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Small Piece Exhibition

I’ve been reading Meg’s weaving blog for some time. We are extremely different in temperament, weaving style, and locale, but none of that matters. We are both weavers.

Meg typically organizes one online weaving exhibition per year, and this is the first time I’ve been able to participate. This year it’s a Small Piece Exhibition, with a maximum size of a standard letter envelope. “I can make time to weave something that size,” I thought. It all sounded so reasonable in early April when Meg posted the guidelines. Suddenly it’s late June and I have only about a week until the deadline when I finally manage to get past the thinking stage and down to serious planning, then warping, weaving, photographing, and posting.

I decided to use a technique I’d learned at a workshop I took in Buffalo this spring – Easy Pick Up with Su Butler. Su is amazing, so even though the workshop was 2 hours away, I bit the bullet & did it. Is the process easy? Not exactly, but Su assured us it was much easier than many other pickup processes. And Su’s depth of knowledge, easy and supportive teaching style, and terrific documentation and directions in her handouts made it do-able. Plus the weaving she brought to show us was SO INCREDIBLE it made me think I really wanted to do it.

Let me interject here that Su’s been using this technique for years in her weaving. She’s great at it; she’s got the process down pat. Still, her latest piece, a dreamy scarf in (if I recall correctly) 60/2 silk, took her 82 hours to complete. 82 hours for a woman skilled in this process! IMAGINE how gorgeous it is! No. DON’T imagine it, go to her website and look at it. It’s the “Deco” rate me scarf in her Gallery.

Back to my work for this exhibit. I set up my loom with 240 ends of 12/2 cotton, sett at 30 EPI. I downloaded some simple graphic images from the web, printed them out, and set to work.

First I did a piece I’m not happy with. Several process errors as well as design flaws. Try again with a new design, even simpler than the leaf I did first. Not perfect, but good enough that I’m not embarrassed to use it for this purpose. A simple kitty.

black cat pickup weaving

Using the threading I did, the reverse of the cloth gives you a negative image. Only after I cut it off did I see I’d missed a few threads with my shuttle. I assume this can be fixed with needle weaving, but didn’t have the time at this moment…maybe later, as that’d be a good learning experience.
white cat pickup weaving

I should have been twisting fringe & wet finishing scarves for my show last weekend, but instead my cat was successful enough that I felt compelled to try a third design, a bit more complex. This time I used 2 different colors. I’m happy with the design and my execution of it, but don’t think I’d use 2 colors in one piece next time.

flower pickup weaving 1

Here’s the other side.
flower pickup weaving 2

Will I try more pickup? Yes. Will I do it soon, when I’m getting ready for shows? Nope. Do I think I can do pickup something the length of a scarf? Nope. Maybe I’ll try it for a pillow or something. Maybe a bracelet. Maybe not.

Don’t wait to see what I’m going to do, go to Meg’s site and check out the other work in the Small Piece Exhibition.

5 comments to Small Piece Exhibition

  • Meg

    Thank you for taking part. Pickup is yet another technique I love when others do it. But at least I gave the tapestry technique a go. Finally.

    And… the max size was a letter size sheet of paper, but never mind. An envelope probably worked better for you in case of pick-up. 😀

  • I’m with Meg – I love it when other people do pickup! Your designs have come out really well and I would definitely cheer you on to do more of this.

  • Very fancy! I’m impressed! I’ll send headshots of Baxter because I’m assuming you’re dying to add him to your list of designs.

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