Archive for October, 2009

Silkster Gallery

October 31, 2009

I visited Treenway Silk while in the Victoria area this summer. Figuring I was needing some silk, I decided to stop in and purchase it in person, avoiding shipping fees. A quick thought before I left home, I decided to bring along some of my pieces to show them what I can do with their product.
This brief show-and-tell has gotten me a place on their Silksters Gallery.
http://www.treenwaysilks.com/gallery.html

Teacher Inservice etc

October 25, 2009

October is a busy month.
I’ve been weaving away, finishing up a commission sash, a year of work:

Double Arrow Sash

Double Arrow Sash

And then on to a pair of custom leg ties.
October is the month that teachers have their big inservice day. I attended the sessions for social studies teachers, instructing them on the basics of fingerweaving.
I’ve developed a slide show for the ManitoAhbee festival, as well as a video. I hope to be posting the video, fingerweaving, the beginner method soon.
Last week I met with the person responsible for the Manitoba Craft Museum and Library website. She videotaped me tying some of those Korean knots. These short films (three to ten minutes) will go to a film editor, and then will also be posted on the net, perhaps on the Virtual Museum of Canada.
Yesterday I attended a lace making retreat with my daughter. She’s into bobbin lace. I brought my tatting.

Bobbin Lace Retreat

Dabbling in lacemaking with the NorthernLightsLacemakers in St Norbert

Next I’m intending to address some sprang projects. I’ve taken that double-headed eagle and turned it sideways. I intend to sprang a shawl, loosely based on that piece that is featured in Peter Collingwood’s book.
I’ll keep you posted how it goes.
For now, I’ve been writing out the pattern.

deriving a Sprang pattern

deriving a Sprang pattern

 

SashWeaving Square Dance

October 19, 2009

Several years ago I was asked to develop an activity for students, giving an experience of fingerweaving to a group of 10 to 20 students at a time, the session lasting only 20 minutes. I came up with the idea of ‘the fingerweaving dance’. I attach strings overhead and place numbers on the floor, one number for each string. Numbers are arranged in two lines, even numbers on one side, odd in the other. Students each take a string and stand on a number. I direct their movements. The students walk from number to number and the strings ‘weave’ together above their heads.
This ‘fingerweaving dance’ activity was part of the activity at the launch of my book at McNally Robinson Bookstore in March 08. To many, it was a highlight of the evening.
I keep telling people that it is my dream to find 120 well trained individuals so that I can weave a sash in an afternoon using this method.
Recently a local Métis businessman has taken my ‘fingerweaving dance’ seriously. He has worked hard to make the  ‘Sash Weaving Squaredance’  a reality. The very first SashWeaving Square Dance will take place at St Boniface College on Nov 7, 2009, during the fiddling competition organized by local Métis organizations as part of the Manito Ahbee festival. I have been working with a group of métis dancers for this premiere. The hope is for an annual international competition based on rules to be set up shortly.

SashWeaving Square Dance practice

SashWeaving Square Dance practice

Brenda Lapointe and the Half Pints practice for the inaugural event, weaving a diagonal stripe.

More from Korea

October 9, 2009

OK, some more photos from Korea.
I took advantage of an offer from the Canadian Craft Federation, a tour offered by MimiHolidaysInc … excellent service. We were met at the airport and escorted to our hotel in downtown Seoul. The hotel was right in the middle of the historic district, between the two major palaces, center of government of Korea since the 1400’s.
Changdeopkgung

Second Gate to Changdeokgung Palace

Second Gate to Changdeokgung Palace


Heating of these buildings is by hypocaust … radiant floor heating.
The fireplace is outside the building in the foundation.
Fires were build under the building at Changdeokgung

Fires were build under the building at Changdeokgung


and the smoke travels around under the floor, goes underground and comes out a chimney on a neighboring building of lesser importance:
chimney in a building of lesser importance exhausts smoke from central palace heating

chimney in a building of lesser importance exhausts smoke from central palace heating

The Gyeongbokgung, grandest and largest palace of the Joseon Dynasty is a Unesco designated site for the way the construction harmonizes with the lay of the land.

Gyeongbokgung buildings, constructed in harmony with the slope of the land

Gyeongbokgung buildings, constructed in harmony with the slope of the land


We visited the National Folk Museum of Korea, amazing pieces of ramie, their textile of choice, and woven shoes.
Korean straw shoes

Korean straw shoes


We took in the Seoul Tower on Mt Namsan, which gives a birds eye view of Seoul
view of Seoul from Mt Namsan tower

view of Seoul from Mt Namsan tower


It seems Korean television is watched all over Asia.
An episode recently aired featured a couple who attach a padlock to the fence at the base of the Seoul tower and throw the keys over the precipice. The response to this has resulted in thousands of couples from all over asia coming to the Seoul tower to also declare their undying love for each other:
padlocks on the fence at the base of the Seoul tower

padlocks on the fence at the base of the Seoul tower

Korea trip

October 2, 2009

Just got back from my two weeks in Seoul and Cheongju Korea.
How to describe the trip!
OK, a photo or two
The palaces

the GyeongBokGung palace

the GyeongBokGung palace

the countryside

Korean rice fields and mountains

Korean rice fields and mountains

the Cheongju International Craft Biennale

Canadian Pavilion entrance

Canadian Pavilion entrance

Featured here is our excellent tour guide, Joy, the potters (artists who created the installation in the background) David Hayashida and Linda Yates, and tour organizers Cynthia Yiu, and Joyce Lui.

And of course, I had to have my photo taken beside my piece, Mixed Heritage Sash.

Mixed Heritage in Cheongju, Korea

Mixed Heritage in Cheongju, Korea

Now, to keep the record straight, my son, Adrien Sparling, carved the paddle upon which the sash hangs. Somehow his name was omitted from the credits.

Friday, Sept 25, while other artists presented talks on their works, I was invited to do my fingerweaving demonstration. As it worked out, I did very little weaving. I also had brought along material for the general public to try fingerweaving and ‘make a wrist sash’. The response from the Korean people was amazing. Over 80 ‘wrist sashes’ were made that afternoon.

I took the opportunity to learn something. I was fascinated by Korean knot-making. At the knot museum (Dong-Lim Museum, Seoul) I signed up for an intense 4 days of lessons. Over the next little while I’m thinking I’ll make a video of the knots I learned, lotus bud, plum blossom, chrysanthemum, and I’ll give them to Alex to post on the net. Pretty cool, these knots.

samples of Korean knotwork

samples of Korean knotwork

I gratefully acknowledge support from the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Councils whose funding really helped make the trip happen for me.