If you could use a little inspiration in these last days of winter, Handweavers Guild of America (HGA) has put three online for you to view free any time. These were originally meant to be part of this past year’s Convergence conference. Find all three here:
Seasons of the Smokies is a wearable art exhibit juried by fiber artist Dianne Totten. Fiber artists were challenged to design and create clothing that is both functional and artistic. Any fiber arts technique was permitted to be used.
Vistas Along the Appalachian Trail is a yardage exhibit juried by author and fiber artist Robyn Spady. This exhibit showcases lengths of woven, constructed and/or embellished cloth using any fiber arts technique.
Symphony of the Mountains is a mixed media exhibit juried by author Kathleen Curtis Wilson. Fiber artists were encouraged to explore changes in environment, harmony with nature and the rhythm of natural cycles to celebrate the Smoky Mountains in producing high quality, contemporary works using any fiber material.
If you have a bit of free time and could use a little inspiration, the following sites host free videos about fiber crafts. Two are from Handweaver’s Guild of America (HGA) and they each host different videos. All are informative and contain terrific inspiration, as well. Enjoy!
HGA’s Facebook page of videos: https://www.facebook.com/HandweaversGuildofAmerica/videos/1060059934479665/
HGA’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/hgaweavespindye
Maiwa’s School of Textiles free “courses”: https://maiwa.teachable.com/courses
Botanical Colors’ videos from weekly presentations: https://botanicalcolors.com/tag/feedback-friday/
Using pieces of existing weaving or creating a small, new fiber art piece, participants in this Creativity Jumpstart created two unique greeting cards. Two blank greeting cards with cutout windows and insert backings were provided and the cards that resulted are fabulous!
Participants in the third Creativity Jumpstart used #3 round reed – and other reed – to weave napkin rings. As you can see, evena simple napkin ring pattern can be varied endlessly!
Rust dyeing produces rich, warm colors and unexpected patterns on fabric and yarn. It is simple, easy and requires no special equipment. Participants in this Jumpstart dyed both cotton fabric and cotton yarn using the following procedure.
Soak fabric and yarn in vinegar (no water) until thoroughly wet. Wrap fabric and yarn around a rusty object or objects, pressing the fabric against the rusty surface. You will see a stronger color where the fabric and yarn touch the object, so use a large enough object that the fabric and yarn can touch the object often or use several small objects like nails. Don’t worry about wrinkles or folds in the fabric as these add to the patterning possibilities. In fact, you can scrunch your fabric just a bit on purpose! Wrap all this tightly in plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let cure from 24 hours to several days. The longer it cures, the deeper the color.
Unwrap the plastic wrap and unwrap the fabric and yarn. Do not rinse yet! Instead, soak the fabric and yarn in salty water to stop the rusting process. Use 1 tablespoon salt in 1 gallon of water. Rinse the fabric and yarn thoroughly, then wash in a mild detergent and dry.
Creativity Jumpstart projects were begun in the 2020-21 guild year to help members continue to learn, be inspired and be involved in the Guild during the time of social distancing due to the pandemic. Simple kits were designed to jumpstart members’ creative spirit with small, fiber-based projects. Results of the projects have been shared during Showcase and now here. Just another way to enjoy the creativity of your fellow members!
Participants in the first Jumpstart explored the interaction of colors in a woven structure by wrapping, then weaving on ceramic tiles to create two magnets.
These are made by securing a “warp” yarn to the back of a small ceramic tile, then winding it around the tile to “warp” it. A weft yarn is then secured to the back of the tile and woven across the warp to create a very small woven piece on top of the tile. The last step was to secure a magnet to the back of the tile. As you can see, participants were very creative!