Laney came onto my radar last year when another Fiber College student pointed out a stunning, laughing woman and said “you know, that woman over there is a famous weaver from California.” It didn’t come as a surprise because she exuded creativity in her walk, her dress and the easy way she interacted with every one around her. When asked if she were to paint herself from a box of colors, what colors would she use…I think I heard her SHOUT from the County…jewel tones!
After seeing just a couple of samples of her weaving and listening to the easy way she described complex weaving techniques, we knew that we needed to have her join us…we asked and she said yes! Laney will be teaching a 9 hour intermediate/advanced class of weaving “Over Shot is Hot” on Thursday and Friday.
I began thinking of myself as a fiber artist in the mid-90’s when I began doing some production weaving. By that time I had mastered much of the technical aspect of weaving and could concentrate more on the design elements.
I am definitely jewel tone colors.
First acts of conscious creativity? I was learning to weave in the 70s and wanted to make a funky wall hanging. I didn’t have the money to buy yarns so I cut strips of red, purple and rust fabrics (I believe much of it was corduroy) to go with the yarns I did have. I wove a very bulky tapestry with lots of rya knots, texture and big wooden beads. It was a bit ugly but quite expressive. My therapist bought it!
I have never tried to make a living as a fiber artist. It was a nice fantasy once upon a time, but realistically, I don’t think it’s possible. I use the money I make to feed my yarn addiction.
In a creative mood…I love working in my studio. That’s where I can put on the music, grab my design books and get to work. Weaving can be a very tedious endeavor and can require lots of planning and calculations. But sometimes that feels confining and I will just jump in with a warp and create the design as I thread the loom. I’ll put a pile of yarn on the floor and begin making a warp by mixing colors, fibers, sizes, and textures. This is quite from the constrains of the 2-dimensional loom work that follows.
I have a 16-harness loom which would be capable of weaving multiple layers of fabric. I would like to be able to design and weave a multi-dimensional wall hanging with 4 layers.
I have an awesome studio. I have plenty of floor space for my looms as well as table tops for design and finish work. One wall is devoted to yarn: shelves and shelves of yarn, organized by fiber-type and color. This is like eye candy to me and provides inspiration for future projects. No drawers and cabinets. Everything is visible on the shelves, except for a few plastic bins full of (what else) more yarns. This studio is in my house and I can visit it any time of day or night! It is well lit, warm, convenient. Overflow of equipment such as warping reel, carding machine, spool rack go into the large hallway. There is a sink and small dye area in that hall space as well. My new IPAD will soon be a source for audio books and I may never want to leave my dream studio.
Poof…anytime, anyplace…where would you be, what would you do? I would love to take a two-week intensive drafting and weaving workshop with Madelyn van der Hoogt, editor of Handwoven Magazine. She has a fabulous school on Whidbey Island, WA.
I usually have 2 weaving projects going, one on each loom. There may also be one or two items on the finishing table needing to be fringed, hemmed, etc. Then there are several knitting projects. At present there are socks, shawl, vest, and baby sweater. And I must not forget the spinning wheel with hanks of fiber ready to become yarn.