We are so lucky to have Laverne Waddington coming to Birmingham in March, 2017. She has spent years living among and learning from incredibly talented backstrap weavers. Take a look at her blog to see some of the beautiful things she does with this type of loom and the tremendous possibilities that it offers, https://backstrapweaving.wordpress.com/.
There will be two workshops with seats for 8 people in each. How we will handle registration will be announced in the next few days. Keep an eye on our social media sites to find out what you need to do to register. Seats are limited so if you are interested, watch closely for instructions.
Complementary-warp Pick-up Basics, March 25 and 26 (Saturday and Sunday), see details below. $100 plus $10 materials fee.
Andean Pebble Weave, March 28 to 30 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), see details below. $150 plus $10 materials fee.
The materials provided will include everything you need except for a large C clamp, scissors, and paper and pencils for your own notes.
These are not workshops for beginning weavers, but you don’t need a lot of experience to have enough weaving experience and knowledge to be ready. There is time to take a class or a few lessons to acquire enough knowledge and experience to be ready for these great workshops. Here is what Laverne said about the level you need to be in order to take these workshops:
…not wanting to use time to explain warp and weft and sheds and especially the concept of a ”cross”…knowing that I can launch into a vocabulary with which everyone is familiar. Weavers are also conscious of the fact that things like neat selvedges and even beat take time to master and won’t be put off if their edges on warp-faced cloth are less than perfect at first. Being aware that other kinds of cloth exist besides that which is typically produced on a rigid heddle loom is helpful too…at least an awareness of that warp-faced cloth can be created as opposed to balanced weaves and that they can expect to have to do things a little differently to the way they are accustomed.
PICK-UP WEAVING OF SOUTH AMERICA
A TWO-DAY CLASS with Laverne Waddington
A TWO-DAY CLASS with Laverne Waddington
In this two-day workshop, we follow the path of young girls in some regions of South America as they take their first steps in weaving on narrow warps that are tied to their waists. With these simple body-tensioned looms, we create bands of plain weave, and then learn to add simple pick-up patterns. While doing so, participants will review the basics of backstrap loom operation and the principles of complementary-warp pick-up weaving using only their fingers as tools.
Participants practice reading the weaving from the cloth as well as charting new designs directly from woven samples. The principles are then applied to a slightly wider warp as we weave a classic Andean hook design on which many of the motifs seen in South American textiles are based. We will prepare warps to weave a variety of patterns by mirroring and flipping the hook motif.
Finally, we learn to apply these principles to warps of any width.
Participants will take home fully dressed warps that they create themselves in class so that they can continue to study these motifs and pick-up techniques.
THREE-DAY ANDEAN PEBBLE WEAVE WORKSHOP ON A BACKSTRAP LOOM
Andean pebble weave, perhaps the most easily recognized of the many pick-up weaving techniques practiced in Peru and Bolivia, is not only beautiful to behold but also a pleasure to weave. Indigenous weavers use geometric, animal, plant and human figures posed on the dotted or “pebbled” background characteristic of this weave to decorate carrying cloths, ponchos, coca leaf bags, belts and sashes. Being partly loom-controlled, it is one of the faster pick-up weaving techniques to execute.
CLASS DESCRIPTION: On Day One of this three-day workshop, students will learn the basics of weaving warp-faced bands on a backstrap loom. The students will then be taught the principles of complementary-warp pick-up and will use this knowledge to manipulate the warps by hand and create some basic pick-up patterns including “plain pebble weave”.
During the next two days the students will be using the Andean Pebble Weave technique to weave a variety of motifs. On pre-warped looms and using the skills learned on Day One, they will weave the basic shapes that are the components of all pebble weave motifs. From there they will work on developing the ability to combine these basic shapes in different ways to create their own simple patterns. We study systems for charting these shapes and patterns.
The students will later be shown how to operate two sets of string heddles on the backstrap loom so that the structure can be partly loom-controlled. They will learn how to make modifications to the basic set-up so that they can add more complexity to the pebble weave shapes as well as the strategies used by indigenous weavers to make the loom set-up, pick-up and pattern reading processes more efficient. In addition, they will be introduced to creating and charting their own more complex pebble weave designs and will use these skills to read and chart motifs directly from textiles.