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.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The book

For the last few years (I think I started in 2015) I have been working on a book of drafts assembled in 1775 by a Lancashire weaver named Jeremiah Fielding. Last Saturday I took delivery of over 150 copies of  'The Draughts by Jeremiah Fielding'. It is intended as a work book for weavers. There are 59 drafts but some are duplications and one or two have the draft in a mess. But over 50 remain. Of course, the drafts are in 1775 notation which is pretty incomprehensible to modern weavers. So I set to and translated every one into modern notation. There are introductory  sections on the finding of the notebook and the history of the cotton industry at that time but the heart of the book are the drafts. I persuade weavers of my Guild to do one or two or even more samples from the book. and they helped gallantly. Although there were at least two aghast weavers  saying indignantly 'This is double cloth'. A bit of research showed that the poor of 1775 kept themselves warm in winter by creating pockets stuffed with fleece. Because of his own samples, we realised that every one was woven in ecru cotton which shows up the texture nicely. Although some drafts have 8 to 11 shafts and those are patterned. So all the samples were woven in ecru cotton. The book is spiral bound to make the drafts easier to use.

There are 140 teeny samples in the original but they show off dyeing and wood block printing and nowhere are they traceable to a specific draft. The book has taken a long time and I reckon at least 30 Guild members helped in one way or another.


A flyer showing the front cover and the three parts of a weave called Elliot's Cord. Some of the weaves have names which I could trace and some appear nowhere on the web.

We ended up by having more data than we wanted to include and intend to publish that data on a website in the next few months as downloadable files. Two topics which will be dealt with are Jeremiah's house which still exists and we have photos and data! The other one is the usefulness  of the drafts today. Several weavers were so taken with a sample (Myself included) that some lovely weaves have appeared at the Guild's Show and Tell. When everyone has finished this project we will publish them all.


Two photos of a weave using Jeremiah's draft and space dyed tencel.

Any one wanting to buy a copy, it with cost £12.50 plus P&P. Send me a pm.









Sunday, 27 October 2019

Spain

I have, at last, found out how to get into my blog with a Spanish WiFi. Mostly done by making wild guesses at the word meaning. Anyway we are in Andalucia and have stayed for three days in both Granada and Cordoba. Tomorrow we move to Seville.

We have been here before but for a half day each city. The Alhambra is overcrowded, in fact the number of tourists has gone up by a factor of 8 or 10. A bit grim for the natives. I have taken loads of photos and eaten a lot of high class food. I recommend aubergine fritters. Lots of lovely fish and huge helpings of meat.
The top photo is from Córdoba mosque and the bottom one from an excavated palace about ten km out of Cordoba.



The excavations are ongoing and we started at the top and worked our way down a very steep slope. The actual excavations are more or less flat so it was only the access which was vertical!!

Earlier we had visited Alhambra which is really rebuilt. All the same it is gorgeous. But again too many people and they have had to restrict access. Nevertheless it is worth seeing.




The bottom photo is from the Alhambra and shows the defensive walls. Not something you usually get shown. The top photo is from their gardens which are still a mass of flowers.

I should say we have had really good food on this trip. And tomorrow we are off to Seville..






Saturday, 12 October 2019

Bookbinding

Yesterday my book came back. This is a bound copy of Two Points East which has been away since April, touring Norfolk, being on show in 7 or 8 venues, The organiser included a flyer and a catalogue ( photos of every binding) and it was nice to see all of these in close up. Looking at the binding I am pleased. It is one of the best things I have done. Now I have to bind the author's second book on Norfolk coast!! There are some problems,
1) It is in the form sent out by the printer which means much folding and pressing - and then when sewn,
2)the edges need guillotining and I do not have one big enough.
3) Until 1 and 2 have been done, I cannot read it and so have no ideas on bindings.

 Oh well, what would life be without problems.

The weaving is going well.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Working out what to do

I warped up with some of the charity wool which Rosie Price supplied. It has all been spun by Guild members. I have woven several scarves before and put on an orange-brown warp which called for 10 epi. I put on enough for three scarves. It was stripes of 4 shaft twill interspersed with tabby. And I can get several different drafts out of it without rethreading. I have some nice handspun grenn and started out with that. And had a great surprise. It required more like 20 epi!! The problem is that each spinner had a different colour and every spinner has their favourite thickness. Well that would not do so I hunted for something thicker and found it - Worked very well for the first scarve.

