Thursday, September 24, 2015


It's been awhile.  I forgot I even did these sheets of paper back at the beginning of June.  I guess Summer was busier than I thought.

We went to Illinois to see family.  Someone enjoyed swimming...

...And caught many fish with Grandpa.

I dyed some wool and (what turned out to be) cotton with fresh leaf indigo.  Sarah G is in town as a visiting artist for SEM, and she had some tips for getting a deep blue using the Rita Buchanan method.
Hopefully my indigo is still viable.  I haven't even looked at it in a couple of weeks.

Tapestry time!

There was a great show of work from CIA Fiber Alumni at Praxis Fiber Workshop...including this interactive work with Brittany Campbell.

I finished some work that had been hanging around for a bit...of course, there's much more to do.

First grade began.

Felt-making happened with the SEM Intro class.

Another tooth disappeared.

I built this beautiful machine from scratch.  Milled the lower receiver myself, even.  Everything is operational, but I need a free day to run to the range and verify.  It's amazingly satisfying learning how something is made (and functions) from the ground up.  For the nerds:  80% Arms lower...PSA barreled upper, bcg, and lpk...MOE furniture.

Also, my library seems to keep expanding.  This is the August/September selection.  The stuff that Batsford is putting out is really nice.  Several people I'm acquainted with are represented in these books...but I'm still surprised they haven't included Velma.

And now we wait for the window and siding guys to do their respective jobs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer vacation...GO!

The joomchi workshop at the Morgan was a success.  There were only six students, but I prefer the smaller numbers.  I tried a different curriculum (make joomchi on day one, post-processing on day two), and I think it will serve as the basis for a new joomchi workshop format.  Below, student work drying on the line.

The Praxis workshops (Everything Awesome About Warps & Wefts) aren't happening...we just couldn't get the numbers needed.  Seems like that's a common problem this season.  I've already heard from a few folks that the workshop simply didn't line-up with their schedule, but if there were any other issues that kept you from signing up please let me know.

Peony above and Spiderwort below.

The grapes have finally been moved and I've added a whiz-bang trellis.  The mint eradication effort is underway, but it will be a longterm fight.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Shut Up And Take My Money

Don't forget to sign up for the ONLY workshops I'm teaching this season...

My joomchi workshop at the Morgan is June 6th & 7th...

...and my two week-long weaving intensives at Praxis run June 8th-12th and June 15th-19th.

Remember...these are my ONLY ONLY ONLY workshops until next get signed up now!

Come know you'd love to spend two weeks with me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Everything Awesome About Warps & Wefts

As promised, more info on my upcoming workshops at Praxis Fiber Workshop...

"Everything Awesome About Warps & Wefts" is a duo of weeklong intensives focusing on weaving & weaving-related dye techniques.  The two classes may be taken separately or as a pair.  Both classes center on an introduction to weaving...covering material calculation, loom set-up, and basic weave structures.

Week one (Warps) will focus on ikat...binding and dyeing of the warp threads (the ones attached directly to the loom...oriented front to back) to generate pattern and imagery.  We will cover traditional ikat (which relies on immersion dyeing), as well as direct application of dyes via paintbrush.

Week two (Wefts) will focus on kasuri...binding and dyeing weft threads (the ones oriented left to right...that the weaver can manipulate freely) to generate pattern and imagery.  Students will utilize traditional kasuri (immersion dyed), and dye-painting.

Students wishing to take both classes will have the option (and skill set) to combine both ikat and kasuri during week two...creating an incredibly complex woven image.  Students with previous weaving experience (including those from week one) will be given more advanced instruction pertaining to weave structures.  All skill levels are welcome.

"Warps" runs June 8th-12th, 9:30-4:00.  "Wefts" runs June 15th-19th, 9:30-4:00.  They are priced at $525 each, which is a steal for five days of specialized instruction.  I've requested that the classes be capped at eight students you need to hurry to reserve your space.  Registration is through CIA's Continuing Education program.  The registration deadline is June 1st.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What did you do this week?

