Thursday, November 26, 2009

Weaving with Bamboo (and Even Silk!)

Hey – hey – can you believe it – I’ve actually gotten to adding bamboo to the warp on the Leclerc loom!  I chose to try to cut them with a pipe cutter since they are basically round.image It worked rather well when the place I choose to cut was round, but not so when there was a flat.  I was able to create about 15 sticks to the right length before the blisters started to form.  Oooo – gotta find another way and I think it will involve power tools – like a chop saw!

I did put the bamboo in as they were cut.  I also started with smaller ones and increased them as I went.  I found it took a number of them to be in place before the warp would hold them in place.  In fact as each new piece was woven in, all those beneath it would need to be packed down and then repacked with the next.image In the end I was able to place 11 in the warp.  And here we are…image

It’s been a few months since I’ve mentioned weaving with silk.  I became stuck once I hit a wall with the tree that I started in September.  If you don’t remember (and I’d be surprised if you do!), it was a two wedge weave sections side by side.  The wedges were woven in the opposite directions so gaps were found in center of the weave.  I found when I reached the top of the tree, I had made a rather large mistake.  The background is pick and pick yellow and white.  At the top, I had wanted to tie the two halves together with one wedge across the top.  It turns out the I did not have the yellow and white in the right order in the second half.  The only choices I could see is to start over or to tear it all out.

I was just not sure I liked the piece enough to tear it out or to even begin a new one.  So it has sat unattended.  I’ve learned that when I hit a wall with something that my heart is not quite in, I often move to other things.  I was hoping for some inspiration and yet I walked away from it.  What do you do when you face that wall?

Inspiration did come one day.  I wrote “joy” in my journal.  It was simply a word in a sentence, but the shape I had created made me stop.  The “j” and the “y” sloped to create a triangle.  I abandoned the tree and moved to joy.  So here we go!image

Other links:Getting Closer…   Leclerc Warping – Part 2

The Room of Strings


K Spoering said...

I've never woven with bamboo, but I wonder if it would cut and weave easier if it was a bit damp? Like maybe just sprayed with a bit of water on the surface. And maybe stay packed together better? I know basketry works best with some fibers damp, and this seems a bit like that.

Kaite said...

I think a fine handsaw would have been better. You really need teeth to cut timber, the pipe cutter is meant for soft metals such as copper.
Joy for Christmas, that sounds good. K.

Theresa said...

I think it's a pretty smart solution! That star on the cartoon looks tricky, but then again, the whole dang thing looks tricky to do. I hope your little tree piece finds a use though.

The bamboo is coming right along. Sounds very time consuming.The little bit of weaving lavender I did on a MUCH smaller scale tended to do exactly what the bamboo is doing, creep up from the place where it was beaten in. How are you liking your new loom?
Looks lovely to work on with the two treadled sheds.

Life Looms Large said...

Your bamboo project is very interesting to me. It's giving me ideas for my too-much-sun-in-the-sunroom problem. Still incubating though.

Glad to see that you've recovered enough from the tree to start Joy.

I've definitely already confessed that I tend to have tantrums and pout when a project hits the wall. Then walk away from it and do something else....sometimes for way too long.

I'm trying to pay attention to how I handle that and make some changes. In engineering, I debug and change things until I reach a workable solution. I'm trying to develop a similar mindset for weaving and such - although the option of taking a project in a whole different direction is something I want to incorporate too. If I'm going to take creative risks, I'm going to find times when I just can't get a project to match my vision. That's got to be OK with me....even though right now I'm not very good at handling it when that happens.

I guess asking my blog buddies is also part of how I handle being stuck. They often have great ideas!

Glad that you're working on that warp again!!


Valerie said...

I like the stylized lettering in your Joy.

The tree....I can see the problem. Only solution I could see would be to make into a flap for a bag and use the openings to bring some kind of closure through. Too much work if you don't love it.

Jennifer said...

Yes - as with everything - it takes longer than I expected, but that's really okay. With weaving, I benefit most from the process and each step in this is quite meditative, so it's working, just slow news. Thanks for all the suggestions - I'll take them into consideration - today even!

Theresa - I am liking the loom. I've really enjoyed having the heddles and the treddles! It's nice to be able to add something for my feet to do and keep my hands in the same place. I waxes the heddles, but they still squeak a little bit. James will come from the other end of the house and tell me how he loves to hear it! I like it also!

Sue - You are right I've been looking at how I hit walls in many places - weaving, work, etc. It just came to me though with the harp when I hit a wall with speed, the solution is to slow down and practice there until it's boring and then move back up. I think in a larger sense that's simplifying to what I know how to do until I master it and then bringi n more complications. That may be right, because I hit walls on the mode complicated pieces - and maybe I'm complicating things too much at once.

charlotte said...

The bamboo project is so interresting, and it looks good! Have you considered to use something soft as weft together with the bamboo, I think the crevices might be avoided that way.

Jennifer said...

Charlotte, I had bought some extra nylon in other colors to possibly tapestry weave in areas, but then looking at the wide gaps between the warp placement, made me think again. Do you have suggestions?