|Burmese Bands, card/tablet woven|
I have bands on my mind. The image above is just a small selection of the many bands in my collection. I never have used them. Well, that isn't exactly true. The inkle woven band on the left in the photo above is the first band I ever wove, and I did use it as a strap on a bag for many years, then removed it and put it with all the others--usually tucked away in boxes but sometimes hanging to be admired, or wrapped in circles, like the Burmese prayer bands above that reside in a cabinet with glass--so they are always on view. I find these strips of cloth very appealing--just as they are.
But that doesn't explain why I am thinking about bands, and making them. In January, on a wonderful trip to California, I presented a talk to the Santa Cruz Weavers Guild and met Don Betterley and Gudrun Polak. Gudrun is a well-known tablet weaver whose website, theloomybin, has wonderful information on this type of weaving (card weaving is what most Americans say, and tablet weaving is more common in the rest of the world, but they refer to the same process--I think I will use tablet weaving here) including a link to Don's new card weaving loom.
|All the ingredients used for making the band in this photo--Don Betterley's loom with the beautiful turquoise inlay on the front beam, cards, clamps, weft, a beater, weights, and the all important instructions--these are by Karen Henderson|
|Books on tablet weaving, I used Linda Hendrickson's instructions for my new band|
I set up the loom and started weaving. I am going to teach a beginning weaving summer class at Penland School of Crafts (July 5 through 17, 2015; it is full but you can contact the school to get on the waiting list because people do change their plans) and I realized that doing this tablet weaving project was perfect preparation for that class. My own awkwardness and confusion about what was going on (tablet weaving is twining, not weaving, so threads twist around each other and it took quite a long time before I could see the elements and understand what they are doing....not that I totally understand yet) is a reminder of how my summer students will feel confronted by the loom and the many steps involved with weaving before you actually throw the shuttle.
|Many bands woven by Alice Schlein|
|Selection of bands woven by Belinda Rose|
|Warp readjusted on back beam so the threads would stay warp-faced|
|New clamps with flat square clips that hold the band evenly|
|Finished band and detail of some of the patterns|
|Details of woven bands: two Mexican pickup weaves on left; Guatemalan brocaded band in center; inkle woven band on right by Bhakti Ziek, circa 1969.|
|Various images of three Burmese tablet woven prayer bands, and one Bhakti Ziek feeble band.|