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Made from scrap
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Friday, 18 March 2011

Weaving Spinning and Dyeing Guild - Design Workshop

On Saturday 12th March I attended the Monthly meeting of the 'Birmingham and District Guild of Weaving Spinning and Dyeing'.  This month it was a design workshop lead by Stacey Harvey-Brown.
"Stacey Harvey-Brown is an artist weaver, speaker, teacher and author, specialising in creating satellite, aerial and microscopic images in 2 ½ dimensions, sharing her love of weaving through exhibiting, giving talks, seminars and workshops, teaching absolute beginners through to advanced jacquard students, and writing widely on weaving, life and philosophy."
  I had no idea what to expect.  I am not at all 'arty'.  I need not have worried.  Stacey was very reassuring and I just soaked up all sorts of information and ideas not only from Stacey but other guild members and visitors.  It is really refreshing to be a room full of creative people, working on different projects with varying levels of experience.  Our task was to choose a 'design focus', an image or object, to work on to translate into a textile.  Stacey's focus was weaving.  She produces fantastic tapestry weavings and textured weavings.   I couldn't do justice to her work by attempting to explain it, you can link to her website here
The Loomroom
Guild members were not expecting to take a completed project home, we were exploring the process and collation of ideas and the stages involved in working ideas into textiles.  I am a complete novice to these concepts.  We had access to a wide variety of materials and books to explore.  My Mom settled to exploring a 'Sunset' and she was busy painting and finding yarns to match the colours and textures of the photograph, she claimed not to know what she was doing, but it kept her quiet and it looked great to me.  I have made a note to myself I need to invest in a large scrapbook and a pallet of water colour paints for exploring colour.  As is usual with my 'Learning style' I did not settle to my task well,  I started out looking at a photograph of a 'Summer meadow', then changed my mind a worked on a Pheasant tail feather that I have had for about a year.  I spent a long time closely examining the colours, patterns, line and texture on my feather, I tried to sketch it and recreate it in 'alternative' colours.   I get easily distracted nosing at what everyone else is up to.  I do learn a lot that way and I am in total awe of what individuals can and do achieve.  I learnt about 'Weave it' style square looms and had a demo and a play.

Examples of completed 'Weave it' squares

I am on a promise next month to learn how to warp a Rigid Heddle loom.  This may be ambitous though as next month is a 'Spinning Workshop' looking at creating Arty Batts of fibre.  I should stay focussed for that.  One guild member had a large collection of work she had produced for a 'City and Guilds' Textile course a good number of years ago.  She was the only member in the class to achieve a distinction, she showed me her process for getting from ideas to completed designs and it was fascinating.  For one example she used the designs from the outside of Romanian monastries to create woven Romanian style Aprons and recorded the process from start to finish.
This is an image from a 'Google' search to show the style of an 'antique' Romanian Apron

I found this image on a 'Google' search just to illustrate the decorative features on the outside of a 'Romanian' Monastry 
In this meeting I also managed to aquire a weaving book, some cones of thread and a fantastic Inkle Loom!  Not only is my impulse buying bad enough but the Inkle Loom was positively thrust in my direction, I did not know I even wanted one!!!  I accused the offending Guild member of being a bad influence but she insisted she was 'encouraging' if I need it!

An Inkle Loom
I always return home exhausted from these meetings as my brain goes into overdrive.  I need a month to recover ready for the next adventure.


  1. Wow! Always glad to read about a new art but please don't "encourage" me to start!!!

  2. No wonder your brain is in over-drive! Look forward to seeing what you do with your ponderings.
    Love Tickety-boo x

  3. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I loved your feather and the ideas of how you can use it for your spinning next month! Have fun with the inkle loom!! It was lovely to meet you all!
    Warmest wishes,

  4. Stacey what a surprise to see you here :) I am in awe of your work. I hope we meet again and I will have a scrapbook of ideas and some samples to share :) Just give me a couple of years...


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