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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxY8rPwMjbY&list=FLv-qbOJU3XYu6wnRipxqDDw 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.

4 comments:

  1. I've seen demos of spinning directly from the cotton boll -- fascinating! Being an art model must be interesting, though probably hard to sit still for a long time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The modeling takes a certain amount of physical and mental discipline. And heaven help you if you get an itch... :)

      Delete
  2. Wow! The photo and the sketch are wonderful! From your last comment, I can imagine it would not be easy to sit still for long periods of time. I know I could not do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And like anything else, modeling takes practice. I'm better at it now than I was when I started about 5 years ago.

      Delete