Joining a weaving and spinning guild has a lot of side benefits. Not only are there opportunities to meet like-minded people, and to see their impressive work at the show and tell, there are the things that happen by word of mouth. Elaine Duncan has a sterling reputation amongst weavers for the quality of her work and the quality of her workshops, so when it became possible to do sign up for one I jumped at it. I tried some rudimentary attempts at tapestry in the past because it seems a wonderful way to play with colour and design but it was a struggle to figure out how to make it work at home. My experiments were pretty frustrating, and didn’t produce anywhere near what was in my head.
Four days of heavy lifting produced this! A sampler about eight inches long with lots of mistakes but lots of lessons learned. It was tremendous fun.
There is a lot to tapestry. What is very appealing is the quality that it shares with the rigid heddle loom – a delightfully accessible way to weave. Accessible due to the simplicity of the actual loom. Elaine warned us, should we choose to involve handy partners in the construction of a loom like this, to make sure they didn’t have the urge to solder and improve on the construction. It really is as simple as the fitting together of the copper pipes. After all, weaving has been done on simpler looms than this one for many centuries.
It was a congenial, easy-going class. Elaine has a relaxed teaching style but managed to pack in a lot of information, often stopping by to drop gems as she encouraged us to continue. It was a good idea to listen to what she was saying to other people, as there was often a good piece of information to be overheard.
Weaving is an unfolding world. I have much deeper respect for those who work in this medium, and want to learn a great deal more.
Now that pile of leftover balls of yarn has a future!