Sunday, June 4, 2017

A new toy!

I've been eyeing this cute little rigid heddle loom for over a year now.

 This spring, I decided to take the plunge.  Here's my first project, a sakiori sash.
Don't worry, I know there's a warping error.  I was watching a youtube video about warping a loom by yourself, and messed up.  I'm glad that the warps will be covered in this piece.

So what is sakiori? Here's a good description from Sri.  Sakiori weaving uses a rag weft against a warp of either bast fiber or cotton. The weft material is often made from shredded kimono or other recycled garments which can be of cotton, silk or other material. Sakiori clothing was first woven by Japanese peasants around 1750 for its warmth and durability as newly minted cotton cloth at that time was too rare and expensive for a farmer or fisherman. The home manufacture and use of sakiori clothing and hearth covers in rural areas of Japan disappeared anywhere from 50-100 years ago, although a few individuals and some historical preservation societies still weave this cloth today. 

For this sash,  the warp threads are cotton, and the strips are a mix of recycled cotton and silk. 

Here are a few examples:

This book is a very good resource.
I'll post more photos when the sash is completed.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Indigo play and paper weaving

A few years ago, my friend Susan let her indigo vat dry up.  This is some of the pigment residue from the bottom of the pot.  I kept a bag of it for experimentation.  I ground some up, and added water to make a paste for painting.  I also mixed some with soy milk.  The soy milk acts as a binder to fabric, so I thought maybe it would help on paper also.

The results are not as stunning as a fresh batch, but I was happy that it didn't go to waste. The paper below is for sumie.  I should be able to cut and spin it sometime in the future.

Porcelain spoons dipped in indigo, and wrapped with cane.

Porcelain 'sticks' dipped in indigo.  The weaving is abaca paper yarn that I spun with very fine wire.  The background paper has been dyed with indigo, also. 8.5"x11"

Micaceous clay spoons with weaving.

Bisque fired clay 'sticks' woven with Habu paper yarn.  The background is raw silk dyed with kakishibu, a Japanese persimmon dye.  The flower is a variation of my family crest.  It was stenciled with kakishibu and bengara ( red iron oxide).

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Woven slippers

 I've decided to make some slippers from my garden day lily leaves after finding these two links on the internet.

I made a few changes, but overall, they turned out pretty well.  The stitching is far from perfect, but I'm happy with them, and now it's off of my to do list.  Here are the steps of the process.
Special tools needed:  curved needle, a last (shoe form) of each foot, hole puncher.

How long did they take?  I didn't keep track, but I would guess about 8-10 hours each.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Today I saw FB friend, Velma Bolyard's post about embroidering on paper.  It reminded me to dig out an embroidery project that I started awhile ago.

I was looking into "semamori," which is a Japanese custom of embroidering an amulet or good luck symbol on the back, under the collar, of a child's kimono.
I found several samples on the internet.  The photos below are from
 I was able to get this book from Japan-
I started practicing a few stitches on my own.  The background paper is watercolor paper which I had dyed some paintings on years ago, and decided to cut up for cards.

Here are some semamori with assorted threads.

You are supposed to sew the design in a certain order, but I wasn't always able to figure that out.

So, armed with inspiration from textile artists Emily Barletta  and Helen Parrott, I got out my hand spun paper yarn with copper leaf, and a piece of indigo dyed watercolor paper.

Here's the piece I embroidered today.  It's not quite finished. I'm trying to decide about a stitch on the edges.
It's approximately 10 in. by 10 in. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Clay and Fiber

I've recently been playing with clay quite a bit.  I don't know how long this will last, but for the meantime, I'm trying out some clay and fiber combinations.  The circle is about a foot across.  I used a variety of threads and fibers for the woven portion. 

If you have ever warped a circular loom before you know that two layers of threads form.   I decided to weave the back with a translucent ribbon.

Old and new

 In Dec., I spent 3 days cleaning out one of my basketry rooms.  I found one of my favorite vases that I use for a mold, and decided to make a cedar bark basket with it.  Here's a version that I made in 2010. The warps are cedar bark, and the weaving is NW sedge, Midwest sweetgrass, and New Zealand flax fibers.

The new version is red cedar, copper wire, and yellow cedar bark.  The bottom portion is a braid weave I learned in the workshop with Mai Hvid Jorgensen, at Weaving by the Sea.
It was fun to visit this shape again, and see the differences.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Weaving by the Sea Part 2

Photos from Tim Johnson's Invisible Stitch workshop. First you plait a long braid, then you stitch it up.

 Baskets from the evening session:

Tim Johnson

Monica's prize winning style baskets.  It's hard to tell here, but they are huge!

Mai's purses

 Thanks for bringing your basketry collection, Tim.  It was a pleasure seeing (in person) baskets from cultures outside of the U.S.