In February 2020, we started an introductory weaving workshop, lead by Sandra Hodgins, with six participants: Lisa Miki, Kate Hammond, Genevieve Lalonde-Martini, Sharon Bloedorn, Elise Young and Igor Darmokhid.
Each of them prepared a unique warp and dressed “their” table loom in our guild studio facilities.
With the greatest good fortune, when the pandemic circumstances became apparent in late March, most of the projects were ready to weave.
Once again we were lucky, the looms could be used at home, and the round robin workshop format allowed safe drop off and pickup at the studio.
Unfortunately, Igor was unable to participate in the weaving assignments; we miss him and his good humour.
By the end of October, all the projects were completed in time to be displayed in the SSI Public Library’s lobby showcase. We thank the Library for this opportunity to show one more way that creativity flourishes on Salt Spring.
The six structures explored were:
1- Rep weave placemats with an original design inspired by Joanne Tallarovic’s book titled “Rep Weave and Beyond” and thoughts of chili con carne.
2- Colour and weave red/white napkins, another original design with the classic logcabin motif in the centre.
3- Twill colour gamp napkins using 12 different colours of 8/2 cotton.
4- Monk’s belt table runner with the two block design woven according to the inspiration of each participant.
5- Double weave sampler in greens to try weaving (a) 2 layers, (b) double width—joined one side, (c) tubular—joined both sides, and pickup for a figurative pattern of the weaver’s choice.
6 – Swedish lace runner on a red warp with choice of orange, fuchsia, or dark red weft.
This round-robin workshop was a unique experience for everyone involved, and took place in other than ideal circumstances. However, as the instructor, I couldn’t imagine a better group of enthusiastic guinea pigs to test drive a new workshop. Working in isolation, as was necessary, prevented the usual coaching, feedback, and opportunity to learn from (and about) each other. They worked well independently, at times revealing great inventiveness. I predict with confidence that all of them will create interesting, and I hope exciting cloth.
Here are a few observations from the participants.
This was a fantastic project to be a part off and offered such a good look at what you can do with different weave structures and patterns! It was really great to have something to learn during the pandemic….. Kate
As a new weaver, it would take me months, if not years, to design, setup and weave six different projects. This round robin was a great opportunity to quickly sample various type of weaving and discover what I like best. I learned that I enjoy weaving with a lot of variety – the colour gamp, with its twill treadle pattern and constantly changing weft colours, was my favourite project …. Elise
The beginners weaving round robin was such a fun and interesting experience. We got to try six different techniques that I’ve been curious about, but haven’t tried until now. It was the perfect pandemic project because we could weave together and yet apart. It’s been inspiring and given me the confidence to get a project going on my own loom at home…. Lisa
Salt Spring Island Weavers and Spinners Guild was awarded the final 2019 Artcraft showcase: Seasons in Colour. This was a collective exhibition of new works by 15 members of the guild rising to the challenge of representing the colours of the seasons in their own unique way.
The guild was provided with guidelines on dimensions and a theme (Seasons in Colour) which created a certain uniformity in the pieces, but from there on the similarities end, as different materials, techniques, abstractions and representations mark each work with the stamp of the artist.
The Weavers and Spinners created a collection that invited the visitor to sit, look and wonder at the visual feast that the seasons bring.
Seasons in Colour ran from August 23rd to September 15th in Mahon Hall with an opening celebration on Friday August 23rd from 6-8pm.
From left to right, Nancy, Susan, Sandra and Mavis are having a social moment during the opening reception.
For the duration of the show, Weavers and Spinners Guild provided demonstration of their crafts: weaving, spinning and other fibre arts that members are passionate about.
Victoria is weaving at the demonstration loom, a very popular stop during the showcase. Both the warp and the weft are from local fibres, all in their natural colours, except the red.
On the wall, behind the loom and Victoria, are the following showcase entries, from left to right:
- Sunset by Susan Brown, woven in linen and buttons
- Colours of Spring by Valerie Short, woven in organic cotton and tussah silk
- Transformation by June Simmons, silk fusion with wool, silk, eucaluptus (viscose) and cotton
- Starry night by Nancy Côté, triaxial weave (or mad weave) with cotton fabric
- High Tide: Dusk and Dawn by Donna Vanderwekken, woven with hand-dyed silk
Below, June demonstrates fibre preparation, normally done before fibres can be spun or felted.
Members were also encouraged to demonstrate any of their crafts. Here, Genevieve demonstrates her beading techniques and displays some of her creations.
The following pictures are the other art pieces made by the guild members specifically for this show.
- Moonlight by Judith Dios, nuno felting using Merino wool, mulberry silk fibre, silk fabric, fabric dye and thread
From left to right:
- Leaves by Mavis MacMillen, woven using linen and handspun wool/silk/mohair blend
- Island Waterfall by Mavis MacMillen, woven using cotton and cotton/linen blend
- Peruvian Delight by Mary Passon, woven using Peruvian organic cotton
- Pebbles on a Winter Beach by Donna Vanderwekken, woven using handspun wool and handspun llama
From left to right:
- Primavera Azzurro by June Simmons, felt incorporating wool, silk, eucalyptus (viscose), cotton
- Brick Lane by Ida Marie Threadkell, silk fusion with silk chiffon, merino wool and silk fibre
- Twilight in the Garden by Sara Ratner, nuno felting with habotai silk and local Cotswold lamb fleece
- Dusk by Sara Ratner, nuno felting using silk gauze, merino and glass bead
- Primavera Verde by June Simmons, felt incorporating wool, silk, eucalyptus (viscose), cotton
- Primavera Rose by June Simmons, felt incorporating wool, silk, eucalyptus (viscose), cotton
- Autumn Leaves by Sandra Hodgins, woven with cotton quilting remnants pieced & cut into strips for weft.
- Xylem and Phloem by Karen Selk, , applique silk fusion, hand and machine-stitching and beading.
- Les Quatre Saisons by Carol Dodd, felting with silk and wool
From left to right:
- Sweet Potato Pie by Tanis Smythe, woven with silk and paper
- Onyx by Tanis Smythe, women with linen, rayon bouclé and merino wool
- Equinox by Victoria Olchowecki, woven using linen with cotton