Monday, April 30, 2012

summer plans

As my first month of work at Parks Canada is winding down, I will have more time in May for my weaving and planning my trip to Sweden.  Before I start full-time in June, I will only be working one full day a week for the month of May - lots of time to juggle many things.  One thing I'll be doing is stocking my consignment shops for the summer.  As I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, I've been working on a smaller product using my handwoven cloth: little zippered pouches.  I finished my first little production run and worked through the kinks and I should have close to 40 of these pouches to sell at Halifax Crafters this coming weekend and supply shops for the summer season.

My partner Damien has also been working on a series of small PEI landscape paintings for the summer tourist season.  There are lots of seasonal craft shops and galleries here on PEI that only open from May - October to take advantage of all our summer visitors.

I'm hoping to help him a little with the marketing side - these works are beautiful and sell-able, it's just a matter of getting them seen by the right people.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

smaller fun

Halifax Crafters spring show is coming up in a few weeks and I'm making the trip to Halifax to sell my wares. I've got my summer scarves, but I wanted to do something else on a smaller scale. A few years back, a good friend brought me back a little zippered bag made of handwoven tweed from Scotland. I've always really loved that little bag and used it for carrying my jewellery when I travel.

So, I thought a small run of handwoven cotton cloth to be sewed into little bags with zippers would be a great little project for this spring show. And the cloth was so fun to weave! And it gave me a chance to use up all sorts of little bits of coloured cotton. I just cut the cloth off the loom this morning, enough for 13 bags and I'm now washing it. Once dried, the 10 inch lengths will be cut apart, zippers bought and the sewing will begin....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

new digs and the next six months

It's been a long time since I grabbed the camera to write a blog post. The past month has been busy with a visit to Halifax, settling into our new larger house, and working on various projects. Our new digs are starting to feel like home as we find the right spots for all the things that make our house lived in. My studio is all set up and organized (I even have a closet for storage) with my materials and books.

Three weeks ago, while I was in Halifax visiting friends, I got an email from the Brucebo Foundation telling me I am the 2012 recipient of the Brucebo European Fine Art Travel Scholarship. This is the project I applied for in January - you can read my post from January 26 to find out more about the program and my proposal.

It is such an honour to be chosen and I am thrilled about this dream come true.....Basically, I get to spend a month and a half travelling Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia researching traditional hand-weaving and textiles and then tracking the influence of these traditions on contemporary material culture in both design and art. I am pretty darn excited!!! It's still sinking in and there's lots of planning to do....the last few weeks have been spent finishing up loose ends to make time for figuring out my travel logistics in the coming months. I will leave in early September after I finish my summer contract with Parks Canada.

Oh yes, and I bought a Singer Fashion Mate sewing machine on Kijiji a few weeks back. It's from the early 1960s and made in Italy. I see curtains and summer dresses in my future.

This photo above is of the back wall in my studio with my warping mill - it's where my large Cranbrook loom will go.....all I need to do is get it out of my parents' basement, into town and set up. For the moment, I'm mostly using my studio for preparing warps and winding bobbins for scarves I'm weaving on my little Leclerc which is in another part of the house. It will be wonderful to have my big loom in there and spend time weaving.

Ikat scarves in cotton and silk in Finnish twill. I thought I'd experiment with some Scandinavian patterns while doing much smaller production runs using ikat dyeing in the warp....each little run of scarves will be a little study of a weaving pattern from that part of the world.