For the second one, I used a red chenille (see below). The pattern does not show up that well but better than the photo shows.


I have found some suitable pastel wool which will do for the third scarve

I have restarted my lino-cut class. Had a happy time printing many Xmas cards and then cutting a new block showing Battersea Power Station. Next Friday, I shall do a proof and finish cutting. I do like lino-cuts.












Saturday, 14 September 2019

It is a long time since I wrote a blog. I have been busy catching up meeting deadlines and generally getting on. I have made progress in weaving. The last thing I finished was a tablecloth with trees on it, intended for the Guild exhibition. I have put in two stewarding sessions at the exhibitionand lots of questions asked.
What I then put on the Schacht was a Swedish overshot which I got from 'The Weave of the Month Club'. It seemed rather interesting. On four shafts with a black and white ground and, in my case a red pattern. The draft was given with instructions and they used a brown linen pattern. After a few repeats, I decided against this colour scheme, finished off that one and started gain with maroon which was thicker anyway and looked much nicer.  But I did not like it, mostly because the repeat is 40 wefts and it is difficult to keep all the throws correct. Although I worked out a method of reducing errors, I would not swear I got everything correct. I will not be doing this draft again. A couple of photos are shown below.



So all tidied up and ready for the next project and I have just changed my mind about that. I was going to do some Quigley on the Schacht. Sure enough, it is only 8 shafts but the treadling is horrendous. I have a lovely draft but not for the Schacht. For the Megado and this needs another 7 yards weaving. So I will do something less taxing.

I have done another job which took the stuffing out of me. A friend of mine is currently editor of the yearbook for the British Iris Society and she decided that it was time an elderly member told the BIS all. Because I live very near him, I was nominated for the job of taking down his words (He cannot write well these days) and then I discovered it had to be done by the end of September so a mad scramble. It has been delivered to the editor. But - - much shaking of head.

The other thing (nice thing) that is coming up is the start of the autumn print classes. I have been to a wonderful exhibition of 1930s lino cuts at Dulwich Gallery. In October, I am off for ten days to Valencia, our summer holiday.










Friday, 23 August 2019

Marsillargues

It is five years since we last rented this house. We have done it five times since the start which was 2000. Interesting that there is a full family turnout. Even one grandson,currently working in Australia has returned to be with us. So there is a fair assortment of cousins.

Today is my turn to cook and, by request it is French fish soup.A lot of work for 13 people. Work is dished out equally. This means some days you can do what you like and just sit down to supper! On Wednesday we made a much longed for trip north to the viaduct de Millau. We extensively patronisedthe service station at the north end where there is a good viewing platform. The station also includes a fine cafe and a deli!

The point of the visit was photography. The views that I could get were not the best I could imagine. I reckon the best place was in a helicopter down the valley about level with the road!











Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Bookbinding

I have completed a couple of weeks o bookbinding. Not bad considering how long since I did any. Firstly I repaired a favorite thriller. The cover was completely detached and I had lost the spine cover. End result was this.




So that was easy. The next one not so. I bought the text-block of 'Peter Pan' from Volcano Arts and it was pretty well a miniature book with dimensions of 3 by 4 inches but very thick. So much so that it was 6 cm at the spine when sewn along the spine and 4 cm on the fore-edge. 24 hours in a book press sorted that out. The cover was a design by me and printed on linen cloth.




Now I have moved on to weaving although I am off to France in a day or two so should be packing!











Friday, 2 August 2019

A Small Tablecloth

Not sure I like it. And not my best bit of weaving. I washed it in the 30 minute cycle and something has shrunk. The brown yarn is cottolin and so is the blue. The green is cotton. Oh well, I did wonder whether I should wash before the exhibition but it will have to be washed in its lifetime anyway.

The other two lengths of fabrics have been found and their ends sorted out. All forms have been filled out and entries parcelled up to hand over tomorrow. And I have done the accounts for the last two months. I got a bit confused over the accounts when I was out of action for three months. Now I am completely up to date, paid various bills and generally tidied up.

