Posted by: bschutzgruber | January 27, 2021

New Year – New Ways of Learning

I am a workshop junkie!
2020 was tough because all in-person workshops were cancelled due to the pandemic but 2021 is bringing new learning experiences!

Taking a Class Online

Rebecca Mezoff has developed and produced a series of online tapestry classes. I took an in-person workshop with her several years ago through the Michigan League of Handweavers summer workshops. Her clear instructions/encouraging teaching style worked well with my learning style. I’ve watched several excerpts of her online classes that she has posted on her blog. Her camera work is some of the best I’ve seen and her instructions are clear and easy to follow. In her blog and newsletter she mentioned an interesting technique – fringeless tapestry using a warping technique that produces selvedges on all four sides!

“This online class teaches you how to warp a loom so that when you are finished weaving, there is no fringe and no hem. This warping method is often called four selvedge warping. Taught by master tapestry artist, Sarah C. Swett, it is a unique opportunity to learn how to warp and weave tapestry in this fun way while getting all of Sarah’s inside weaving tips. You’ll see Rebecca in this course also asking questions, giving her two cents about tapestry weaving, and generally keeping the camera rolling.”

I decided to gift myself this course for Christmas! 

One of first things in the materials list is that the loom has to have tensioning ability. The small looms I have all have fixed sides.

This means I get to make a new toy!!!!  Plans are included for making a tabletop pipe loom out of galvanized, copper or PVC pipe. I decided to make mine from 1/2″ copper pipe (for about $20) that can be taken apart for storage. I cut 2 different lengths for the side pipes so I can have a shorter or taller loom depending on my project. This was the same principle as my large pipe loom but much easier to make!

I also needed to sort through the seine twine I have in my stash to figure out what sizes I have. The numbers from one company to another are not always the same!! I compared thicknesses and picked open the plies to count the ends.

I watched the entire course from beginning to end so I would better understand what I needed to do. Sarah does a great job explaining what she is doing and Rebecca explains the technology, how the platform works, and offers plenty of troubleshooting help. Now I was ready to actually work through the warping steps using 12/6 seine twine set at 8epi. It took me 2 days and then I was ready to start weaving!

   

My first fringeless sample is not fancy as I was focused on the warping process. I’m pleased with my overall result – especially the top and bottom selvedges.

For my second try I used 20/6 seine twine for the warp set at 12 epi and played with a more varied color palette of finer wool. This was much harder to weave and the top selvedge is rather rough!

This was a fun course and I will definitely keep playing with it! 

Next up:  2 workshops via Zoom! 


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