Monday, 10 November 2008

back to work, finally

I put a rug warp on the frontroomloom the other week. but i didn't get round to doing anything with it for ages cause the wool took ages to arrive. Then the wool arrived and i wove an inch or so, before getting called down to edinburgh and dundee to go on a massively expensive and altogether regrettable orgy of drinking and, believe it or not, mediation and conflict resolution (that's NewSpeak for "keeping my mates from getting kicked out of pubs").

Now i'm back, sober and feeling reasonably optimistic. So i'm getting back to work

It's a relief. Anyhows, i think it'll end up about 5 or 6ft long. the loose weft ends are getting darned into the body of the fabric btw, in case you're wondering. it's nice to get a good rythm going, and i'm learning to really fling that shuttle with some force, because i still haven't managed to get a really decent shed. Before i put the next warp on, i'm going to have to have some serious time readjusting things and fine-tuning the tie-up. Great. Definitely my Favourite Thing. Not

I still have to re-tie the entire counterbalance mechanism on the backroomloom as well and clear the current warp from it, cos i want to make a big, fat, stupidly long piece on it for my portfolio. As it goes, i've built the book for holding my samples. It's backing is made of rag-rug and the pages are made out of that houndstooth check or whatever it was i made the other month. i've got all the fringes stitched up and i've started carting all my tat up to college so i can work on it up there, cos i never get any sewing done at home, and me and the tutor are both agreed that i could quite happily fail every module on this course as long as i can put together a folio good enough to get into galashiels. After all, that is the ONLY thing that matters just now, everything else is just trimmings.

Also, i fretted and fussed for ages over how to do the notes, cos i didn't want to just staple bits of paper into a nice portfolio, and i've settled on the time-consuming practice of embroidery. so i bought a wee embroidery frame and a suitable piece of fabric and i'm going to embroider my notes and stich them into the thing. It's going to be extremely labour intensive, but it'll probably be 3 or 4 months before i get an interview at least, so i've got plenty of time. And it gives me more time to weave more samples, which is nice.

Anyhoodle, that's that for now



Dorothy said...

Re. the countermarch & counterbalance potential of your loom, mine is sold as such by Toika, also overslung / underslung beater. However, I'd have to go back to the dealer and buy different parts to change mine from countermarch to counterbalance. I expect you're in the same situation - you've got a counterbalance kit. Best way to find out is ask the manufacturer or a dealer in the make of loom - by the way, what make is it?

humblebumble said...

ah, well

it was made by an individual in aberdeen. i can't remember his name, and it was made in the 70's apparently, so i doubt he's making them anymore. apparently he only made about 10 of them.

now, it has the upper castle for countermarch treadling, but only has one set of lamms, without the long upper lamms necessary for countermarch. now, there is a place on the side of the loom where these upper lamms are meant to be put, and i daresay it wouldn't be a terribly complicated operation for a reasonably skilled carpenter to make and install said lamms.

the thing is that i'm not sure i wouldn't rather just jump straight up to putting a dobby box on top of the loom and doubling or tripling the number of shafts. now, i am utterly convinced, having had a look at the dobby looms at galashiels, which are a lesson in simplicity and utility, that if i were to somehow aquire one of these boxes that installing it and any new shafts would be a matter of such incredible simplicity that even i, possessing a stunning lack of any carpentry skills worth speaking of, could install the thing without help.

the only problem is i would never be able to move into a modern, low-roofed house.

what i should be asking is: does anyone know of a company that makes generic mechanical dobby boxes that can be attached to any loom with a suitably strong frame?


Jane said...

Well A M B I T I O U S is certainly your middle name! As you were writing about how to do your notes, my first thought was to "sew them in" - but I had pictured hand lettered with indelible ink on fabric. Imagine my "Holy Cow!" moment, when you continued on with your intention of embroidering them.

Tell me, did this come to you during your recent period of "meditation"??!! :)

Actually, it will be quite wonderful. Your portfolio is going to be one outstanding creation.

Weave on!

humblebumble said...

aha, the embroidery

well, that's not going to happen now. no way, jose.

i just got offered an interview on the 16th of december, that's in 2 weeks time. my first reaction was "hooray!", and then i stopped and had a cup of tea and my second reaction was "oh my goodness"

i've still got two or three pages to fill in my fabric book, so i have to make at least 4 samples in order to use up all my space. add to that, i don't have any textured paintwork or anything like that and things are getting rather on top rather suddenly.

but that's ok. i work better with motivation. so i'm messing about with crepe paper and acrylic paint just now in class, cos my tutor says i've got plenty enough portraiture and figure drawing to show drawing skills and that. i just need to do a bit of work on colour and paint and that.

but this is all very exciting and terrifying in a way. i am frankly intimidated by institutions of higher education.

and i'll have to pick my life up again, and find a new house, again, and move all my tat, again, and probably spend half a year living a chaotic hand-to-mouth existence struggling to get a steady part-time job, again. and that's the part of potentially-going-to-college i'm not looking forward to, even though i'm in danger of becoming a boring old fart and could use a wee adventure to be honest. i haven't had a proper adventure for over a year


Anonymous said...

Ah, those days of chaotic hand-to-mouth existence! Someday you'll look back on them, a fond smile will play over your features, and you'll think, "How did I ever put up with that sh*t?!"

Adventures are good, though. Yurts have quite high ceilings.

I'll bet you're crazy busy! I wish you well. I tagged you with a photo meme if you're in the mood for a break.