I also found the next warp for the Schacht and have cleaned up the studio, ready to start the next weaving project.  But also I have investigated what books need binding, have put them in order of priority and started on one. This is a decayed paperback which I do not want to throw out and so have started to rebind it as a hardback. Rather a lot  of waiting about so have done yet more tidying up.







Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Lots of weaving

Our Guild is 30 this year and is having an exhibition in Newbury Museum (by invitation!) and the theme is 'the Woods'. I think, but I was ill at the time, that originally the theme was 'If you go down to the woods today'. Anyway my contribution was designed months ago - but not woven and, since the deadline is fast approaching, I started. It is a small table cloth, suitable for teddy bears, in Biederwand, with a row of trees at each end. However (amazing how there is always a 'However'), I ran into trouble. It is on 8 shafts on the Schacht and the problem was that most of the treadles had to lift a lot f shafts, like 7 out of 8!!!. So since the threading was okay, I turned the draft upside down so that I can see the back of the fabric. Much much better for weaving and I am now weaving at high speed. But I do not like not seeing the front when weaving. I keep looking at the true front with a torch and a mirror and it looks okay but - - -  I do not trust myself.

I am working on the assumption that I can mend anything awful. I started weaving Monday after lunch and finished one row of trees. This morning I have completed the centre section and have started on the second row of trees. I should finish this afternoon and be able see how good/awful the front is. I will take some photos.

About the only rule for submission is that the work is recent. I have two lengths of fabric which I will also submit. I need to find them first!!  

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Trip to Malvern

Yesterday was very tiring. I drove up to Malvern, starting at 0900 hours and it rained all the way so much so that it was foggy and everyone on the motorways was driving slowly. Then had lunch with a friend, napped for an hour and finally attended a rather wet wedding. They had set up a marquee and that was waterproof  and so that there was time and space to gossip. The people getting married are my sort of age and so they have friends of similar age and people were present whom I used to work with. A bit disconcerting to be greeted with happy shouts of 'Pat Foster'!!! The time passed quickly and I was back on the road  to get home at 1930. No rain just a sunset which was rather good.

I spotted two sites from which I should be able to get a good haul of photographs. Life is going to be easier. Various deadlines have been met and I need to finish weaving a table cloth by next Saturday to hand it for the Guild exhibition. Should be doable. Watch this space. 

Friday, 19 July 2019

A Treat

Yesterday Dorothy and I went to Kew Gardens. I have not been for years and expected to enjoy it. But in addition we went to see the Chihuly exhibition and that was fabulous. Large coloured glass works of art all over the Gardens. There was also an exhibition in an art gallery which I did not like so much. I decided because the works looked better sited amongst greenery.


We also looked at the Marianne North paintings which need another visit. All in all a lovely day and the cream tarts in the Orangery Café were fantastic!!

I do not seem to have done much this week. Off to printmaking now. I have run into problems with the tablecloth I am weaving in Biederwand. Without paying any attention, I have created a draft which needs 5 or 7 lifted shafts and there are too many mistakes! So I am going to try reversing the draft and as the deadline for submission is rapidly approaching, I must do that soon.











Monday, 15 July 2019

Gallivanting

Friday and Saturday, Dorothy and I put the dogs into the dogsitter's and went off for the day. On Friday we went to Savill Gardens. Very good, immaculately kept. I wonder if the Queen goes round and says Weedy!! Because it is not weedy at all. The Rose Garden is past its best though a few were left. See below. They have two cafes - very nice


Afterwards we went to Hilliers Garden centre which is a mile or two away and had tea in their gorgeous café which looks out over fields. The garden centre is equally gorgeous but then Hilliers has been around for a very long time. My husband would not patronise anyone else  and he was always ordering raw and exotic conifers and maples. But we had a sizeable garden then. When we wnet in we said to each other, No buying plants. I should have known better. WE came home with a lovely hibiscus!!

We were less than  30 minutes drive from the dog sitters. So not so tiring as I expected.

