Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tapestry Class for the New Year

The introductory level tapestry class that I teach through Wooly Wonders in Las Vegas has only one student this session. Not only is it almost like private lessons, but since the student lives relatively close to where I live, I’m teaching the class in her home.

This one of the few classes that I teach that uses a textbook. I like to use Kristen Glasbrook’s Tapestry Weaving (2004) published by Search Press, as it’s a good beginning book for tapestry weaving. It’s not a very creative teaching method, rather “cookbook” teaching, but the book covers the basic techniques in a very clear and concise manner with colorful photos and easy to follow instructions.

Another good beginning tapestry book is Tapestry 101 by Kathe Todd-Hooker (2007) self published by Fine Fiber Press, which features directions for a copper pipe loom, and large diagrams of weaving techniques. The spiral binding is also very convenient.

For further instruction and information on tapestry weaving I’d recommend Nancy Harvey’s Tapestry Weaving (1991) published by Interweave Press. I think it may be out of print now but copies are still available at weaving websites. The book has lots of tapestry examples and illustrated techniques, but I like the book for someone with a bit of tapestry background rather than no experience at all.

For my tapestry class I provide a frame loom very similar to the one used in Kristen Glasbrook’s book. For this class I made the loom out of 6 ft. piece of popular wood ½ inch by 1 ½ inch. I cut the piece into two 20 inch and two 15 inch lengths for the loom frame. Where the corners of the loom would overlap, the wood was cut to half of its original thickness. The corners were then glued in an overlapped position and nailed.

The top and bottom edges of the loom were notched with 4 notches per inch using a table saw. The notches will hold the warp threads in position more securely, keeping them spaced.

Next Tapestry class part 2…

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