Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Winding Down

SAIC students reviewing work at floor looms
(Jongock Kim showing the honeycomb she is working on)

Students reviewing cloth woven on the TC-1 loom this past week

Monday we reviewed the past week's work. First we moved around the room looking at work being done on floor looms, then we looked at the cloth that had been made on the TC-1 loom. On floor looms, students are making honeycomb, block double weave in plain weave, double cloth using huck and plain weave, gingham woven with fine sewing thread, summer and winter, pleated double cloth, overshot, brocaded twills and plain weave, undulating twills, variations on an 8-shaft threading, white on white stripes, and a few other things. I find it so interesting that each loom reflects the interests of the maker, and is quite distinct than their neighbors' work. The jacquard cloth is mostly variations of shaded structures, some using metallic or plastic wefts, others using linen or tencel. One student made an interesting huck jacquard, which inspired another to use huck in a weft-backed cloth. We will have the final review on Thursday afternoon, which doesn't sound like much time but I saw several students setting up looms with ambitious new warps today, and I believe they will be finished in time.

Akemi and Chris

Monday evening was festive in my apartment. Chris and Zoe were there, having arrived the night before around midnight from Michigan, Ann from Arizona, Akemi and Jack from Chicago, though Akemi had just returned from a visit to her family in Japan, and me from Vermont. Chris, Akemi and I were classmates at Cranbrook, now we are chosen family. Zoe is starting to visit different colleges to decide where she should apply and she and Chris visited Columbia College on Monday. Chris runs a studio that teaches young people how to do animation and both her daughters have won impressive prizes for their work. Zoe also does photography. It gives me hope for the future watching how the children of my friends are all growing into interesting adults. I took a picture of Chris and Zoe this morning as we said goodbye on Michigan Avenue--me going to school and they off to the Apple Store (Ann and I visited it on Sunday!). Note they both are wearing Keene's. They might be out of fashion in Chicago but my friends, all over, are still wearing them. They are comfortable.

Chris and Zoe Allan-Wickler, note their Keenes

Since all the students are busy working now, hardly needing any help from me, I decided to set up a loom with linen and make some plain weave that I might sew into curtains. When i am teaching I want my students to feel comfortable interrupting me at any moment with whatever questions they have. When I am doing my own work, I get intensely focused and hate being interrupted, so I generally don't try to do any of my own work. So today I told the class that they must break into my concentration and remember they come first. But I was hardly interrupted and managed to weave almost all the warp. I did jump up at one point and take pictures of each student at their loom. I was thinking that Andy Warhol would definitely have a blog if he was alive today, and post his daily round of people pictures.

Here is Jennifer Coster who dressed to match her double cloth today. She is going to start graduate school at Maryland Art Institute in the fall, in sculpture. I don't know whether weaving will be part of her future work, nor any of the students in the class for that matter, but they all seem to have grasped the principles quickly and have a facility for weaving, so i do hope some of them will continue.

Jennifer Coster weaving block double weave

Linen Plain Weave being woven by Bhakti Ziek

The class decided to go out for dinner together tonight at a Korean restaurant and Jongock Kim made arrangements, guided us there on the Brown Line, and ordered a feast that we shared. We had hoped that Katie Loomis and Janette Ramirez would join us, but they had a busy day stretching new covers on the print tables and decided they couldn't. I posted an image of Janette in a previous post. Here is Katie, who worked with me for months before my arrival and made sure that everything was set up correctly. She really made these three weeks go smoothly for me.

Katie Loomis, Administrative Assistant in Fiber & Material Studies Department

Fabulous students and fabulous dinner at Korean restaurant

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