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December 23, 2021 / weavingschool

Workshops at Rocky Mountain Weavers Guild

November 19 – 22, 2021
Geri Forkner – “Introduction to Electronic Textiles”

By Nicki Scheurwater

When I signed up for the class, I had no idea what an “electronic textile” was, and why did I need to make one? After only a few minutes of listening to Geri, I not only became a convert, but was totally transfixed with this amazing lady.

Geri began with a detailed background of the techniques and examples of her work. Her sweet Southern accent lulled us with assurances that in fact, we could create some of the fun, unique and colorful creations we were seeing.

We started by selecting one of the colorful silk scarves, dyed merino fleece, bits of unusual fabrics and retreating to our workstations outfitted with bubble wrap, spray bottles and towels. Our instructions were to the layer the fleece and fabrics on the scarves, spray lots of water, roll them up in the bubble wrap and roll 100 times, unroll, rewrap and roll 100 again. Spray and repeat. For those of you who have done nuno felting, you can feel our pain. Next, we began to see the transformation from parts to the whole.

After our workout, Geri provided us with conductive thread, batteries, and LED lights for our scarves. Our scarves were not dry. Not wanting to mix “electricity” with wet items, we tried new electrical engineering skills sewing our lights and batteries to small felt pieces. We were careful to create a circuit, not a short circuit. I had never paid much attention to the world of electricity so this was exciting. Some students were even able to make a bracelet with lights.

I was totally blown away by the scarves that were created, with a myriad of intense colors and fabrics that worked when combined, reflecting the creative, skilled person who made it. Fun stuff that can be applied to other fiber creations!

If you have not taken a class from Geri, or just sit and talk with her, I would highly recommend it as one of those life experiences that will stay with you for quite a while.

December 2021 9
Weaving to Felt with Geri Forkner
by Donna Brown
What a great workshop. I thought I knew the plan for this workshop but it took a turn. We had so much fun. The participants brought a measured 3 yard warp and a loom ready for it. Nothing you do as a seasoned weaver applies with this technique.

Geri started the workshop by amazing us with samples of the technique and explaining how to start our weaving. We sleyed our reed with the warp front to back very loosely with wide spaces. Once warped the weaving was also outside our weaving box. No packing weft yarns in this project. We finished the weaving on day 1!

On day 2 we laid our loose weaving down and shingled roving on top in 2 directions. Then the fun began by rolling the project in plastic until the roving connected to the weaving. The magic appeared and our yardage was in one piece.

Geri was such a delight in sharing information and inspiring us for future projects. The participants all left with a creative piece.

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