I've been weaving tapestry since 2008 in my first year of textile art school in Canada. It was the first form of weaving introduced in the two-year intensive program, and I'll admit it was daunting at first. Traditional tapestry is woven with warp thread that is under immense tension for structural integrity, and the looms we were weaving on were Archie Brennan style ones made of mostly copper and without shedding devices. That means in order to weave we were creating a shed* by picking up every second warp one at a time with our fingers. It was time consuming and totally satisfying. Looking back it was the best possible, and most intimate, way to be introduced to this ancient art form.
I've always been very entrepreneurial, but back then I was constantly trying to find ways to speed up these slow textile processes so I could make things to sell, and quick! Today I'm the antithesis of that girl; I'm not keen on making multiples, I consider myself an artist not an business person (Per se. Are they inextricably linked?) and instead of obsessing about having an inventory or a production line underway I'm more interested in the social engagements that can occur while I weave, dye, knit, embroider. Hence the inclusion of free skill-sharing in public spaces in my practice.
This weekend Katie and I will be hosting a weaving one of these from 5pm at Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor in Greenwich Village. I've already warped up two looms, one 16" Mirrix with a shedding device and one makeshift one that I made out of a tall folding stool - it does not have a shedding device but is really fun to use. Maybe one day I'll post a tutorial on how to make one.
There's no need to bring anything but yourself and an appetite for yummy beer and sliders. Another event just like this one is occurring on February 27th. It's on a Friday so we can take advantage of happy hour. If you want to learn about these events further in advance check out our meetup group here and our calendar here or fill out this form and we'll send you updates.
See you there,
*SHED: the space between the upper and lower levels of warp on a loom which the weft passes through.