Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fall Colours

There is something about the fall that seems to stimulate the creative soul.  I think it is the changing colours in the landscape.  The blaze of colour is short lived and just begs to be captured through some creative effort.  Inspiring colour schemes are everywhere and they change daily.  Brilliant yellows soften and reds turn to orange then rich browns.  Purples creep into green shrubs and here on Vancouver Island the moss creates bright green patches throughout the "lawn".

Some of the items that guild members brought to our monthly meeting reflect the fall colours.
Linda's pile rug

Myrtle's ruanna
Orange pumpkins are everywhere in anticipation of Halloween which may have been the inspiration for this pile rug.
The ruanna of mixed fibres brings to mind chestnuts and deep orange/brown hues.  It has tucks at the shoulders

Several of the scarves used purple and darker blue yarns or a mix of both.  The lace-like scarf was knitted from a luxurious yarn and is light as a feather.  The scarf with a blend of colours has a subtle curving pattern that runs lengthwise while striped scarf is made of different textured threads.

detail Sheila's scarf

Lynnette's advancing twill scarf

Sylvia's scarf of hand dyed yarns

In our area lichens are very common and as leaves drop they become visible in the trees.  This puffy scarf reminds me of an old maple tree with pale green and grey lichens.
differential shrinkage scarf
Everyone's pallet is not dominated by fall and that is a good thing.
pin loom shawl
This shawl was pieced together from squares woven on a pin loom.  Two different yarns were used to create a central motif.

Two of the items demonstrate surface effects that we can generate with a little ingenuity and dye (whether natural or synthetic).  The silk square was printed with leaves using indigo while the curved flower motif was created by dyeing the handwoven yardage after a resist had been applied.
resist dyed shawl
printing with natural items

Our guild has some expert spinners as illustrated by the skein of hand spun natural linen.  

Maggie's hand spun linen

At our monthly guild meeting we were treated to a lecture on Mexican textiles.  While the cloth is still hand woven on back strap looms the use of synthetic threads and automated sewing machines has changed the look of the traditional clothing.  In spite of that, the colour mixes are characteristically bold and the colours themselves bright compared to our more subdued work.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Return to the Studio

Summer has passed on and fall has arrived.  We have packed up our shovels and pails and headed away from the beach with lots of inspiration.  Visitors have returned home.  Children have returned to school.  Ah! It is finally quiet.  Time to return to the studio and turn all that inspiration into a project.
Maybe you captured some interesting photos that suggest a colour scheme or a graphic design.  As for me, I am still trying to figure out how the maker of these sculptures managed to balance the rocks without the help of a glue gun.

Our guild regrouped in late September and we decided to start off the fall season with a show of what members had produced over the summer, a demonstration and a challenge.
It was obvious from the items brought for display that many of our members had managed to squeeze a lot of studio time in between hosting friends and family, travelling, gardening and playing.

tea towel project
The looms at our studio were kept busy with more rug making and tea towel projects like the examples shown in the photos.

detail of corduroy rug
Some members continued to work on the lessons from the Robyn Spady workshops and lectures. The workshop participants left with plenty of warp on their looms to explore the concepts further at their own pace.
Robyn Spady workshop sampler

cotton/wool shawl
Mary and Pat, of the More Than Four study group, continued with their explorations of three dimensional surface effects while Sheila took her cue from an on line double weave study group.

double weave place mat

seer sucker scarf

Whether their projects evolved from a study or just evolved from thin air guild members were on a creative roll.  Some of the pictures are shown below while some appear as individual items under Member's Works to the right of the blog post.

Linda's towels

huck place mats
Anita's handspun yarn
Ngaire's towels
rigid heddle shawl
As part of the September meeting program, Sharon Pickard (Grinsheep) gave us an over view of rigid heddle looms.  She brought along several different styles and demonstrated their use.  She also brought along a lovely shawl that she wove on a rigid heddle loom.  The photo does not do justice to it.  The colour mix is lovely and the texture threads pop in real life.
Sharon at the loom
The guild has a rigid heddle loom that members can borrow.  We hope Sharon's demonstration will create interest in this versatile loom.  It boasts a freedom for design that a  regular harness loom cannot match.

The meeting closed with a challenge.  The Qualicum Weavers and Spinner's Guild will celebrate its 25th year of operation in 2016.  To celebrate this "silver anniversary" guild members have been challenged to produce a piece based on "glitz".  So, spinners think about creating a yarn that sparkles with silver and gold.  Weavers get out those metallic threads and start designing.