Monday, 12 September 2016

'Threads in Time', The National Exhibition at Killerton House, Devon 8th - 18th September 2016

Threads in Time

Items on display at the exhibition are from members of Guilds around the UK and of course the online Guild. All items encompass at least of of the crafts of weaving, spinning or dyeing.  All the items have been selected anonymously by a panel of expert selectors. 

Killerton House in Devon.

I submitted two items for the exhibition and was delighted to find that both items were accepted.  In fact Durham Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers had  several  items selected for inclusion.

My items are a red silk kimono and a guitar strap.

The Red Silk Happi Coat.

I wove the material for this jacket using 2/60 silk used double. The sett is 40 epi.

The main part of the jacket was woven using 24 shafts

Here is the weave draft.

The collar was woven in 3/1 and 1/3 broken twill in blocks using 16 shafts.

Here is the weave draft

Guitar Strap

This photograph of a lava flow is the inspiration for the design of the strap.  I called the design 'Earth Shock.'

The guitar strap is woven in Rowan Cotton glace in six colours.  The weave structure is warp faced plain weave with a pick up pattern in black using 13 pattern threads.

The buckles and leather ends are from Annie McHale. Her blog is simply wonderful.  She designs beautiful woven bands.  See her blog at:

I bought the guitar strap ends from her as they do not seem to be available in the UK.  They are a very high quality product. The guitar strap kit includes quality leather tabs with holes and slits for attachment to the instrument and one black plastic slide buckle for making the strap adjustable. If ordering from the UK, remember that there will be an additional tax to pay at this end.

She also provides a useful video showing how to assemble the buckles onto the woven band.

I met Annie at the Braid Society International Conference in Tacoma. Here she is with some of her beautiful guitar straps. Of course I was tempted to buy more of her guitar strap kits to bring home.

Annies beautiful guitar straps

Futurelearn Course

I must pass on some information about a course I am taking in October.  It is called the Power of Colour and is a course offered by FutureLearn.  You can find out more details about the course at this link:

The course runs for four weeks and is for anyone who is interested in the topic.  Here is what the organisers say about the aims of the course.

 'We hope you’ll finish the course inspired and ready to express yourself confidently through your colour choices; presenting your work, your world and yourself with colourful and creative originality!'

Futurelearn course are all FREE!  Anyone with access to the internet can enrol wherever you live around the world.

I have taken a few course with FutureLearn.  The course about the poet Robert Burns presented by the University of Glasgow was simple amazing.  I can recommend FutureLearn to anyone who is interested in the world around them. The courses cover language learning, history, philosophy, design, film making, health, science, law, literature, psychology, teaching, archaeolology .......... There is something for everyone.  Explore the  list of current courses and I am sure you will find something.

The Power of Colour covers an area in which I  have always felt less confident.  I am looking forward to understanding the role of colour and its use in greater detail.

Susan J Foulkes   September 2016

Just an extra note.  The tartan which I have been trying to identify has been sourced by Peter MacDonald. Check out the update on my April 2015 blog entry.  Thank you Peter.  

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Cushion Cover inspired by Bart van der Leck

I decided that I needed another cushion cover to go with the one which was inspired by Malevich. See my post for November 2014 

A couple of years ago, we visited the Netherlands to tour art galleries and in the Kroger Muller Gallery, amongst others, there were some interesting paintings by Bart van der Leck.  Bart van der Leck was a Dutch painter and  designer. Along with Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian he founded the De Stijl art movement in Amsterdam in 1917. De Stijl means the Style and was also the name of an influential magazine founded by Theo van Doesburg.

This painting attracted me and I thought would be suitable as a design to use.

I used the picture to make a pattern to see if it would be suitable.  I cut up coloured paper strips and arranged them onto a sheet of paper the size of the cushion cover.

Then I wove a number of self coloured bands to cut up to use for the design.

Single colour bands to use for the appliqued cushion cover.

I needed bands in yellow, red, blue and black. I wove a number of bands in different widths.

Cushion cover and paper pattern. 
Here is the finished cushion in place.  I am not altogether satisfied with my interpretation of the design.  I  feel that the design is too cluttered on the cushion.  it would have been improved by adapting the design and restricting it to fewer strips of colour.

So this cover is not as good as I would have liked but has given me further ideas on how to design this type of cover more successfully.

I was thrilled to see my article in the latest Journal for Weavers Spinners and Dyers.  I visited the Russian Museum of Ethnology in St Petersburg and was amazed at their beautiful collection of folk dress and artefacts. The article describes some of the collection and also shows a couple of the belts that I wove once I returned home.  The Lithuanian belt made the back cover of the issue.

Here is the list of contents for the Autumn 2016 edition number 259.  The Journal has fascinating articles with lovely colour pictures.  It is now available as an online edition.

And here is the back cover with the belt that I wove.

Happy weaving.

After September, I have decided to limit my blog to one entry per month so I can concentrate on my weaving.

Susan J Foulkes September 2016