No time for pictures lately, so you'll need to make do with this current photo of the indigo.

What did I do this week?  In no particular order...
-moved 5 yards of dirt by hand
-reconfigured the garden to make use of the dead space between the beds
-bore-sighted a pair of ARs that haven't been to the range yet
-ripped the decking off the boat (too heavy!)
-sanded & repainted the boat
-picked up new herbs to replace the ones that were choked out by mint
-helped Michelle build a birdhouse for Mother's day
-picked up a sick Michelle from school
-bought a new suit (loooooooove it!)
-rebuilt the IFAKs
-began the arduous task of sorting things for our yard sale later this month

The new plum trees have been in for a few weeks, and are covered in leaf buds.  They have been surrounded with an eight foot fence to keep the evil (but delicious) deer away.  Said fence proved useless in regards to my neighbor's overzealous dog, however.  The replacement strawberries are beginning to send runners.  It looks like a rainy week ahead, so it's unlikely anything will go into the garden just yet.  Although, I'll try to get the new herbs that are known runners into pots anyway (no more crowding other plants...).

WORKSHOPS! WORKSHOPS! WORKSHOPS!  My two day joomchi workshop at the Morgan is June 6th & 7th.  I'll also be doing a pair of weeklong weaving intensives at Praxis Fiber Workshop (in partnership with CIA).  Under the banner "Everything Awesome About Warps & Wefts", week one will focus on ikat (painted warp) and week two will focus on kasuri (painted weft).  The classes may be taken singularly or as a pair, and are suitable for weavers of all skill levels...from novice to expert.  Week one (Warp) runs June 8th to 12th.  Week two (Weft) runs June 15th to 19th.  I'll give a more thorough report next time.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring Stuff

All the seedlings are growing fast and strong.  The product from my new seed supplier yielded a stunning 100% germination rate!  I'll surely have extras of tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers to sell near the middle of May if anyone is interested.  They are all heirloom non-GMO.

And my indigo from Rowland is busy indi-growing.

Of course, weaving is underway...

We planted six plum trees last weekend.  They'll be trained to grow in an espalier cordon to save space.  This weekend we need to move the grape vines closer to the house...if the weather holds.  And get the garden ready.  And clean the garage.  And...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Two miles per hour...

Studio progress has been slow, but it's progress just the same.  The pace seems to be picking up with the promise of warmer it does every year.  Both looms are sleighed.  Now on to threading, etcetera.  The wide weaving (above) has spent three years moving steadily through the planning stages...including a false start in late 2013.  I need to complete two 5'x12' warps on the biggun' before I can assemble that piece.  The smaller loom (only a measly 3'x9'...) will provide a component for an undeveloped piece.  In an effort to increase productivity (and to guarantee studio time) I've given myself a weekly quota of two hours (minimum) on the loom(s).

This season's Shibori class wraps up next week.  Above is a small corner of some yardage I reworked ( was first dyed seven years ago).  This class has yielded a nice little bunch of yardage that will be finding its way into some home-brew clothes for the Helper Monkey.

Speaking of classes...Praxis is opening in a few months, and I plan to offer a painted-warp weaving workshop there in June.  Keep an eye on their website and Facebook feed for updates and conformation on the opening festivities.  Also, I'll be doing another joomchi workshop at the Morgan the first weekend in June.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Past Due

I have been more than remiss in keeping this up to date recently.  Frankly, I would rather be doing other things than sitting in front of this glowing it hasn't been a priority.

Some additional photos from where we last left off...

The one below is a student's work...

...And more of mine.  We were very fortunate that Kevin finally brought me a bucket of often-promised walnuts.  With all the good rusty iron in the pot we had juicy browns and blacks.

Indigo seeds arrived from Roland & Chinami, so it must be time to start thinking about the garden.

The helper-monkey had a fiber-tastic birthday and Christmas.  Here she is (sans two front teeth) working on her first weaving!