October 11-13, I attended Mississinewa 2018. The event recreates activities from the year 1812, including a battle that happened near Marion, Indiana. I spent most of my time in the "Ladies Salon" a tent reserved for women re-enactors to visit and enrich each other's knowledge. Yes, I brought my sprang frame, and samples of sprang: bags, pockets, coin purses, sashes, shawls.
Taking seriously a tip given to me in August at the Grand Portage Rendezvous, I drove to Henderson, Kentucky, to have a look at a sash. According to his family, James Audubon collected a fingerwoven sash while at Ft Union in 1843. I had to go and have a look at it myself (since I was in the neighborhood).
The sash features five strips sewn together. Each strip has an arrow on a red background. Each arrow is outlined with white beads. The backside of the sash has been reinforced with patches of red cloth, to stabilize damaged areas.
On to Colorado. The Denver Handweavers asked me to come and talk at their monthly meeting. I was also to teach fingerweaving and sprang.
I always learn things from my students. This woman brought along her sprang frame ... a very versatile collection of PVC pipes ... can be altered to be a warp weighted loom, an inkle loom, a tapestry loom...
The base of the frame is held together using elastic cord. She attaches the lower edge of her warp to a piece of pipe that 'floats' along the sides of her frame (fits to bits of pipe that are a larger diameter than the sides of her frame). Tension is provided by metal rings that she hangs onto this 'floating' pipe. set around a larger piece of pipe. She says she can switch it around to also serve as a warp weighted loom or tapestry loom ... a very clever design.
The students learned lots, and produced some lovely pieces.
I was also treated to a visit to the back rooms of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The anthropology department has a lovely collection of sashes.
Bonnets and Spirals
Since my last blog entry, I’ve been busy. The last few weeks of August and first part of September were given to making a set of bonnets to replicate the collection of Coptic bonnets in the German Textile Museum in Krefeld, Germany. This was in preparation for a paper that I gave at the Textile Society of America Conference in Vancouver, BC in Mid September.
I find these bonnets fascinating. For one thing, they are rather representative of the variety found in Coptic bonnets in general. For another thing, each time I’ve learned a great deal in making replicas. I look at a bonnet, and then set up a warp, and start working, and then I get to a point where I check back with the original, and find, wait a minute, there is something else going on here. The details in these bonnets are a testament to the mastery of the technique.
Once I had an ‘acceptable’ set of nine replica bonnets, I set to another project. A colleague of mine has been working on the Spiral Textile project. Check out the website.
Julia has been encouraging me to make a contribution, some sprang samples. If you are working with sufficiently fine threads, you can get a spiral using the lace technique. Plot out a series of holes in a spiral shape, and you’ve got your sprang spiral.
S and Z work provides a different challenge. As Peter Collingwood notes, A design worked in, say, S, will not completely ‘stand out’ in front of a Z background. Collingwood does offer a kind of a ‘fix’ for this. You must divide the background into 4 quadrants, and then place the design onto this quadrant.