This for me is a whole new ball game as I have only done it on a very basic level during the course of embroidery or with ribbons so this is a huge learning curve for me!
I read the course material probably 3 or 4 times over to try and get a basic understanding of the technique and the processes behind it plus have been observing the work of other OCA students on Facebook over the course of many months and watching any Facebook videos that have come up! The process fascinates me on a level that was a surprise as I did not think this is something that would – I love stitch and painting so thought weaving would not be something that would be a part of my future so felt this might be going through the motions a little to achieve a result but as I write this my interest is ever growing and my yearning to learn more ever growing.
I understand the fact that tapestry is very different to woven cloth and have been fascinated for many years by that of the Native Navaho Indians of North America with their tapestry techniques and I have been interested in their form of beading using a different loom (this may later become another technique I suspect I will want to learn!). Over time I have been interested in the different cultures of Asia and North or South America with their tapestry weaving as the course does mention – as our world becomes smaller these incredible textiles are becoming more widely known.
As I write this I have only been able to invest in two small weaving books due to financial restraints but do have a more comprehensive book earmarked and which will serve as a reference book hopefully more many years to come.
The course material suggests visiting or tapestry exhibition and happily just this week I have been able to visit Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire which has one of the best collections in the country I believe and a separate blog will be written up in the next few days.
So what do I know – warp is vertical, weft is horizontal, shed is the opening in the warps, selvedge like in sewing is the edges of the fabric and that is the basis of my knowledge and everything from here on in is new to me!
Before I continue on to Stage 1 I must note that frustratingly I am having to adapt my weaving looms due to a whiplash injury recently suffered – the first as will be seen is as basic as you can get but the second is a more workable option and done before the injury but with adaptions now continuing so that I can continue working despite the potential for a few painful months. The silver lining is that I am really having to think about how I work and adapt to some new conditions and hence if I can learn from these conditions then it means I can gain some additional knowledge! I also really wanted to make my loom for two reasons 1. financial 2. to gain an understanding of how looms work and a third because I am fascinated by the fact in many cultures basic looms are still used and to great effect so I feel a ‘fancy’ loom at this stage is not a requirement for myself.
To continue I gathered together some basic materials and purchased yarns with a view to my theme book along with additional materials I felt I could use and also made a simple frame initially, cardboard shuttles and also found an old but strong table fork to use as a beater … and then I panicked and re-read the instructions all over again as this is daunting to a total novice!