Friday, July 23, 2010

Wedge Weave

I'm at HGA Convergence in Albuquerque and spent the last two days in a class on wedge weaving. Wedge weaving is easy to identify by it's scalloped edges. It was originally done by the Navajos but possibly fell out of favor when interior designers equated straight selvages with quality. I had not heard of this type of weaving until reading about the class in the Convergence class catalog. I have been wanting to learn tapestry techniques and this was the closest I could come to at the conference. I googled "wedge weave" to find out what it was and looked at some traditional images (on right). I also checked out the instructor Connie Lippert and liked the contemporary way she was interpreting this traditional technique(below left).

Wedge weaving is unusual because the weaving is done at an angle, changing colors to create wedges, diagonals and arrow shapes. We all started out working on little cardboard looms learning how to begin each wedge, and how to change colors.

At right is my beginning cardboard sample.

We then moved on to our real looms and began our projects. I chose to go for the big shapes, minimal color, bold approach. I also used colors that were totally unlike me, I don't think I have ever used blue, red, and gray together.

Below is my beginning, middle and end of class project. I think I'm about half done after 10 hours of weaving. This did include some time for "unweaving" my errors and general slowness trying to figure out what to do next or begin the next section.

My weaving technique was in general, not great, but that would improve with practice. I also was using heavy yarn, which on one hand made the weaving go faster, but I also think it was harder to make it smooth and even since the three yarns packed differently. Or I could be making excuses...

I'm also including (below) the weaving starts from some of my classmates.

I probably won't get into wedge weaving in a big way, but the techniques are interesting and could see myself using this together with other tapestry techniques in my future work.

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