MAFA - Mid Atlantic Fiber Association
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2011 MAFA Weekend Workshop Report--
Peggy Kresovich, Weavers Guild of Buffalo

I would like to thank the Scholarship committee for this opportunity to take the tapestry class at MAFA. I understand that I must tell how this class has enriched my weaving, as well as how much I enjoyed it.

I have studied with other tapestry instructors. I have learned some things that have inproved all forms of my weaving. I learned how to do a figure-eight warp. The tapestry loom that I have been using has nails at the top and at the bottom. I was limited on how I could space my work. Using the figure-eight threading on a pipe loom allows you to have as few or many warp strands per inch. I recommend that students use a pipe loom. You are able to see the shed easier. The loom presents a clear shed-one warp thread is forward and the next is behind. I went to a local hardware store that does plumbing work for homes. I left the instructions for what pieces I needed to be cut. The hardware store cut all of the pieces for me and I was able to put it together myself. I did not have to buy a long copper pipe, cut it myself, and then have leftovers.

I learned to do color belnding on bobbins. I do needlepoint and learned to do stranding on a needle. The process is easier to do on a bobbin. If you use a progression of one color in the bobbins, you can make a color change which is so gradual that you cannot notice any steps in the color change. To do this, you have bobbins containing strands from both shades. I will try to elaborate. We are going to do blending using light and dark blue. The warp sett is eight threads to the inch. We are going to use six strands of tapestry wool on each bobbin. The first bobbin will contain six strands of dark blue. The second bobbin will contain five strands of dark blue and one strand of light blue. The third bobbin will contain four strands of dark blue and two strands of light blue. This continues to the sixth, and last bobbin. This contains six strands of light blue. This method can also be used with any two colors. You weave a few shots with each bobbin. The effect is stunning. This can also be used on a floor /table loom. It is amazing how many doors are opened when you encounter a new idea.

I learned that you can add shading in small areas using the same technique. Dark colors/shades retreat into the background and lighter colors/shades come forward. This is a wonderful way to give a three-dimensional effect in your weaving. These techniques could also be used in regular weaving. Slits left in the weaving can also be used to give shading. I weave fabric for garments, mostly. I plan to try putting a slit into something to see if it will work in this application.

I learned how to stop a draw-in problem while the piece is still being worked on. You twine a piece of warp, or other thread, into the piece approximately two inches from the selvedge and tie it to the side of the loom. You do this on both sides. It will be removed later. I have always had this problem when weaving tapestry.

I learned how to finish a piece that doesn't require threading each warp thread into a needle and sinking it into the weaving. We also learned some ways to display our work. I have only done needlepoint. This you lace onto a cardboard/foamcore board and secure the ends on the back. It can then be framed or hung as is.

This was a very good class. The instructor was very knowledgeable and gave a lot of individual attention to all of the students. Most of us were beginners. I would recommend anyone to take this class. The few advanced students seemed to have learned something.

As my pay-it-forward I plan to give a mini lecture/hands on at our Holiday Party on Dec. 10, 2011.

I set up an area with my previously woven samples and brought in a variety of books. We have many in the WGB library. I had two looms set up. One with nails and one with the more advanced tapestry piece from Kathie. I talked about the things mentioned in this report and let anyone try it. I was very pleased, our newest members to the Guild were there and asked a lot of questions. One even borrowed the instructions for making a pipe loom. She told me at a recent meeting that she had made a loom and was giving it a go.

Thank you, again.

Peggy Kresovich





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