Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Complex Weavers Celebration

I have written here about the difficulties in filling in the Complex Weavers form for their 40th birthday. I said a double weave Biederwand but have spent hours on it and every time, when I got to a final draft, I had to say 'That won't work' and discard it. Yesterday I set to, starting with Fibreworks and drafting the two fabrics. I then drew the two outlines on graph paper, cut out the two bits and shuffled them about, in the process learning a great deal about what would work and what would not.

I then had a better idea. I printed out both drafts on the same scale and scanned them into Photoshop. Then I pulled and pushed and reorganised.

In this picture, Fabric 1 is white and black and Fabric 2 is white and red but I think Fabric 2 will have a space dyed warp. However, this will work.

I walked by the canal yesterday which was frozen solid, a two inch coating of ice everywhere. Even in deep enough puddles.
Icicles on twigs.

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Lament of the Makars

I have completed the Double Weave version of the Makars' Lament. Pleased to have finished it but it is not good enough to submit to the Society of Bookbinders, too many  small mistakes. And you cannot correct them in this version .

The two fabrics are woven of space dyed Tencel. The scheme and idea all worked but you cannot go back. So I shall try a cover for Duke Bluebeard's Castle. I have an idea but must try it out on Photoshop first. Now to put in some effort on the draft for Complex Weavers.

I go for walks in the woods around here and take my camera. Yesterday I managed to get a decent photo of the woods themselves.

Monday, 16 January 2017

More Endpaper Practise

Today I have been practising with screen prints. Overprinting in multiple colours and generally experimenting.

I would be happy to use the first two as endpapers, not sure about the last two.

I have also set about the double weave book. Years ago (I think 7 or 8) I thought that, if I wove a two faced fabric which was 6 inches wide and changed over every 6 inches, I could insert pieces of board to stiffen the pockets up, print on them and have a concertina book. I made sample of 4 pages first and that worked fine but the method broke down when the producer of the transfer paper went broke. Also I did not like the design. So it all got shoved in a cupboard. Recently I have sorted out all the problems and finished the textile (woven of Tencel), including cutting board to size, inserting it and sewing up the pocket and am now ready for the transfer. I have practised and it all seems okay. Lots of layout in Photoshop. Tomorrow I start on the ironing.

The other (very odd) thing I have been doing is attending an online University course on ancient Japanese bookbinding. Very salutary. The room echoes to cries of  'I did not know THAT' . The data rate is high. And it is free. It lasts three weeks and you get to through to

Sunday, 8 January 2017


I think it was Kipling who said 'In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.' I feel a bit like that. I gave a half day course on concertina books yesterday and felt I was only a step in front of the students. In addition I am giving a day's course to bookbinders, making your own endpapers on which I spent the whole of today in preparation.

Originally the course was on screenprinting endpapers but I reckon there is about two hours in the that. So we will be doing wood block printing and transfer dyesas well as stencilling/screenprinting/thermofaxing on both paper and fabric. To which end I have spent today producing lots of samples for the class. I am very pleased with a lot of them but need to write up notes so I take the right things to the class.

I did take some photos of sheets I would be happy to use myself. The criterion is can I bear to give the sheet away?
 Here are a few samples.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Being ill - well having a nasty cold

i have had a heavy cold for ten days. It got so heavy that I spent two days in bed feeling very sorry for myself. Not flu, I should add so not really ill, just miserable. Anyway, I have prepared for the mini course next Saturday, cut all the paper to size, made new samples and put everything needed in a plastic crate. I have progressed with the Megado and even started on making a bomber jacket in blue and brown lightweight tweed.

What else? Well I have signed up for an online class on the history of Japanese bookbinding methods. That is not what it is called but that is why I have joined. It starts next Monday and I cannot wait to see what it is about. I will report.

Oh and I have organised the travel for a photography course I am attending in April. I came across the photographer at the West Dean summer school last year where everyone had to attend a different class for half a day. I chose photography although I was not sure about her but I was very wrong. She was such a good teacher that I asked if she ran courses and ended up booking onto this Greek course. Did I say it was on a Greek island? Anyway I have to organise my own travel I have never been to Greece and have to change at Athens. So I will stay there for two nights and spend time seeing Athens. I had it all organised by a local travel firm.


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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.