Last November, in a moment of weakness, I promised a piece to the local Habitat for Humanity for a fundraiser. The deal is that artists can have $20 worth of stuff from the ‘ReStore’. The artist is to use this material to create an ‘artpiece’ and then donate it to the local Habitat for Humanity fundraising art auction.
I knew that Jan and Feb would be crazy busy … and they have been. And yet I’ve been really wanting to try working with wire.
I succeeded in finding a reel of fine, supple green coated wire at the Habitat Re-Store. This week I’ve set down to try to do some sprang.
I did a quick little first piece to determine how long, how wide.
I then launched into a piece I thought I’d mount as art. I was not pleased with the results.
So now I’m onto my third attempt.
I went back to the Re-Store and purchased some ‘bling’ as I still had $11 remaining of that initial $20 credit.
I also added some copper wire.
Here it is in progress
And here’s the finished piece
I wanted to make some statement that the textile technique known as ‘sprang’ is akin to what we all know as ‘chain link fence’. I stretched the sprang between two knitting needles. These endposts were affixed to the background (a cabinet door from the ReStore) with screw-in eyelets.
The art auction will be held at the Habitat for Humanity ‘ReStore’ or Archibald Street in Winnipeg starting on Thursday. Bids must be in by Saturday afternoon.
The classic method for finger weaving is that you attaching the work to a nail in the wall, and tie the lower end to your chairleg. Many people describe their circumstances to me, where putting a nail in the wall is NOT permitted. This might just be the solution:
A new weaver sends me this image, a nice idea for attaching your sash.
and in greater detail
The snow sculptures look great, especially at night with the lights from the tents.
Some visitors to the Festival du Voyageur sport fingerwoven sashes.
These women made their own
For those who understand French
I was interviewed last October by Radio Canada (the French CBC) concerning the fingerweaving dance, la p’chit dawnse.
Have a listen to the interview:
Another day at Festival du Voyageur. Again this year on Louis Riel Day I was invited to give a fingerweaving workshop. As is my custom, attempting to convey the method to people, I have them ‘dance’ the movements. It works very well with nylon ropes
Then this evening at the Auberge du Violin we had another group weaving activity, this time accompanied by music.
Winnipeg’s Winter festival is getting started. This is what we do with snow: we carve it.
This winter festival centers around the establishment of European colonies here and the fur trade. Truckers of the day paddled canoes, and carried trade goods overland between waterways. The arrow sash, or ‘ceinture fleche’ was part of the dress.
I’ll be weaving for the duration, talking with schoolchildren and general visitors alike.
Monday morning I’ll give a workshop for a select few who’ve signed up. Monday evening I’ll be at L’Auberge du Violon with my ‘fingerweaving dance’.
Once Festival is over I’ll get to several sash orders placed in November. I’ve also got some silk that I dyed in the microwave, awaiting some spranging.
Shirley Berlin passed me an amazing article by Dagmar Drinkler from the Archaeological Textiles Newsletter. I’m inspired.
I’ve sent off a couple of things to the HGA Convergence exhibitions … hoping for the best.
Whew! That’s a load off my mind.
Now for Festival du Voyageur which starts on Friday. They’ve invited me to participate in the ‘school program’. I’ll be weaving on a sash that bears striking similarity to an historic piece, and talking with students about fingerweaving. Space permitting, I’ll bring along my table loom to show them the difference in technique. I’ve also prepared little baggies with materials for the beginner project from my book: chopsticks and eight strands of yarn, all set up and ready to go, cost $2 each.
The school program runs 9:30 AM to 3PM, and then the crowds of general public come in the evening. If you’re in the Winnipeg area, stop in at Whittier Park, Feb 12-21.