New Website Launches Today

I am very pleased to announce the launch of my new website! It still requires work – but is ready to be seen. I have included a few images from different website galleries just to give you an idea of what’s there.¬†Please visit it when you have a chance.

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Fibre Festival Opens Today in Baddeck, Nova Scotia

Folks in the South Haven Weavers Guild, including myself, have been working very hard for this day. I am about to head out the door to help with the Fibre Festival set up. The Festival is open today, Friday, noon to 5, and Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday 10-5. Location is the Baddeck Fire/Community Hall, Baddeck, Nova Scotia. We share the space with the quilters so there will be lots to see. Along with lots of large and soft scarves and shawls, I am selling a few of my recent small tapestries. As part of Celtic Colours, we are happy to join in the kick off of the music festival, although just visual “music” at the Fibre Festival. Hope to see you there!

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Final set of alpaca silk scarves

I’ve taken a simpler approach to the final set of alpaca silk scarves. The warp is all one colour and the weft will also be one colour. I threaded the warp so that there is one large section of lace that extends to two inch borders of plain weave on each side. I am liking these a lot! They are light, incredibly soft and feel oh so luxurious! This is the final set of scarves for the Fibre Festival in Baddeck, in a couple of weeks.

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Ikat cotton and silk scarves finally finished!

Ikat is a challenging technique requiring patience, strong hands, and careful control of thousands of yards of yarn. I am always surprised at the results which, despite my efforts at control, have a life of their own. This set was particularly surprising and pleasing after a few scary moments. Producing scarves with the basic white achieved through resist, but also with two other colours is particularly tricky. Choosing the right colours of dye to overlay is also a part of the puzzle. I started these scarves in July and then left the warp stretched in the upstairs of my studio until about a week ago when I finished the tying off of the resist sections, and then began the dye process leading up to the weaving. I had to wind skeins of cotton yarn for the weft to be dyed in colours as well.

In dyeing ikat warp with two colours, I use the darker dye first. In this case that was a purple dye – yikes! It looked pretty ghastly, and after all that work with the tying off. Nothing for it but to move to the next step. Then it has to get rinsed, about half the ties removed, and redyed. This step involved overdying the purple with a mix of primary yellow and golden yellow dye. The results were amazing, thank goodness! I don’t aim for a fully saturated dye process – I like the somewhat varied look that comes with how my dye bath works on the yarn that is held between the tightly tied sections. So you can see hints of purple in the yarn. The yarn is then rinsed again, soaked in fixative, the rest of the ties removed and left to dry.

Finally, the warp is put on the loom Рthis can be tricky for a couple of reasons. The resist-dyed sections have to be split up and spread across the warp which can cause a bit of tangling, and the dye fixative makes the yarn rather rough causing more tangling. Patience! And this is just warp ikat Рbrilliant artisans in many places in the world produce what is called double-ikat where the dyeing of both warp and weft creates elaborate patterns as a result of incredible skill. Warp ikat is enough for me. It is challenging enough that sometimes I wonder why I do this, then I see the finished cloth and it was all worth it! I hope you agree! These five beautiful and soft cotton/silk scarf/shawls are headed to the Fibre Festival in Baddeck in October.


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More alpaca silk scarves

The alpaca silk scarves are so beautiful – I keep making more. I am building stock for the upcoming Fibre Festival which is part of Celtic Colours held at the Community Fire Hall in Baddeck, Nova Scotia in early October. This is the last set I finished and I have another set on the loom as of today.

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Showing work in local galleries

I am very lucky to be able to show my work at both the Victoria County Creates Gallery and the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design Gallery. Both are wonderful galleries with committed people running them. Their support means a lot!

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Follow up from Jane & Linda’s joint show in August

A thousand thank yous (wish i could remember how to say it in Gaelic – I will have to check the signs on the Cabot Trail) to all the wonderful folks who came out to our show and sale in August. Linda and I had a lot of fun, setting up, at the show, and afterwards. Great talking to neighbours and other visitors. Sharing this kind of event with my old buddy is one of those experiences that is so heart-felt and so amazing! I am fortunate to have such a good friend so close by and how cool that we are able to share our art and craft. And I love Linda’s new pastels! I have a real beauty on my wall! I have an idea – let’s do it again next year!

Posted in Big Hill Pottery, Cape Breton Studio, Painting, Show and Sale, Weaving & Textiles | 4 Comments