Yesterday Mike and I made an excursion to South Carolina to visit Alice Schlein and her TC-1 jacquard loom. I’d wanted to meet Alice for awhile, as I have a copy of her/Bhakti Ziek’s book The Woven Pixel (which is all about designing drafts using Photoshop) and also her book on network drafting, both of which I think are brilliant! And, of course, I am totally fascinated by the idea of a jacquard loom. For a no- such – thing – as – too – many – shafts structure junkie like me, it’s the ultimate control over design.
I loved talking to Alice and seeing her work – it is even nicer up close than it is in photos. It was interesting seeing the “gamps” that she makes before weaving up a structure – essentially testing out the “paint” combinations of different warp and wefts. she gets an astonishing array of colors from one five color warp and two wefts! And uses those to weave up her marvelous creations.
Other than that I have mostly been out and about, admiring monarch butterfly caterpillars (beautiful with their yellow, white, and black stripes) in the meadow above the house, meeting the local cows, and refreshing my memory of East Coast plants. I grew up on the East Coast, so seeing things like red clover and plantain and milkweed is a real joy after so many years in California. I even dug up a small sassafras bush and made myself sssafras tea from the roots, despite Mike’s dire warnings about sassafras being a mild carcinogen. I hadn’t had a cup of sassafras tea in heaven knows how long, and I enjoyed it thoroughly, the more so since I had dug it out myself.
Fiber-wise, I have done up two bobbin lace samples and am working on a third. It’s still slow going but I am finding it easier and easier. Photos tomorrow, I think.
And I’ll leave you with a photo of me and Alice: