Sunday, 7 August 2011

Indigo and Exhaustion

On Friday Rosie Price and I took the train to London and 'did' three exhibitions

- Miro in Tate Modern. I had always thought of Miro as 'decorative'. Not any more. When you see wworks from the whole of his life, you realise that his work is mostly a scream of rage at the treatment of his beloved Catalan countryside.  Not to mention General Franco
- then by river boat on beautiful sunny day to Tate Britain and the Vorticists. Rosie was not impressed. I had thought of the movement as being much longer lived than it actually was. The core was 1914-1916. At the end of the exhibition, I realised that the pictures of all the artists were very samey. Very educational though
-then 'Watercolour' also at Tate Britain. Very good indeed. A review of the usage of watercolour, running from Tudor miniatures and maps through Turner and Cotman and botanical/zoological paintings. There was a first rate botanical painting done in the 21st century for Kew Gardens which was nothing but beans. It must have been all the leguminosae that Kew knew about!! Absolutely stunning. I wouldn't mind a copy. There was an excellent section devoted to the tools and materials used in watercolours through the centuries including Turners travelling paint box.

After that we collapsed home in an incredibly packed Friday-night-is-going-to-Plymouth  train where poor Rosie stood all the way to Reading.

Saturday was Guild Day, Dyeing in the Churchyard. Because we have changed our venue, we have a new churchyard, well actually it was the concrete base of a building which was abandoned. Much more convenient. Ros Wilson was cooking up weld and madder and brazilwood while I looked after an indigo vat which was the leftovers from Newbury Coat dyeing. And here I made a dreadful mistake. I organised that we should dye the woven shibori samples and there were 45 plus of them. Nine people 5 each plus a couple of extras at the end of each warp. We need these for the Exhibition in October/November. Nothing wrong with that but other Guild members brought stuff they wanted dyeing and some of then turned up with bucketsful. There was just far too much. It did all get dyed but I was exhausted at the end. The problem is that I could not walk away and leave the vat. No matter how often I told people that you need to insert the fabric/yarn/fleece into the vat slowly and carefully, I still caught people chucking their stuff into the vat when my back was turned. Oh well. You can't win . At least I can't. The only consolation is that the woven shibori all worked a treat and everyone involved is very pleased and that I think everyone had all their stuff dyed to the depth they wanted. I drove home and went to bed. 

I did untie my own woven shibori, wash it and hang it up to dry. It looks nice. I especially like the 8-shaft Monk's Belt. I had hoped to get enough of the Overshot to do the front of a waistcoat but I ran out of warp. It was not planned but a thought as to what to do with the end of the warp. Rosie Price (being a person who DOES think ahead) warped up 4 yards of silk noil and did that as woven shibori. Silk noil takes dye better than unmercerised cotton and the colour is stunning. She intends to make a jacket.

I have one unusual left-over from yesterday - a very blue right hand. I was wearing large Marigold gloves but lost a skein of yarn to the bottom of the vat and put my right hand in thinking the bottom was closer than it was - the dye poured over the top inside my  glove. My hand is very clean, that is, it has been washed a lot but it is still blue and my finger nails are a lovely blue purple. I wonder if they will have to grow out.

I have finished my first cushion on the Megado and have started on the second. I am going to have a lot of weft yarn left.  My sister, Dorothy arrives at lunchtime today and I am hoping to get another cushion finished by then. I do need to tidy the house up first.  

Rosie has also reminded me that I need a piece for the next Guild meeting where the theme is lines. I may do the S and Z-twist piece I have had in mind for some time. It will do for the Exhibition as well.

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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.