This morning was library familiarisation and a bit about research techniques as part of the Contextual Studies unit (no, me neither). Unfortunately the morning derailed a bit firstly due to a very persuasive catering student who got us in the training restaurant for their coffee morning. Service was a bit of a shambles, but they were very very polite and apologetic in all the right places and the scones were ace. The
second derailment occurred when the tutor had to leave early to go to a family emergency (don't worry, not major!), so we did some of the research for the group seminar but didn't deliver it. That will be postponed until March, which gives me some time to find out the contextual influences on and of the Pre-Raphaelite movement (safe ground, I know some stuff!) and Abstract Expressionism ( not so sure!). However I did find out that the artists grouped together as part of the Abstract Expressionist movement were based broadly in New York in the 1940s and 1050s, vehemently disliked the label and resisted it as they felt their individual styles and subject matter were so different and extended way beyond Jackson Pollock's dribbles and Mark Rothko's stripes.
The afternoon was back in the textile workshop. I'd tried to get a head start before the morning session but managed to break the second warp thread I threaded and then threaded some up wrong (I inadvertently had a caffeinated coffee a breakfast and was a bit jittery!).
Anyway.... By 3pm I had threaded all the warp threaded through the heddles:
Then managed to sley the threads through the reed quite quickly (this keeps the threads a nice even space apart and also acts as a beater to push the weft threads down firmly):
And then, I took over an hour to tie the threads onto the front beam. Well, I tell a lie, it took less than ten minutes to tie them on, but it took me over and hour to tighten them so they were all the same tension with no saggy bits. I think I must now hold the record for the slowest time to read a loom! The tutor then demonstrated some of the different patterns we could make and finally, at 5:20pm I was able to start weaving! Don't mock my small progress here though:
Because in the forty minutes it took me to do this, I had to pull three threads out and rethread them through the reed because I'd got two of them crossed, and one linen/silk thread kept slipping and going baggy one so needed sorting out. But I got there!