April found me at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts to participate in the Southeast Fiber Forum. I discovered this group a few months ago and they have gatherings every other year. I haven’t been to a weaving workshop in many, many years, but I was intrigued by a workshop called WTF. Wow That’s Fun was a silk painting workshop! I’d never worked with silk and thought this would be great.
The Arrowmont campus is tucked behind all the madness of the main drag of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Even in April, the street was always crowded with tourists. Though there are dormitories, I stayed at a hotel within walking distance. I don’t do dormitories anymore…. I should also mention that meals were included with our weekend fee and they were delicious! The dining room was a great spot to relax, wind down and get to know the other participants. I really enjoyed talking with weavers again!!!
Here is our studio for the weekend. There was lots of space and so many supplies to play with.
Our instructor, Neal Howard, weaves amazing silk clothing and scarves. Check out her work here . She did several demos for us and was willing and able to answer all of our questions. I believe that all of us had dyed before, but most of us were new to silk and warp painting (or space dyeing) and felt timid about handling silk.
The photo above shows Neal’s warp with one layer of dyes on it. We all gasped when she dunked the whole thing into another color…such a dramatic change!
It was such a great class! Everyone had such a different take on color and ideas on what they planned to weave. Unfortunately I am only in touch with one woman from the workshop and I am looking forward to seeing her finished scarves. Here are a bunch of warps drying outside on Saturday afternoon.
The fiber weekend was Thursday through Sunday. Saturday night after the evening program, all the studios were open so that we could see what all the classes were doing. Here are my two warps. The left one is for a shawl and the right one is for a scarf. Our class probably had the least interesting display because it was a process class rather than a product one.
The other workshop that I debated taking was called Warp it! Paint it! Weave it! with Kathie Roig. I did warp painting years ago with the wonderful Randy Darwall at Penland School of Crafts. The catch here was that you had to bring a loom with you, and at the time I did not have a portable loom. Below you see some of Kathie’s work. What I found so surprising was that they used paint rather than dye! I assumed that the fabrics would be stiff and opaque, but the opposite was the case. These are double weave fabrics and the colors just sing!
Here is a warp that’s been painted and is drying. The loom is out of the picture and you can see the reed in front. When the warp dried, it was be wound on the loom. In the far right background of the picture, you can see that someone has started to weave their warp. The gallery on Kathie’s website shows the lovely fabrics that the class wove.
It was a terrific weekend and I thank everyone at the Southeast Fiber Forum for planning it!