Sprang, Gathering and Patterns

I’ve had an exciting and busy few days.

I went to the WAFTA work day on friday with the intention of learning how to Sprang. I first heard of this ancient weaving technique  from Mikaela Castledine when I attended a WAFTA visit to her studio a few weeks ago. She had a gorgeous wrap made in this technique and very generously gave me a quick demo.  On friday with the help of Anne Williams and a book she found on ancient Peruvian textiles we started to play.

Only warp threads are used

Only warp threads are used

I used strips of T -Shirting and working from the centre of the frame made a twist in the threads.  These are held in place with a ruler or knitting needle. The weaving develops at both ends at the same time.

The completed piece still under tension on the frame

The completed piece still under tension on the frame

This technique has been used for hair nets, hammocks and cyclone wire fencing.

The final sample off the frame.

The final sample off the frame.

Of course it was not this simple, lots of head scratching, false starts and unpicking and most of a day involved!

It is an interesting technique that I would like to explore further…

Yesterday was the third session of the Draping course at ECU. Our tutor has been encouraging us to consider the silhouette, change the shape of the body.   I decided to try making some of the clam shell shapes from thick felt to add some structure to the garment.

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I’ve covered the shapes with the same gathered fabric. Still more to do to become a wearable garment…

photo4photo7Today we went to the Midland Workshops Heritage open day. My mother worked in the office, both my Grandfathers, a Great Grandfather, great Uncles along with many other family members spent their working lives at these workshops. There is a memorial wall near the entrance with bricks dedicated to the workers and their trades. image

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It was very interesting to see the site of the workshops, and also the current use by artists. I am fascinated by the patterns, the components of the trains made in wood to be cast in metal. They have now become stunning sculptures as you can see in Eva Fernandez‘s work and souvenirs that I couldn’t resist.

Eva Fernandez's work at Midland Atelier

Eva Fernandez’s work at Midland Atelier

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What part of a train could these possibly be?

1 thought on “Sprang, Gathering and Patterns

  1. I was interested in your post on the Midland workshops – my father, father in law & husband worked there – husband and father were at the open day. Its a great building.

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