On Saturday. back to the dog-sitter and then by train to London Victoria  and on foot to Buckingham Palace and the Queen's Gallery where they had an exhibition of da Vinci drawings. She owns 500 of his drawings and 200 of them  were on display. The big problem for me was that some of the drawings  were very faded and the light was very low (conservation). But all in all, a good day. I was interested in the modern buildings on Palace Road, very avant garde and I wished I had taken my camera.

On Sunday we had a restful day. I was worried as I have not done too much exhibition viewing since last November but I seem to have survived. And today, I must do a few tasks, like weaving. I have discovered that you can buy perfectly adequate picture frames from Ikea and have been framing some of my lino cuts. I  have bought several frames and have only one left to do. 

















Sunday, 23 June 2019

London for the Day

Dorothy and I have not done an exhibition in London since last August - due to me being ill. So yesterday (Saturday) we sallied forth to The Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition and enjoyed ourselves no end criticising. Lots of lovely etchings and prints. In years gone, they did not appear. And something else that did not appear - - architectural models and phots. I was so struck by that room that at the end, I returned to that room and did it again. Great fun.

We also looked at the Students Show. Ah well. I am still in the era of 1950. I did not understand or appreciate anything.

After several hours, we went to Waterstones which is just across the road. My idea was a manual on Photoshop CC and Lightroom as I have just bought a contract to these. I did look up amazon but there were so many books that I thought I would like to look inside. Hence Waterstones. Well It was a disgrace. All they had was Photoshop etc for Dummies. I mean. Waterstones!!!! So that failed and we went home very tired but I did survive which was Dorothy's worry.

And I took some photos with the Canon from the train. Battersea Power Station under re-construction for Apple.


Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Home again

We were supposed to return from Dorset on Saturday. On Thursday, it was torrential and the dogs were unenthusiastic about outside - so was I. On consideration of the weather forecast, we went home and got ever such a lot done - as is often the way when you get handed an unexpected spare day. And the week went well. This means I have accomplished a lot of deadlines. But I have not sorted out the Dorset photos yet though I have realised that the ones of Crofton beam engine are much better than I thought at first. But it will take be some hours to sort everything out. I have now got Lightroom but no user guide or manual.

I have also bought a very grand printer for printing photos. Fortunately WEX Video (the supplier) has presented me with £120 worth of high class paper to practice on the printer. I am looking forward to this.

And the attached photos are taken by the canal.


And I am getting somewhere with lino-cuts. I have put one (neatly framed) into an exhibition. Much encouragement from the tutor. I seem, without recognising it, got much more ambitious.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Bowlease Cove

Went to the coast and walked on the shingle, not very comfortable but the dogs loved being off lead. A few photos taken.



Crofton beam emgine

On Saturday, we set out in two cars, and removed ourselves with all the clobber that two humans and two dogs need for a week in a holiday cottage in Dorset. Dorothy took the dogs because I was stopping off at Crofton to view the beam engine there.  I took hundreds of photos. It was not a steam day so I must return on a steam day to see it all working.





















Friday, 7 June 2019

More photography

Last Sunday I went to Vauxhall and took photos of skyscrapers and modern architecture. I have not got to the end of this topic yet and I intend to go into London Bridge station and work around there and later to take the boat up and down the Thames, photographing as I go.  So here are the results of  last Sunday.
Battersea Power Station from Vauxhall Bridge
I discovered later that this is the new US embassy

Next week (starting tomorrow) we are in Dorset and I intend to spend the week on the coast, rocks, shingle, the lot. WE are taking the dogs to a rented cottage. Should be interesting especially as the weather forecast says it is going to rain all week!!

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Lino cuts (Version 2)

Version 2 I ran into trouble trying to get photos ito the last version of blog. So I hope this works

After months away, I am back at South Hill Park at my weekly printing class. And enjoying it no end.   I discovered that just about every Lino block I did in 2018 needed more work on it. So I started with a picture of Osaka which was originally in colour and wondered what it would look like in just black. (See below). I think the black is better.

 


As a backup, I started working on lino block based on the garden at our cottage at Anglesey. When I looked at the block, I realised some areas on the block had not been completed and the only trial print had been in black. So I tried three colours and it looked like it might just work if I choose the colours right. So this week I tried out a fluorescent pink and it worked!! I printed several sheets and then added some red to the pink and that was better. So several pulls later, I declared this block completed and went home to look for the next block which I think is another view of the Port of Osaka.


