Friday, July 18, 2014

Little looms, great burgers, and some amazing students...

My classes are rolling along at Convergence 2014 in Providence, Rhode Island. The sun came out yesterday and everything was much less damp.

Yesterday was my new class, The Mobile Tapestry Weaver: Weaving Tapestry on a Hokett Loom. If you don't know, Jim Hokett makes some beautiful weaving equipment. Much of it is small--for little looms. I sold all the looms I brought and wish I had brought twice as many at least... or better yet, that Jim himself had been able to be at the conference!

The classes are classic conference center ballroom style. Deep skinny rooms, horrible lighting, no windows (though we could hear the rain hammering on the roof), and that special sound-deadening quality those rooms have which make you feel a little drugged by the end of the day. Despite all that, the creativity swelling around all the classes on the fifth floor this week has been astounding.
The class working on their Hokett looms.
I had several sizes of looms in the class, some 6 dent and some 8 dent. This allowed me to present various warping options. Here was a beautiful example in progress of using the loom warped double with part of the weaving in a finer sett. I can't wait to see Karen's piece finished.
I was fortunate in both of the classes I've taught so far to have amazing assistants. The Handweavers Guild of America offers scholarship to fiber students to come to Convergence in return for some very hard work on their part not only helping teachers like me, but setting up shows and generally making things run smoothly. A HUGE thanks to Mandy and Abby. You two were miracles.

Here are a few more explorations from the Hokett class. I can't wait to teach this class again somewhere. So many ideas!
I loved the effect in the yellow/orange bar in the piece below. This student was using some pearl cotton for weft and she changed the sett in the middle of that bar. The cotton was shiny and the sett change made that texture change look so beautiful. I'm thinking silk... (Didn't I see that RedFish was in the vendor hall?)
I wish I had photos of everyone's work in my classes. There were some beautiful color gradations done in the Hokett class and the blur of 52 students in three days sort of washed out the names that went with the tapestries that I can still see in my head. I woke up thinking about a beautiful orange/yellow one where the weaver had used bits of demi-duite which gave the piece amazing variety and interest and made it glow. Maybe she'll send me a photo.

And after three intense days of teaching, I stumbled out into the Providence night and with the help of some good friends, found some tapestry shows to enjoy... and a good burger.
Today is vendor hall and exhibition day. I have a one day break from teaching and I intend to use it well.


  1. The little loom in photo 3 looks a lot like one I have, its great for travelling.

  2. Debbie, is your loom a Tornadowoox Paperback loom, or a.Goodwood loom by any chance? Gary, my partner, used to make the Tornadowood looms...


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