Monday, January 24, 2011

Saori style weaving with new weavers in Oamaru.

It was such a pleasure teaching this class of brand new weavers yesterday as part of the Sustainable Skills Summer School which was held in Oamaru over the last 9 days.
They really enjoyed weaving creatively and developing their own colour ‘stories’ in their fabric using lots of different threads from silk, wool, alpaca, mohair and metallics.
They firstly learnt to warp the rigid heddle looms using a direct method of warping and changing their colours as they went along.
Many of the yarns I provided were hand dyed and some handspun.
These new weavers really embraced the Saori method of interlocking two weft threads to create undulating colours and shapes. They experimented with beating lightly to strongly, producing patterns that showed off the weft or the warp colours.
Their pieces express the individuality of each weaver. The colourways were inspiring. There is a time in the day (usually after lunch) when there is tranquility and peaceful activity with purpose. This happened in this class too, as people became confident in their own ability to weave and make design decisions, and let themselves enjoy the act of yarn and shuttle running through their hands and softly beating the thread into place. It was a very enjoyable day.
I also held a handspinning day and a dye day during the week. One person came to all three, bringing her sister to the weaving class.

The Oamaru Transition Town group has done a great job organising this summer school bringing in tutors who offered classes as diverse as seed collecting, bicycle maintenance, book binding, rag rug hooking, a Victorian banquet, mask making and many more.
The classes were generally well attended and the support for the idea has been great with good publicity during the week from the local press.
I look forward to being a part of this again in the future.

My studio/shed (after preparing for 3 classes) is now extremely messy with baskets of stuff spilling out every where. Since it’s not very large anyway, storage is always a bit of a problem. So some tidying and filing (sigh) is planned for the next few evenings.
I don’t know if other tutors have this problem, but I carefully get ready for my classes by listing and packing each box systematically but the stuff gets a big dose of the ‘tangle fairy’ for its return and I can’t find anything. All the above classes were very heavy on bringing lots of my own equipment and supplies. I dream of a big studio where I can hold my classes without
having to carry heavy boxes around.

Saori style for Sophie

1 comment:

Shirley Goodwin said...

Lovely results, Doe! And the summer school sounds like a great idea.