments are correct but I have to admit that I have such good intentions for 2020. I have one major project to complete on the Megado and two more lined up after that. Let`s see if I can do these three in 2020!!

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Christmas 2019

Lots of people have pointed out that I have entered anything in this blog for a few weeks. Ah well, that is life. Rather boring  and not allowing for me to do anything interesting in the way of artistic efforts.

What I have done is sell (means coping with foreign exchange and hefty postage charges) lots of books. I only had 160 books printed and in a few weeks have sold over a third of them. And I have not yet advertised! So it is mostly word of mouth.

The other job which really caught me by surprise was my new website. Note yet up and running. After an abortive effort on Wordpress, I decided this update had to be done professionally and found a suitable person in Newbury. I have had a Google website since 2009 but over the years, Google has changed it and a lot of my stuff has just vanished. It has a very old fashioned layout and appearance anyway. Well the designer immediately asked terrible questions like `Who is this website for?` Oh dear never thought about that. The reason for the effort I have spent on it is that the designer said that had to provide all the text for the sections. So I have been rewriting, re-laying-out every section, culminating in adding text to every photo in the slideshow and adding a few more for the last few years.

And that has caused me to think hard because There is very little completed weaving in the last five years. If I look in the years up to 2014, between 6 and 12 projects were completed each year. The last two years have been particularly thin. I think I need to give up some of my other activities but I like them all (lino cutting, book binding, photography). What has changed is that the number of hours I work. After I retired, I did 8 or more hours a day. Now after illness and getting older, five hours a day is quite enough. But selling the book and the website revamp have swallowed up all the five hours. What do I do with the rest of my life? I walk Jerry twice a day - which is, of course, good for me.

Well the website work is nearly finished. Should be completed tomorrow. And when the website is finalised, selling the book will be done on that.

Oh well. And there has been Christmas to think about and the calendar as well. and since I love it to bits, I will post the front cover of the calendar below. I first saw these a few years ago. I still love them.



Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Dillington Hall

I am at Dillington Hall for a few days, bookbinding. They have tools here that I do not own, most importantly a plow for cutting the edges. The tutor is Angela Sutton. So I have come with three projects to deal with. What I have done so far is to sew a book which arrived in printers sheets and to plow all three edge. Then I made up endpapers which are being pressed over night. Today I shall attach them and then go on to the second project which was originally to makes a small slipcase for a set of pamphlets on gardening but I discovered interesting info about the pamphlets. I acquired from the books of a relative who died recently. There are 12 and all in the same format. Four inches square, stapled on the spine (which had gone rusty and stained the pages, Mr Cuthberts Herbaceous Borders is a typical title. They are priced at 9 pence each. On looking up the web, I found they were published in 1953 and are sold for about ten pounds each these days. Well I like them and have removed the staples and resend some on them. The first job today is to finish the sewing and then start on the slipcase.

The other students are into gilded lettering on leather. Oh well I shall love my books just as much.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.