Materials · News

Teaching and Weaving

I had four young ladies join me on Tuesday afternoon for an art class. I think we all had fun and while two were in the area for just the week, they promised me they would come back to see me on the next Tuesday they were down visiting their grandmother. The other two are my step grand girls and they do plan to come back this Tuesday.

For our first gathering, we focused on perspective (something I need always to practice) and they were introduced to one and two point perspective drawing. Big paper and yardsticks and rules waving around made for an interesting class that kept me on my toes. Each kid went home with a sketchbook, a 6B pencil and a small kneaded eraser.

This week we will be working on contour drawing and each student will get a real drawing pen. I really like the Rotring Tikky Graphic pens and I’m searching for someplace to buy them by the dozen, but in the mean time, using Amazon. My favorite size is the 0.4. I will also give them each a Flair Pen because you can get thick and thin lines with them. Specifically, these are the felt-tipped pens.

My mother, a superb watercolorist and colored pencil artist, always emphasized that the materials make a big difference in success (and general happiness in her work) and I have to agree. Fighting with your tools and materials just makes for frustration. So, I want to give these young artists an opportunity to use good tools so there is a better chance they will stick with it and improve.

Through the summer, if they continue to come, they will also be introduced to watercolor, pastel, charcoal drawing, graphite, acrylic paint and oils. I’m not an expert in any of these areas (except maybe the pastel), but it will give them a nice taste of different medium.

I might also have them help me dye some fiber for the “Felted Faces” class I have coming up for the adults in July.

In the meantime, other than working on examples for my classes; I’ve not been doing much in the way of paintings. But I have started one. The subject is sort of odd… some wilted daisies in a very fancy pot… but they caught my eye and I’ve just started working out the composition for a still life painting with hope the petals don’t all fall off before I can make significant progress. I think they are pretty dry, so I may be lucky.

I’ve also started on two large weaving projects.

The first one is a set of overshot towels on my little Minerva loom. The warp is giving me fits as the yarn I’m using is a nice, soft unmercerized cotton that wants to fuzz. They will be wonderful towels if the warp survives.. or I survive the warping.

The second project has an actual deadline of September 10th. I’m hoping to weave the fabric for and sew a vest for myself. The warp is some lovely navy blue wool I picked up years ago when the Mannings were still in business. The weft is my own handspun from one of the sheep I used to own – Alice. If I can get it done, I will enter said vest in the Fall Fiber Festival Skein and Garment competition. Interestingly, I have a painting of Alice and will attempt to include it in the display.

This one the winding and warping went so well (only two small threading errors easily corrected), it’s making me a little nervous. However, the treadling is a little challenging — it’s a birds eye twill — and it’s in the Spinners and Weavers studio at the Tavern. That means there will be people in and visiting when I’m working and I will have to either go very slowly and mark my position carefully or risk treadling errors and lots of unweaving.

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