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February 22, 2017 / weavingschool

Much can be accomplished in a weekend

Especially at John C Campbell Folk School
This past weekend, I taught a round robin plain weave class proving that “plain weave does not have to be so plain.” Of course the Folk School brings out the best in folks so the students were able to weave 8 different versions of plain weave on six different looms and do lots of warping to boot.
Here are just a few of the samples just waiting for full sized projects.

January 28, 2017 / weavingschool

Thailand Adventures

So much to see and do in Thailand.
This year I went on a tour to some of my favorite places in Thailand and a few I hadn’t seen before. This is a year of mourning for the late king and people were dressed in black everywhere we went. A continuing stream of people dressed completely in black stretched for blocks surrounding the Grand Palace waiting to view the king’s remains. Our tour took us to the north eastern part of Thailand. We visited five traditional weaving villages and were treated like royalty everywhere we went with welcoming luncheons, receptions, village tours, and lectures.     The second year fashion design students at Rangsit University in Bangkok took on the felting and e-textile challenge I gave them and made a scarf then stitched a simple circuit that included a snap switch and led light. I even revisited my Peru trip with a slide presentation to the Thai Textile Society. The last day of my trip found me at the Bangkok Mini Maker Faire. STEM and STEAM are a worldwide movement.
Here is a small sample in and around Bangkok, with more to follow.

October 26, 2016 / weavingschool

Weaving at John Campbell Folk School

Six focused ladies are learning how to adapt and invent twill patterns this week. They have hardly had time to go outside and enjoy the amazing weather we are having here in this tiny corner of south west North Carolina. These are just their samplers, wait till you see the finished pieces they are threading tonight. Stay tuned.

ladiesgroup1

Showing off

September 16, 2016 / weavingschool

Demonstrations

It is always fun to share skills with visitors at festivals and school days. Especially when being surrounded by music, other demonstrators, and wonderful museum displays.
The McMinn County Living Heritage Museum in Athens, TN put on a program for local school children on Sept 9 that included folk music, pottery, spoon making, and pine needle basketry. I was able to demonstrate on their 1840’s barn loom and show the children the processes used by their ancestors to make their clothing.
The next day was Art on the Square in Tellico Plains. Aside from the art booths, there was music all day long, great to be sitting across from. Demonstrators from the state parks dyed hand spun wool and cotton cloth with cochineal and logwood. Not to mention that I love the looks on kids faces when they can successfully weave on my baby wolf loom. Two successful days educating folks in by gone ways.

livinghertiage

August 6, 2016 / weavingschool

Handweavers Guild Convergence

I’m seeing the sights of Milwaukee and teaching folks about some new things in the fiber world. Lots of gee wiz – who knew moments all weekend: cotton transistors, art museum on the Lake, and Creative students. One more class today, I wonder what I’ll learn today since I always learn something new from my students whenever I teach. This new e-textile world is all about collaboration.

August 2, 2016 / weavingschool

Packed and Ready

Convergence Milwaukee here I come. Tomorrow – early – I’m leaving for Convergence. If you don’t already know, Convergence is the Handweaver’s Guild of America’s “ultimate international fiber art experience”.
I’ll be teaching two classes about my newest passion, “crafting electricity” (a term coined by Leah Buechley). One thing I’ve learned in this new – to me – world is that it’s all about collaboration. Engineers collaborating with Fashion Designers, wrap your head around that. Check this link for a mock up of the led lights on my nuno felted vest on display at the teacher’s exhibit at Convergence. It couldn’t have been possible without the help of my friend Karen Bills, an engineer who understands programing and helped me with the arduino code running the Lily Pad. She not only taught me about arrays, and random, but shares my love of all things fiber. Another talented artist friend, Jane Bawn, custom made the glass buttons for the vest.
I’m excited to be introducing some folks to this new limitless world. Who knows what new collaborations will happen.

EllenVest2W

July 16, 2016 / weavingschool

More fun with electronic textiles

Several years ago I took a class at Shakerag with Leah Buechley and since then I’ve been showing e-textile technology to anyone who would watch and listen. Yesterday Veronica, a talented quilting friend from Chattanooga, spent the day with me getting started with electronic textiles. We used the lily tiny, a microcontroller small enough to sew into wearables, and stitched on three lights each blinking with a different pattern. It’s a major accomplishment for anyone new to circuitry and LEDs. But Veronica’s eyes lit up with the possibilities of all the blinky things she could add to her quilted pieces to make them even more fun.