CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Convergence in Long Beach

The HGA Convergence was held in was in Long Beach this Summer, the first time in California in several years, and I made it a goal to attend.

Here we are

CNCH sponsors a scholarship for 2 people each Convergence. I applied for the CNCH Scholarship and won a $500 award. There was no turning back.

The adventure in Convergence attendance starts with deciding which classes to take.

My first class was photography, how to use your camera to take studio photos of textiles. The ins and outs of camera settings were covered for each person being guided by his/her camera manual. I learned how to set the file size, white balance uses, shooting in raw vs JPEG (Nikon cool pix, does not shoot in raw), and how to read the histogram of a photo.    Gregory Case, the instructor for the workshop, emphasized as most important: read your manual and flag it for quick reference.  The manual is a tool. Use it first!

Using lights for photographing 3D objects like baskets was covered, too. Remember, the object is the star of the photo, consider what’s in your background. When you get a good shot, take a photo of the set up as a reminder.

Image editing was covered as well. Most people use a Photoshop® program, depending on how much time and money they want to invest in the processing of photos for entry into shows and galleries.

Class on  Day 2 of my Convergence adventure was a workshop in metal work, with Aaron Kramer http://urban- objects.com/. Using lids from tin cans, I made a platter. The lids were riveted together with brass rivets, using the ball peen hammer and a nail set. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and noisy day of play. The platter is 12 inches across and is secured at the edge around a metal ring, spot soldered, and the edge is crimped over the ring. But first you have to flatten the lids by hammering them on the edges to make them flat and curved or bowed in one direction. After all the lids are hammered, you rivet them one at a time, first marking the rivet spot on both lids, then punch the hole one at a time, then rivet together. It took me 17 lids and all day to make the platter..

Pounding those lids

the final product

Day 3 started with breakfast with Aaron Kramer and a talk with this artist from Santa Monica about his work and life in recycled materials as art. It was inspiring to hear him speak about his art and realize the depth of his creativity.  Breakfast was not so good, yoghurt too sweet, granola bar too sweet!! Coffee good, just not enough.
After, I had a very fast walk to my next workshop.  I got my exercise each day as the venue was spread over the convention center and 2 hotels two blocks apart.

The Linda Hendrickson workshop on ply-split arrow basket was a challenge.  For those of you who do ply-splitting, you may recognize the terms of Z twist and S twist. So far I had only worked with one direction twist, the kind in Danish cord. Linda explained that the pattern we used is a card-weaving pattern stretched out on an excel spreadsheet and the colors needed are shaded in to create the pattern. Next, she plied all the cords using the different colors in each 4-ply cord that, when split, would make the pattern appear. It was like a miracle! And very difficult to be sure. When the Z-twist and the S-twist are face to face you can see the pattern.  So, the weaving is a mirror image of itself. What a mind to compile the pattern!
I really enjoyed her, and her teaching methods. She was patient and able to spot any error quickly and get her students back on track.

Eugenia’s split-ply basket -construction phase

I did see all the exhibits at the Convention Center. There were several galleries: Certificate of Excellence applicants, Fashion Show Garments, Leaders/Teachers, Longitude which was for yardage of several types including felted and woven,and Latitude for all other media, as well as exhibits in local galleries.

Longitude gallery

The Small Expressions show was at the Long Beach Museum. The pieces there were very interesting and exciting. My favorite was the Lois Russell twined tapestry basket, as well as the Danielle Bodine pieces. In the Latitude gallery were some pieces by Dorothy McGuinness, a northwest plaiting guru and Donya Stockton, a basketry sculptural artist.

Linda Hendrickson with her ply split logo

A Danielle Bodine construction

Tapestry waxed linen basket by Lois Russell

I met up with several people from the recent CNCH conference committee, and some from the Sacramento Weavers and Spinners. It is always a pleasure to meet and greet friends when at a conference. Also, I met some women from the Ontario (Canada) Weavers, and a local man I kept running into at various places. He was taking a Barbara Shapiro class in dyeing. If given the chance to go again, I will. It was entertaining and an opportunity to explore areas of interest other than basketry. However, I plan to stay with basketry as my focus, as I still have lots to learn.

Press here to go to the next article