summer flowers

summer flowers

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Some Weaving, Some Travel

I have been weaving, but I have not been writing about it.  After getting back from the wedding in Texas, I had a two day turnaround and I headed to the Intermountain Weaver's Conference in Durango, Colorado.  

I have attended this conference for years.  I have been on the board (the group that does the basic planning of the conference) a couple of times (in fact, I was on the first board for the first conference).  I enjoy this conference, it's not overly expensive, we attend a 3 day workshop with national and international teachers, and there are vendors to buy great textile stuff.  Some years my workshop is better than others, but I think that is common for all conferences.  This year I tried a new thing...they had one day workshops...I took three of them.  I had lots of fun and learned some things and learned some things about teaching my students.

My room mate, we have been going together to this conference for years, was on the board this year, so I ended up being in Durango for more days than usual.  I decided to play tourist and see the sights.  I had not taken the Durango to Silverton train for 30 years, so I signed up.  This is a slow moving steam engine going up a beautiful canyon to an old mining town.  I had a great trip and the sights were great.  
Train Engine going around a curve.

I was in the last car, so I only got a few pictures of the engine.  But the chugging and the smoke was great to see.  When I washed my face in the evening, the washcloth was grey from the smoke!

Animas River
We rode up the canyon made by the Animas River...yes the river that turned yellow orange the next week because of the contaminated water spill from the old gold mine.

Contamination at the top of the river.
Just as we were leaving Silverton, you could see the contamination from the years of small amounts of the leakage from the mines.  

Mine tailings on the hill

Beautiful downtown Silverton
On the mountains behind the city showed the remains of mines.  But the town was set up for buildings, stuff to buy and restaurants.  I had a fun time walking around the city.

I spent the next day helping set up for the conference, then three days of classes.  

I got to work on needle felting and made a head and figure.  I did not get it put completely together, the head is separate and the body is as yet unclothed, but I was impressed that I could do a face that small and get hands with fingers.
Some of the Felt figures
I wrapped some blue roving around my figure's body, but I was amazed with how well I was able to do the face.

My second day was with Anita Mayer.  Just playing with various dye techniques.  There were several stations set up around the room and we moved from one to another.  We dyed fabric, discharged fabric, applied paints and foil.  We had lots of fun and got great ideas for adding layers of design on fabric.
All of us busy at the stations
Anita's clothing was an inspiration for our experiments
My last day was Rigid Heddle weaving with Jane Patrick.  I teach rigid heddle weaving and I decided what better way to improve my teaching than working with the master.  Jane demonstrated many of the "pick-up stick" pattern that can be done on a rigid heddle loom to give more pattern possibilities.  We have her book for reference and getting the information from her will add to my abilities in teaching it.
Spanish eyelet variations
 She had great examples of several techniques that I have trouble with and want to improve...and often they were techniques that she really enjoyed and loved showing me the possibilities.

Shawl from Schacht Newsletter
She even had the shawl I saw in the newsletter and that I have already bought the yarn to make.  I can't wait to get it on the loom and do it.

Overall I had a great time at the conference.  I met new people, enjoyed evenings of wine and talk, and arranged to go to a workshop in October.  Lots of great new ideas to try and new work to so.