Wednesday, April 27, 2011


What do all these items have in common? They're Found Art. This is an expression I'd never heard nor seen before Diane Fleshin's program on Found Art. She began with defining or explaining the concept of creative tension and how to experience it rather than fear it. We all have IT. IT is the tension which develops between a creative idea and the time it needs to be accomplished; the impetus to get it done, coupled with the thrill of discovery and the ability to adapt whenever reality intrudes. Diane decided her process was think, truly think outside the box, set guidelines and RUN with it. Her guidelines were to use only items found around the house, or at the local farm store, weave using only warps currently in place on looms, and do projects that could be produced by Tuesday. And mind you, this from probably Friday, or so. She took many of the items, such as you see above, and let her artistic juices fly. I'm not sure taking apart a string mop head, strand by strand, would encourage my visions of anything but a noose-- not so for Diane.

Her results were not all blue-ribbon worthy; many were outstanding and a couple really impressed me. Two of my favorites were silly string weaving and dinosaur weaving. Diane took silly string. Yes, she played with it first. Collected the strings, wove them, shellacked and mounted on velvet...Amazing piece. A dinosaur woven wall hanging began as a mural on Sam's wall. After it was removed, it was cut into strips, numbered and woven...another wow, incredible. This was such an enlightening program, bottom line...set yourself free, express yourself, experience and experiment whatever and whenever. Have Fun. You may have some disasters, but you may also have some magnificent art. Excellent program!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Annual Spring Cleaning

Everyone loves this time of year, the daffodils are blooming, the grass is greening up and life seems revived. BUT, it is also that time of year, to clean out the winter muck and mess that just creates itself when we aren't looking. This Saturday, April 24, beginning at 9am, the guild is having their annual spring clean up in the yard and house. We do need all the extra hands we can get, and the more there, the less time it takes. So, roll up your sleeves, hope for warm, fair weather and COME ON OVER.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Julie Hedges' Ply Split Braiding Workshop

Wow, what a weekend. The Ply Split Braiders got together to learn new techniques and to explore shape and dimension at a workwork presented by Julie Hedges

Braiders began with an array of cords, various colors and a plan...

You begin by spliting the ply

Add cords to enlarge, reshape the piece, or simply explore.

Add a bead, just a touch of color-

And look what could be achieved-

It's hard to comment on these pieces other than to show them
as the works of art that they are .

And Lucy, Thanks for the photos.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

From Camels to Contemporary Creations

Weavers have always been excited by new techniques, textures, shapes, and/or fibers. At the March Weavers meeting, Julie Hedges provided the weavers with an incredible journey about the origins of ply split braiding (PSB) from necessity in India for the girths of camels to today's more contemporary creations, whether fashion, form or function. Simply put, PSB is 4-ply cording (made of thread/yarn/fiber split by a awl-like device and another cord angled into place.

Julie, a ply-split braiding expert, guru is probably more precise, has worked with the elder statesmen of the art worldwide, people we all know like Peter Collingswood, to native elders, whose names I cannot pronounce, much less spell. She has traveled throughout India and seen the humble tools of the trade,i.e., using a stick instead of carders, spit instead of spritzing bottles, and fingers spinning instead of power drills. She experienced the Pushtar Camel Fair which brings people from all over the country to show/sell their wares, whether fleece or animal, tool or product, all part and parcel for PSB.

The camel is a mode of transportation, a form of machinery, a sign of wealth and prosperity. PSB began as a way of making a girth for camels to hold saddles, tools, people, whatever was necessary. The girths could be modest and plain, or ornate and bejeweled. This camel is clearly aware of his worth and takes great pleasure in his appearance. Note his regal pose in the photo.

It's very hard to summarize Julie's incredible talent in a few words, so I'll show you. Her work runs the gamut from miniatures to clothing, decor to function, all exhibiting the extrapolation of a simple twisting of thread/cord.

Note the size of this item...those are fingers holding it.

Julie graciously agreed to model a cap she produced using PSB. Obviously, we all had a fun evening.

This weekend, Julie is providing a workshop for the PSB group, more than a workshop, an exploration into the real challenges and dynamics of this art with lots of little tricks of the trade. For example, note in the picture, large knitting needles are being used to keep the cords from jumping while twisting cords.

If you're interested in learning more about PSB, contact the Vicki, the Guild or check out Julie's new book.

Happy Braiding.