Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My first weaving class

 I started my weaving class last night at the Art's Incubator in Siler CIty. It's about a 45 minute drive for me and last night I drove it in a torrential downpour both there and back. But it was so worth it. I like this weaving thing, I think I might see a loom in my future! The teacher is amazing, very smart, very easy to be with and very well known around these parts, as they say. Her name is Jean Vollrath and I am going to learn a lot from her. The class is full, there are ten of us, and I'm not sure how she kept from screaming last night. Everyone had questions and everyone is at a different skill level, I am on the bottom of the rung, since I only know what a loom actually is, I do know what weft and warp and thread are as well, but that's about it. There is one rather large woman with a very large voice that she seems quite fond of using and that is going to require earplugs and a good playlist on my ipod. She confirmed that I am probably a sociopath and prefer to be alone most of the time :) It is a room full of chatty women which got on my very last nerve. However they are all very nice women and I kept reminding myself of that. I was the last one to leave last night. As one elderly lady passed by me on her way out the door, she patted me on the shoulder and said "good luck to you dear", in a very kind way. I had not even seen her in the class. That was just the best!
 I learned to wrap a warp board. What a meditative and calming experience that was. I wrapped my warp around these pegs 73 times and there was math involved, which I let the teacher do. I will have to learn math and I don't do that!

 Then I learned to thread a reed. Another calming and meditative state of mind. I like all these knot tying things and threading things and just touching fiber things.
 I was emailed a worksheet so I brought it on my ipad for reference. It sort of looked like Chinese calligraphy to me, and there was more math, ick! I will be making a 4 huck scarf with 5/2 cotton on a four harness loom. I have no idea what this means, but it sounds like I know what I'm talking about doesn't it? haha! Next week I will thread my heddles and get busy....
 The loom on the left by the lady in the orange shirt is mine. It's so cute, and not very intimidating, like some of the bigger ones in the class. I like it:) I'm not sure why I took such a crappy photo of it though..
 The studio is in a very old building which I love. Around the perimeter of the space, there are several artists with painting studios set up and some really nice work in progress in each of them.
 Of course I loved this encaustic piece. I would like to own this one.

and I want to make this one day. Last night I kept thinking back to my first clay class. I remember walking through Clayworks in Charlotte with my teacher, Fran Brown and wondering what the hell she was talking about. "This is where you put your cone 6 work, these are the bisque shelves, this is for cone 10, wedge your clay here", wha..... it all started sounding like Charlie Brown's mother, wha wha wha wha.....  and I started to wonder what I was getting myself into. I'm surprised I stuck with it. It was a very long and difficult road to get where I am right now with clay. But this weaving class was a different experience. I knew what to expect. I knew that I was clueless and that I wouldn't be by the end of the eight weeks. I am in the hands of a very good teacher and she will guide me and I will soon be able to make something beautiful. It's the learning that I love. So many new terms and techniques and ways to use my hands. Time to just sit and let my mind flow with the thread. If only everyone would just be quiet. Why do women have to chit chat so much!
Last night I had a bunch of weird dreams, so much rambling around in my head. The last one was just before I woke up. I dreamed I was taking care of Gayle King's baby (Oprahs' friend that is on the CBS morning show) and it had six toes on one foot and it cried all the time and she only fed it iced tea. Hmmm.... where did that come from?!
Good day all. I am passing on the pocket watch piece to it's owner today and heading out to Cedar Creek Gallery to drop off the Politically Charged pieces which are hardly charged at all, but maybe just a little bit. I suppose there will be people that come up with metaphors for them as usual. I just make them, the metaphors are on their own!
peace ya'll


Michèle Hastings said...

Looks like it's going to be a great class, hopefully you will be able to tune out the chatter. That was my issue with classes I took at NHIA, so many people were there for a social event, not to learn ceramics.

Your weaving terms brought back some very faint memories of a weaving class I took in High School. The weird thing was that it wasn't part of the art department, it was in the home economics dept. Which meant that none of my art crowd friends were in the class.

Dennis Allen said...

Sounds like fun.I had a couple of small looms in my classroom when I taught.The kids really liked using them and I think the repetitive motions that made the right and left hand work together was theraputic.

Scott Garrett said...

Ha Ha, way to go Tracey!! Man, you make me laugh. I know exactly how that starting out in a new material feels ; ) You'll have it down in no time and then it's just time, pain, mistakes and misery!!... kidding.
The Tracey as sociopath bit had me laughing, i feel the same way about chit chat... especially when trying to think, work, create. My shared, open plan studio drives me nuts somedays. I told one of them that I'm just becoming grumpy and miserable and I don't talk much because i don't think i have anything that interesting to say, but worse, i'm even less interested in what anyone else has to say!! get me, what a joy to have around!!
Great stuff Tracey, I'm looking forward to more of your stories from class!

Laura Farrow said...

how thrilling it is to try something new! I'm right behind you.. just haven't figured out what direction to go in yet... xo

Anna M. Branner said...

Awesome! I don't know what it is about fibery people. I think chitchat is a prerequisite....but usually once the weaving starts that chatting slows since there will be a lot more concentration required. You are doing great! And huck is an awesome pattern to weave. The key is to not beat it too hard. (You'll understand what that means quickly!) The studio looks like the perfect place to learn. So glad you are enjoying it!!!

Tracey Broome said...

Michele, I know. I was remembering terms from college design classes when we had to learn about fabrics. So funny what you pick up to use later in life...
Dennis, I made looms with a kid's class once and it was the quietest I ever saw them, kids love to weave!
Scott, you are so funny. Glad you can relate!
Laura, yep the times they are a changin' xo
Hey Anna, I thought about you in class last night. If you can make pottery and weaving work, I figure I can give it a go. What a different rhythm though, but nicer on the bones.

Susan Wells said...

Looks so nice! I'm trying not to drool on my keyboard. FIBERS! Looking forward to updates!

handstories said...

i was in a class with that woman last summer. she said, "OH, WOW!" constantly (among other things), i started tally marking every time she said it. in classes i often find myself in a corner facing a wall, trying to shut out everyone.
very impressed that you're taking weaving on- it overwhelms me to imagine doing it. even though mom-in-law's loom is in the basement.

Amy said...

ha, maybe I'll post about my first class in pottery. reading your post gave me that good idea. wow, and weaving! yes i wonder too why women chat so much. went to a yoga class while on vacation and even at 7 am after class, so much chatter! i loved the quiet whenever it happened too.

cookingwithgas said...

Tracey! What a great place and I know you are going to love this class despite the larger than life lady. It will be fun to see what comes out of you next.

Lori Buff said...

A friend of mine who is a core fellow at Penland and a very talented potter has recently discovered a love for weaving. She mixes the two in her displays and it's really gorgeous. I suspect you're going to find a lot of similarities, especially in that meditative sense. I'm looking forward to your creations.