The brown one was an early trial.
























Monday, 20 May 2019

Making the Image

I have signed up for another photography course run o0n line from Vancouver. The tutor is David duChemin whom I have long admired. However  - - - - -. It lasts a year and most of the other students` work is very high class with the result that I spend most of my time grumbling to Dorothy. Well, I have had to stop grumbling because Dorothy got a bit exasperated.

As an example, this week's mission is to take photos each day for 30 minutes, pick 12 best and file them. Except I have not filed anything yet and am not likely to. Everyone else is marching to qa different drummer. So I choose a new venue each day and go and take photos. So I have done Ufton Nervet woods, Kennet and Avon Canal beside The Cunning Man, our garden, Hadleys, Junction11 in the M4. On the list are the Wokingham market and my lino cut class.

Hadleys is a strange place. A sort of dump/recycling and it is enormous and very strongly fenced and fortified.At this moment it has a load of dismantled cranes piled up which is fairly near the main gate. So I lurked at the open gate and took photos. Quite fun but I could do with getting inside.

The Jn 11 I have always wanted to visit. What I mean is the system of footbridges which enable people to get from Three Mile Cross to the business park at the entrance to Reading. Well I did my best. See below.



Junction 11 above


Hadleys

I would love to know what you thought














Saturday, 11 May 2019

Walsingham

The wifi went bananas at our hotel and I never got round to writing about Walsingham. I was surprised to find bus loads of people walking round the village (?). There a shrine there to Our Lady of Walsingham which is new (Victorian). These were all pilgrims. I on the other had come to see the ruins of which there was not much. left. The crypt and a single arch and several lumps of masonry in a green space.




And in the grounds, a packhorse bridge!!
And then home. The next day I went to Kings Lynn on the way home. It was pouring and the town is very unattractive. Everything I wanted to see was closed for renovation. There was only one ship at the Customs Quay and nothing else visible up and down the river except miles away where there seemed to be some yachts. I did go to True's Yard Museum where a bound book (by me) was on display. The Museum was devoted to the lives (Victorian) of the fisherfolk.

And then I droved home by way of the A1(M) and A25 and A4. I have not been on the A1 for 20 years and it still is this awful mixture of motorway and ordinary road complete with traffic lights and  roundabouts and a huge amount of lorry traffic.

I was  very taken with the seaside bit. I still feel pleased at my photographs and would like to go back for longer. Dorothy thinks she would like to go back and just paint, rather than do a course. So maybe year we might take a cottage.

And now today (Saturday) I  must put some effort into the garden, not the least to take some good photos. We have a few stunning rarities into a geranium which is enormous.








Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Holkam Beach and Walsingham Abbey

Holkham Beach is magic except they charge a lot for parking the car and cleaned me out. Anyway I walked in the forest and on the sand dunes. Mostly people walking their dogs, not tourists. It must get swamped in holiday time. I just walked about and took photos.



Monday, 6 May 2019

Norfolk

Dorothy is here on a painting course for a few days and I came along as a hanger on to do some photography. Today I toured the local coastal villages and ended up at Brancaster #Staithe and at its harbour which is very muddy. I ended up in wellies and had to scrape two inches of mud off my sandals. However I admit to reading a lot about composition recently and tried to put my reading into practice. So I got a lot of much better than usual photos.



Sunday, 28 April 2019

Photography Course

I attended a photography course at the Nature Reserve in Thatcham yesterday. Okay but very windy  which made things difficult. Exposure liable to be wrecked by the camera moving. Quite cold.  I must have walked several miles ( 4 or 5) and found I was stiff by nine pm! Lots of ducklings to see. Actually not a lot of different species of bird. The birds on the main lake were mallards, tufted ducks, Canada geese (not a lot of them) and moorhens. In the reed beds there were birds singing but nothing visible.

But lots of ducklings.


 With one duck in attendance. There were three more ducklings over to the left. What on earth was she doing with 16 ducklings?

There were two or three mixed blood ducks were amongst the other mallards. Clearly thought they were mallards and hung out with them.


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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.