Tuesday 9 December 2014

Coptic Bands

Given that I am hoping to move in a few months, I am madly trying to finish half done projects. So yesterday, I lined a dust jacket. You could be forgiven for wondering why but this is an important book. It is THE book by Berenson on paintings of the Italian Renaissance and it was given to Michael in 1953 as a school prize for winning an Open Scholarship to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Which is, I might say, quite something. Anyway the dust jacket was falling apart and Clare Prince taught us how to line a dust jacket with Japanese paper. I have never done this before but it worked fine. It should stand up to wear for another 60 years.
I also got started on the Coptic Bands.

The above photo is from Caltech and shows a woven wool band from the 3rd century in their collection with the remnants of the linen garment still attached. The band would have had a wool warp and a wool weft with the pattern done in pick up. 

The above photo shows my take on this. It has a fine worsted warp. The weft has the same ground but a thicker pattern yarn which is 85% wool, 10% cotton and 5% silk but I can be forgiven for that. It is a two-tie weave on 22 shafts. No pick up for me! I do not have time since I need to weave 3.5 yards of this in one week.  It is coming on nicely although it took half of Sunday and all of Monday to get there. I started by tying on to the remainder of the previous warp which was warped up in  a point twill on 32 shafts. My idea was that it would be quicker to wind on the warp, using the remnant as ghost warp, and then rethread and resley. That was a bad idea because the sett was far too close for the warp and I was in trouble as soon as I started trying to get the knots through the heddles so I cut it off. As soon as I had it free, I started warping up from the rear and it is all on nicely and weaving up well. I have done two complete patterns so far, each is about  14 cms long so 8 complete patterns will make up one band.
The studio is littered with half done projects, not to mention the office. I lie in bed when I wake up each morning saying , ' Now today, I must - - - '. Actually today I must print off all the Christmas cards I need and prepare and post the foreign ones. I must also start on paring the leather for the Mallory volumes. One piece is nearly done. I need to finish the other by next Tuesday. It is the kind of job that you do not want to do continuously so, if I set it up, I can do 30 minutes every now and then. Setting up involves clamping the leather to a marble slab which in turn is clamped to a stout table.
As above with the paring knife waiting for use.

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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.