The Gallery is a showcase for things created by Northern Califonia weavers, spinners, dyers and basket makers. Do you have a work of your own, or know of someone’s work that you believe should be here to inspire the world? Send it to us! A click on any of the thumbnail photos below will bring up the full size photo for your viewing pleasure.
January-February 2014 – Eugenia Gwathney
A basketry and gourd artist since 1982, working originally with collected natural materials, I have mastered some reed and bark techniques, as well. My favorite style is twining, with natural materials from my yard. Plaiting diagonally and twill are my latest challenges. I started embellishing gourds early in the gourd revolution, but have returned to basketry, my first love in fiber arts. I am a member of the Bay Area Basket Makers, since 1986, and served as President for 7 years. With the Sacramento Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild I set up the basket display for the annual Open House each February. A constant learner, I continue to take classes from other basket teachers. My favorite teachers are Judith Olney and Flo Hoppe. Besides BABM and SWSG, I also belong to the Misti Washington Basket and Gourd Guild and the National Basketry Organization.
As with many fiber artists, I travel to collect. My basket collection is from Africa, Asia, Europe, Mexico and the Pacific Rim. In addition to basketry I enjoy sewing, paper crafts, embroidery and photography.
Katie Alcorn spotted this image in the New York Times about 2 years ago and could not get it out of her head. “I was struck by the absolute drama of the dancer’s pose and the flowing red fabric against the dark background. I wanted to see if I could capture it all in tapestry. I began by dying wool yarns, some store bought, most hand spun, in many variations of red–which were the hardest to do. The rest of the colors came much easier, it was a very limited palette. It took me about 2 months to complete and was woven on a cotton warp.”
Wendy Bertrand was walking in the rural countryside of La Drôme, France when looking at the spring flowers among the meadow grass led to wondering “Could I catch this delight in one of my rugs?” French Meadow is a 35″ X 59″ three-end block rug (hand-tied shaft switching on a Fireside loom), using 12 different colored commercial wools accented with hand spun mohair threads. The warp is linen. Note the 3-D effect of the poppies, an easy fun variation. Wendy enjoys spinning and weaving with the Windy Weavers and Spinners in Crescent City and with the Loom & Shuttle Guild in San Francisco.
Barbara Nitzberg of the Loom & Shuttle Guild made this piece. Barbara writes: “Every once in a while a structure captures the imagination and just won’t let go. That’s how I feel about Warp Wrapping, a fascinating structure from Pre-Columbian Peru. I’ve examined textiles done in this structure, drawn diagrams, woven samples and still new ideas keep coming. All those intriguing “what ifs”. What happens if I change the warp/weft balance, what if I move warps to the side, what if I combine with plain weave? Endless, wonderful possibilities!”
Linda Cannefax of the Redwood Empire Handweavers & Spinners Guild made this jacket. Linda writes: “The jacket is plain weave,100% cotton. The ikat strips were hand dyed by me while the other cotton is from my stash. I designed the jacket so that there is not a lot of fabric waste, it’s a short jacket with pleats in front and in back . I did not have a preconcieved plan for the stripes, I really just go by what feels right to me. This jacket looks good on most figures. I find that it is fun to try all kinds of combinations.”
Gudrun Polak of the Santa Cruz Handweaver’s Guild made this cardwoven band using 24 pattern cards and 2 border cards. Gudrun says “The fascinating thing about card weaving is that you always weave two patterns, one that you designed and one that shows up “accidentally” on the other side. Sometimes these two patterns are similar, sometimes they are the same pattern upside down. In this case they are quite different and you can choose which side to call the real deal.”
Barbara Cabrol of the Sacramento guild was very excited to have her “High Desert Twilight Wrap” accepted into the Convergence 2010 Fashion show. The hemp and hand-dyed silk warp was originally designed as a 12 shaft Bedford Cord in 2006. After various wefts failed to cause the desired diagonal ridges to appear it was set aside until January 2010. Finally woven on the same threading with a fine blue cotton as the ground weft, the same hand-dyed silk weft completes the window-pane plaid around the now intentionally non-shrinking white silk diamonds to insure the fabric remained flat.
Aiko Kobayashi Gray‘s tapestries use plain weave in two techniques, weft face and a balanced weave. Aiko’s loom is a simple wood frame which she scores at top and bottom for warp placement. No cartoon is used but Aiko does start with a general idea of theme and then adds color and materials. The materials range from handspun wool to synthetics in a variety of sizes. Aiko hopes to convey a sense of movement of air, wind, smell, sound or music. To learn more about Aiko, who is a member of the Diablo Weavers Guild, visit her website: www.aikokobayashi.com
Patty Townsend of the Loom and Shuttle Guild made this painted silk table runner. “I used Alchemy Silken Straw as warp & weft in the top layer. The weave structure is Swedish lace, and it served as a canvas for hand painting afterwards. The piece began as a scarf, but I discovered that this particular silk, stunning as it was, did not drape well. Thus, I backed it with a wider piece of silk and it is better suited as a decorative runner instead.”
Martha Stanley of the Santa Cruz Handweavers Guild created this piece she calls her “ply split sisal floor doily”. The technique is ply-splitting and Martha used material left over from a project of her mothers.
Beryl Moody of the Sacramento guild sent us this photo of her woven shibori scarf. She writes: “I used soy protein yarns in both warp and weft and a point twill design for the ground cloth in this woven shibori scarf. Soy protein dyes with acid dyes, so I painted the gathered scarf with Lanaset dye and heat set it using steam. I was quite surprised when I found that the soy protein fiber permanently pleated with the heat.”
Pat Stewart of the Loom and Shuttle guild wove this prize winning shawl in fine wool and wool/silk yarns. The top layer of the plain double weave portion is smaller, leaving the offset edges open. The “Wave” motif is woven as a stitched double cloth. This shawl was the winner of HGA and Complex Weavers awards at the CNCH Conference in 2008.
Mollie Freeman of the Sacramento Guild created this beautifu jacket using a number of different techiniques. The fabric is cotton and rayon, a painted warp woven in plain weave. Mollie then used stenciling and a twin needle with her sewing machine to achieve the lovely surface design.