Thursday, March 14, 2013

Modeling, Spinning, and Weaving

This is just a post filled with bits of this and that. First up, I thought I'd show you what I was doing last Thursday. I'm an art model, and that morning I was posing for a portrait drawing class. I had pulled out one of my Medieval costumes, and brought the spinning wheel along with me. Mind you, that style spinning wheel is actually several centuries too late for the style of dress, but the students didn't seem to mind the mismatch. They probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't said anything, actually. But I'm a bit of a fiber geek, so I know the dress is appropriate for the 1300's, and the wheel probably for the 1600's and later.

But the art work turned out neat! Both the photograph and this drawing were done by George Palovich, the teacher at TriPal studios. He mentioned that he might use the pictures and the initial studies as a basis for a later painting. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with.

Speaking of spinning, while I was at Estrella I found what was billed as a 100ish year old Russian supported spindle for sale. I remembered recently seeing this video: of a woman from the Himalayas using a similar spindle. Since I tend to collect old fiber tools, I snapped it up. And then I walked across the street from the event and gleaned some cotton out of a straggler plant in the ditch that the farmer had missed in his harvest. I spent an afternoon pulling the seeds out of the cotton by hand, and learning how to use the spindle. I'm starting to get the hang of it. I think I want to pick up some cotton carders though, to make the fibers a little more regular for spinning. But it is fascinating how you can spin right from the cotton boll, right off of the plant!

And finally, I'm starting a project on the loom again. I'm working on enough cotton fabric in a broken diamond twill to make a Medieval style tunic. I'm using the same 10/2 cotton from Webs that I used for my warp painted napkins that I made for Christmas presents. I thought then that the yarn would make lovely dress fabric, so I'm going to give it a try. Currently I'm working on measuring out the warp. At 1020 threads, 14 yards long, 32" wide in the reed, this is going to take awhile. More on this project as I go along.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Estrella 2013 wrap up

I'm back from Estrella War, which was a week long historical recreation event put on by the Society for Creative Anachronism. There were about 3000 of us this time around, and I had a blast!!! I can't wait for next year when I can do it again. Perfect weather, wonderful people, great activities...I got so lost in the Middle Ages that I never wanted to come back. Estrella reminds me of the story of Brigadoon. A town arises out of the desert once a year, goes about its business, and disappears back into the dust.


I was too busy enjoying myself to take a whole lot of pictures, but I did get some of a small selection of the great amounts of arts and crafts that were being worked on, used, and displayed. Most of these were at an arts display on Saturday afternoon, with some around town heraldry, and a few shots of the felt boot class I taught. So, here is a small taste of the artistry that is being created in this wonderfully crazy group.

Looking so forward to next year. I never wanted to come back.