“Grey” or “Gray”?

What’s the convention for “grey” vs “gray”? I’ve looked at them so long that neither one looks right.

Regardless of how one spells it, I’m continuing my love affair with textures, and with the grey/pink combination. This time I added some rust and  hints of red/peach/orange. Good enough to eat, this.

It’s a mix of fibres – cotton, merino, silk, bamboo and yes – acrylic. This will be a shawl, already commissioned.

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Yeah, I think I prefer “grey”…. You?

Autumn is coming….

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Cool greys, hot pinks. Lots of texture.

This is what’s on the loom today, and although every time I warp something up it’s my “favourite,” this one is up there in the top-10 for sure. It’s a shawl made of stubby cotton/mohair/mystery yarn warp, with a silky boucle weft. It’s loose and drapey, nubby and comforting.

Don’t hate me for reminding you that autumn is showing itself in cooler mornings and evenings…why not embrace it, with something pretty instead?

Woolgathering

IMG_1291I know I’m probably not the first fibre artist blogger to use the term. I know it’s a bit…obvious, but it’s also exactly what I’ve been doing.

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In the time since my last post I attended the Expo, went to Belgium, Scotland, and Ireland, redesigned my studio, had a lovely bunch of visitors,  and got a (very time-consuming) puppy. It has turned into a bit of an extended hiatus for Berwick Weaving Co., but that’s the beauty of working at your own pace, by your own rules, right?

With the beginning of August, though,  work will soon begin again. I feel a strong urge to get my hands in the wool again, to design and work with colors, to have those stretches of real peace when working with the rhythm of the loom. There’s a quickening, when I think of the work I’m going to really get my hands into this Fall.

All of that reverie, that woolgathering, is where creativity comes from. Without it, I’d be a machine just cranking out woven goods.

Here then, is a gallery of those things that have provoked my dreamy imaginings for the past few months.  Everywhere, there’s a feeling or a colour, something to translate into woven work.

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Off to the Expo!

2016 is racing along – it’s hard to believe it’s already mid-April.

expo-previewRight now, I’m racing to create some inventory so that I have something to show at the Saltscapes Expo this weekend. In case you don’t know about the Expo, it is the “biggest consumer show east of Montreal, celebrating all things Atlantic Canadian” and with nearly 500 exhibitors from across the region, you should plan to come for the day. I’ve been as a consumer and enjoyed it heartily (wear comfy shoes!).

This year, I’m excited to tell you that Berwick Weaving Co. is joining a group of amazing Atlantic Canadian artisans in Saltscapes’ “Crafter’s Village”. I’ll be demonstrating weaving, and you can come see my loom(s) and pick up something pretty or commission something just the way you want it.

I am really looking forward to meeting people and showing them what I love to do. I’ll be there all three days, so look for me and my looms. Please drop by and say hi.

Some of the work I’m bringing to the expo:

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day.

Today, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for all of us, regardless of gender, to channel a little bit of what this woman had.

This is Gunta Stölzl, the only female Bauhaus master, founder of the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop, WWI Red Cross Nurse, mentor to Anni Albers and countless female artists of her generation, listed, “degenerate artist” by the Nazis for her political views, uncompromising advocate for textile arts.

(for more, go to this site which is where I got this photo)

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New Additions

Berwick Weaving Co. hasn’t been idle of late. Here is some of the work that has come out of the workroom. I’m still in love with plainweave – that most simple of over-under weaving patterns there is. The fibre is allowed to speak, the colors and textures and “hand” all give me such pleasure.  I’ve been working with a new loom – a 32″ rigid heddle from Ashford; a happy loom that is quick to dress, and is portable enough to move around my workroom.

This one, I kept for myself (sometimes you just have to).
This is a stole, 28″x 40″. Bamboo and merino warp, “Slubby mix” (BFL/merino).

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Next there is “The Memento” stole. The colors are moody and mysterious, like the elegantly written book that inspired it. Christy Ann Conlin‘s new book isn’t out until April, but you can pre-order it now. For the moment, you can look at the gorgeous cover art  painted by  Marie Cameron. The book is a haunting Atlantic gothic tale – honest and elegiac, mysterious, funny, and true.  It’s an astonishing work of art.

The book has inspired me (I got to read an advance copy) to explore more of the simple and not-so-simple “art” that goes hand in hand with “craft”.  It has also shown me – anew – the gorgeous and sometimes tough beauty of my chosen home. The Bay of Fundy ain’t for sissies, but it’s rich with history and there is a deep legacy of art, history, loss, and memory attached to it. Go order that book.

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Further, I was tasked with making a blanket for wee Renaud. This is his little  wooden stool:

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And this was my interpretation of said stool:

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And then, during some of the bleakest dull days of January… a request for Spring: this is a shawl, with lots of drape – mulberry silk and cotton.  It was a distinct pleasure to weave this particular piece.  This is a sister shawl to the “Patricia” a red and black number I wove late last year, a sparkly detail of which you can see below.

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As January draws to a close, I have other commissions that I’m working on, and then will be on a bit of a hiatus until mid-March.

 

Happy New Year

Wishing you all the best for 2016.

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Berwick Weaving Co. has had its 1st birthday recently, and I’m happy to say that 2016 is looking to be a fruitful and creative 2nd year.

Many thanks for all of your support interest in what I do here in my little Nova Scotia workroom.

The “Helene” Blanket

I’ve added this to the Blanket and Home Goods page already, but I love this thing so much I had to give it its own post. This is the “Helene” Blanket. A moody mix of purples, green, blue and a dash of pink. Mysterious, happy, comforting. It’s plain weave, which I love. It is underrated as a draft, but sometimes you just want to let the fibre and colour do the talking for you, you know?

This is one of those times when I wish I could keep what I make, but it was a commission and I have to let it go.

It’s 100% merino wool from Mineville Wool Project, three different kinds: a lovely 4 ply, a dk weight, and a 1 ply chunky.  All of it lovely, all of it machine washable. All of it soft and velvety, cool to the touch but so warm in a blanket. The piece itself 40″ x 88″ with fringe – more than wide and long enough to binge-watch a whole lot of Dr. Who, Game of Thrones, and Marvel superhero movies with one’s sweetie.

Midline, the Helene

Midline, the Helene

I don’t usually let the cat do this - the blanket is for a cat-lover so I let her do it this once.

I don’t usually let the cat do this – the blanket is for a cat-lover so I let her do it this once.

Soft, warm, and cozy.

Soft, warm, and cozy.

Random stripes of colour warp, and weft with vareigated purples in two different weights

Random stripes of colour warp, and weft with vareigated purples in two different weights