Friday, August 28, 2009

Heddle Mania

After several readings of Deborah Chandler's description of threading the heddles, I was quite intimidated.  So many eyes, so many ends!! She does comment that it takes a lot more energy to describe than to actually do.  After getting down to it, I fumbled for a while trying to thread an end rather than a fold and finally came into a method.  I decided to not use a threading hook and just use my fingers.  Pulling over 12 heddles instead of one at a time is a much more efficient and less cumbersome process.  At this point I can also confidently say that the yellow thread I selected is not the best choice for a warp, as its been unraveling since I took it off the warping board.  This is all a learning process, so the more challenges the better.

The product will be a plain weave with 1 inch wide stripes of the yellow and blue warp (verticals) and two other colors (which I have yet to select) in the weft (horizontals), 10 inches by 2 yards long.  The warp sett is 12 e.p.i. (ends per inch).   Tying to the front and back aprons will occur later today and much to the anticipation of my studio mates, weaving shall commence very shorty.  Additionally, the product is not a "thing," its more of a learning device.  I like the way Chandler says: if you have set out to learn something, and you do, then the piece has fulfilled its function. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thesis in 30 minutes

Assignment One of Thesis I class was to write three sentences about my thesis and draw/diagram it in 30 minutes.  Here's where I was going.  Follow me? ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Video of some sleying fun.

Sley those reeds!

Today was quite successful and relieving at the same time. First, my portfolio was accepted into the Thesis program at the USF SACD, so that means that undertaking the study of weaving and architecture is really going to happen! Phew!
Back on the loom, I was able to select two types of yarn for my first warp and measure them out into (60) 2 yard increments on the warping board. I also had enough time to sley the yellow yarn into the reed. The process felt very natural and it seems as if I could become very proficient at it quickly. Put on some good music and sley-away. I have attached a quick video of the task, but I am in the process of posting it. I enjoy the minute-ness of working with such small elements and intricacies. I do have some reservations about the yellow yarn I selected as it seems to be unraveling. Perhaps this was not a wise selection, but this piece is just for fun anyways. Tomorrow I will tackle the heddles. They intimidate me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Observing Anni

A few images from the Anni Albers exhibit at Black Mountain College exhibit back in June and one of the former college now summer camp. Also adding the link to the conference that I will hopefully be presenting at in October. Coincidentally, this occurs right after my first preliminary Thesis pin-up, so not too much extra work.

Getting down to "Looming"

Day one of what I like to call weaving, but it was more a dissection, investigation, and placement of little sticky notes all over my loom so I can remember what all the pieces are. I poked, prodded, and moved all the parts and everything seemed to be in working order. I also took inventory of my goodies that came with the purchase, sley hooks, numerous shuttles, bobbin winders, and tons of other things that I cannot identify at the current time. I've been reading Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler and also the original Leclerc manual, printed in 1971 (lol), for some insight. After reading the instructional passages several times I think I'm prepared to start measuring out yarn on my warping board probably tomorrow. A few hours in the wood shop and (thankfully) plenty of wood scraps saved me about $70. We can save that for some Alpaca yarn! Yeah!

So tomorrow: measure the warp, sley the reeds, and hopefully threading the heddles. I am still slightly confused as to how the treddles attach to the lams and how the warps get tied off in the rear, but perhaps when it is staring me in the face it will make more sense.

I am truly enthusiastic about my endeavor and but slightly nervous, as this is something I've never attempted to do and the stakes are quite high. However, I have faith in a fortune cookie I got recently: You will be successful in anything you put your hands to. And we're off!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Conductive out!

Thesis 2009 Abstract

Weaving and architecture, conceived simultaneously with cave paintings, are two of the most ancient forms of craft, both enclosing space and providing shelter harmoniously with nature. Like that of architecture, the creation of a useable textile in its basic composition is the interlacing of two groups, the warp and weft, at right angles to create surface and structure. Through her research, textile artist Anni Albers attributes the organization of weaving to the skills of an ancient feminine goddess. Consequently early advancements in architecture, the structural organization of shelter, are a result of feminine inventions. Through Albers’ understanding of ancient cultures she further links women closer to the overall creation of structure, though perceived as a masculine endeavor, from this woven skill.1

Moreover, it has been the female who has been entrusted with emotional and sensual elements present in the development of shelter since prehistory. Through the creation of a home, women’s mastery of the domestic realm, strengthened and slowly led to gender-defining ideologies. Suburban residential typologies of the post war United States heightened women’s domestic roles through social and environmental isolation of the gender. The suburbs ironically conditioned a homelike sentiment of the built environment, implementing feminine ideals of tradition, sustenance, and continuity with nature.

In the modern world we produce textiles for a predominately indoor existence, underutilizing their benefits as an elementary shelter resource and erasing Albers’ basic relations of weaving and architecture.2 Residential design of the post-war housing crisis in the United States disregarded nurturing feminine design principles and sanctioned the suburban typology as a principal relief strategy. Still seen as a preferred housing option today, homes are predominately constructed with methods popularized in the 1950s with advancements only seen in materials. Albers points to similar developments in textiles where the fundamental weaving traditions are unchanged and advancement only occurs with the creation of chemically treated fibers.3 Both are now designed and chosen for aesthetic qualities and overlook mutual advantages of protection, flexibility, connection with users, impact on environment, and overall performance. Tactile engagement, essential to interactions with space, is also largely absent from modern fibers and the places we inhabit.

As historic accounts show, women inherently link architecture and textiles. Through disregarding this connection, the capacity of the planet is suffering due to outdated and unsustainable residential building practices, while quality of life is degrading due to the inability of today’ structures to nurture and engage inhabitants effectively. A modular, structural wall panel system, incorporating indoor and exterior advancements in shelter through textiles and engagement of inhabitants through tactile sensibilities, will again realign these ancient crafts into an effective, modern residential construction solution. The time has come to redefine and redesign suburbia and subsequently women, undertaking the task of weaver and architect, provide the most powerful efforts in the discovery of an appropriate housing construction for the modern era and the future.