Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Eyes Crossing

Running fast the next few days. I have the pleasure of being Jane Nicholas's hostess while she is on this side of the bay. She is teaching a basic class and an intermediate class for us. 

I understand stumpwork in theory. I looked at lots of it during the UK trip. Now for some hands on at the feet of an expert. I am so looking forward to this.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Adventures in Fingerloop Braiding

Almost forgot to share.... I entered the narrow wares competition at June Crown and won (grin).

I had been doing some fingerloop braiding - nothing complicated before we went to England. Then part of the class was doing some fancier loop manipulation with Jacqui Carey who is one of THE experts. Lots of things went "ding" during that portion of the class. She also introduced us to a new, for me, source - Lady Bindloss's manuscript - 2nd qtr. 17th C.

Part of my problem with reading Spies or the CA#108 by Swales and Williams was, it didn't click for me. Their way of walking you through the moves didn't line up with the way my brain works. Tak Bowes I can use easily. Carey I understand easily. Once I saw through Bowes and then Carey "the how", I could return to Spies and the CA and understand most of what was being said. It no longer was a foreign language.

When I returned I wanted to do some more fingerloop braiding to cement the knowledge. Spent a couple weeks reviewing the materials - including scans of and redactions of period books. Some of the books have samples of the braids glued to the pages of the book.

For the entry I "created" a "book" of samples (bound the pages together with a braid). I started with reviewing the sources. Then showed half a dozen braids - the source, identified if there was a redaction from a printed source and if not gave my own, what the braid would have been used for, how the ends would have been finished, and then put the braid on the page (using a whole punch to make a place for the braid - versus glue). I did 5,7 and 8 loop braids including one with "split loops" (loops made from 2 colors). I also did "staff and crowns" on the marudai, and identified it as such; since it requires 2 braiders. Each example was done with a 2 ply silk which is about the right weight for the braids from the London finds; although it was probably a finer finished silk than I used for the examples.

It was fun to do. Met my need to "cement" the technique. The win was a great bonus.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Creativity - where is my muse

The trouble with having so many projects on my plate, is that even when I am procrastinating about one project, I'm still making headway on another.

I really need to do up a batch of artist trading cards. I know the base I'm going to use - the soy silk "paper" I made awhile ago. It is large enough to make a batch of 12. I even think I know what is going to go on the base. The design, however, escapes me (BIG SIGH). Rather than work through the block, I am procrastinating.

Nor am I working on the pieces that need to be done this month - the filet lace piece and class and the presentation bag for Atenvelt. Really need to do those next week or I'll be in deep....

While my creativity seems to be at a low point, I am working on low creativity required projects. Been working on a piece to go on a friends gown - a secret project. It is basic stitching on linen so it is almost meditative. To change off I work on some kumihimo, or knitting.

I also have a "challenge" from my EGA region workshop director - a canvaswork crazy quilt ornament. You do the base in 3 fibers with 4 patterns. The ornament is split into sections like fabric patches and you do the patterns in different directions. Then comes the creative part - doing surface embroidery over the "seams" and patches.

Jane Nicholas arrives in 2 weeks from Australia. We are the first stop on her N. America tour. She will be staying with me for a week (big grin). Guess I better see what the materials list for class has on it.