'Tis The Season...
Tim Holtz and the 12 Tags of Christmas: All Good Things Must End

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave

One of the great pleasures of living in midtown Manhattan is how much is quite literally a hop, skip, and a jump away from me.  On Wednesday, I trundled the seven blocks to the Museum of Art & Design.  I love museums that offer the opportunity to learn from some of the artists whose work they exhibit.

Our instructors were from the Textile Arts Center.  I have to apologize, but I've completely forgotten their names, so I did a little internet sleuthing (online stalking is surprisingly easy) and the woman on the left is Cynthia Alberto.  You can see some of her work here.  And I believe that the woman on the right is Isa Rodrigues who is visiting from the New University of Lisbon, Portugal with a fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to study the theory and practice of textile conservation with a special interest in pre-Columbian materials.

When I walked into the room, they had already set up the table looms:

Here's what it looks like when you're sitting at the loom:

As we began to work, I learned that it takes between 45 and 90 minutes to set up "the warp" (those red threads) on a loom like this.  Because the instructors had set everything up for us, we had the luxury of simply sitting down and weaving!

Now, I'm going to try to explain this - understanding that my knowledge is completely cursory and based on two hours of class.  In the photo above, do you see the four levers at the top of the loom?  The first one is pointing down and the next three are up?

Those are harness levers or something like that.  Basically, the warp (red strings) are each attached to one of the harnesses on the machine and the harnesses are controlled by the levers.  Depending on how you position the levers, that's how the pattern of weaving will work in terms of over-under, etc.  So you set your levers and then you run your bobbin in a shuttle...

...through the red threads (side to side).  It's easier to understand if you see it.  I found a YouTube video that shows you the process on a floor loom.  Here's a view when I'm part way through weaving:

Just making up my own pattern, and if this photo is any indicator...

...having a good time doing it!

We worked on the looms for almost two hours before it was time to cut our scarves loose.  You can see the instructor helping one of the students here:

And here is a view of my scarf (the one folded in half) with another student's work:

I should mention that I tend to be a fast worker when it comes to repetitive stuff.  As you can see.  Here's a photo with a few more scarves in the mix:

I really enjoyed the weaving.  I've knitted before and it just didn't speak to me the same way.  Of course, I don't think a table loom is in my future, but I really enjoyed experimenting with it and playing with texture and pattern.

And now, it's tag #11 from Tim Holtz:

Here is my version:

Not a lot of new technique here.  The fabric covered brads are the big deal item.  I don't own the i-top brad maker thing, I just used an old-fashioned cover-your-own button.  Here's a photo of the button in progress:

(That's a scrap from my paint rag - the rag I use to clean up messes - by the way.)  And the final button:

I think the Rock Candy Stickles look great on the flowers - they create such a lovely shine.

This is one of my all time favorite background techniques.  I believe we already used it on tag 1 maybe?  Regardless, it's a go to technique for me!  I use it all the time.  You can see complete instructions on Tim's blog post for today.  The rub-on, by the way, is an ancient one from 7gypsies.  I was glad to put it to use!

The leaf stamp is one I carved myself.  The only black embossing powder I own is Zing from American Crafts.  And the jar I have has glitter in it, so it's super shiny.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS: Listened to a really lovely podcast with Judy Wise.  I spent a half hour or so painting backgrounds and just listening to the interview.  Give it a listen if you have a chance!