Monday, July 2, 2012

Weaving Fun Stuff

Rigid Heddle Looms by Travis Meinolf
I have been watching the post daily anticipating the small package that arrived today. Two rigid heddle looms that I got from Travis Meinolf. He calls himself an Action Weaver and I read about some projects he did with the public where he had people weave strips of cloth on these looms. He makes the rigid heddles with a lasar cutter--and I was entranced by the bright colors and energy of bringing weaving into the streets. So I wrote to see if I could purchase some, and he said he would trade if I had something to trade (he "doesn't believe in money" is the way he put it; I thought, "I was young once too.") I knew he was going to be teaching at SAIC this summer, so I suggested I bake cookies and send them. After I sent the email I wondered if that was a bit too homebody, but he wrote back and said GREAT--and please send enough for the class. That was easy. Apparently he sent me two looms from Germany (he lives in Berlin) but they never arrived. Wonder who the lucky person is who has my package. I can't imagine some custom officer wanted these looms. Fortunately, Travis had two with him in Chicago, and those are what arrived today.

They are very clever. The flat wooden parts are ways to hold your warp at both ends, and attach them to a stationery something and around your back. Another words, a very sweet backstrap loom. I can't wait to try. And my part of the exchange--I made the madeline recipe from my Laduree cookbook and also their apricotines which are almond cookies with apricot jam sandwiched between two of them.

Book by Marion Tuttle Marzolf
Another fun weaving-related item that is by my bedside is this book, Shuttle in Her Hand by Marion Tuttle Marzolf, which my friend Toni King lent me a couple of days ago. Clicking on the title leads you to a nice review of the book online by Daryl Lancaster. Toni, who is a writer herself, knows Marzolf from Michigan where they were in a writers group together. When she read the book she thought I would be interested--and she is right. I enjoy reading about shuttles and threads and patterns and things that are familiar to me playing a leading role in a novel. I have just started but I know it is going to lead me to places and people that I know too.

I am not doing much in my studio these days. I rationalize it this way. Winter is nine months long in Vermont, summer is a brief three months. We (Mark and I) are painting the exterior of our house (I will post an image when one side is complete) and three brief months will probably not complete it--so this is the time to be outside scraping and painting, and sooner than I like it will be cold and I will have lots of time up in my studio.

Dance Performance Directed by Hannah Dennison
The other fun thing was going to see an amazing dance performance held in the Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms. I think I wrote about seeing the movie Pina on this blog--and if not, I should have. It was so profound, and most nights one of us is watching some video clip of Pina Bausch and her group. I find the music as mesmerizing as the movement. So when a friend told me about this dance performance directed by Hannah Dennison called Dear Pina, the name alone inspired me to buy tickets. Clicking on the title brings you to Dennison's website about the dance. You can see parts of the dance, images of the barn, and you can see the costumes. If you look carefully at the brochure above you will see that I tried to sketch one of the dresses. I even asked the costume designer, Marz Black aka Leslie Anderson, if she had a pattern I could buy but she said she doesn't use patterns and besides each dress was made specifically for each dancer. Maybe I should have offered to barter cookies for a pattern specific for me.