Archive for May, 2010

Weavers Sprang Tutorial

May 28, 2010

I’ve been developing a simple sprang tutorial. I tested it out on the Manitoba Weavers and Fiber Artists last night.
Trying to break down the technique to its most simple form, I gave them twelve strings and an illustrated how-to printout. They did succeed at creating their samples within 20 minutes time, however I also realize that my directions require clarification, simplification.
Thanks so much to the weavers.

Manitoba Weavers try sprang

Simple Sprang Samples


Rupertsland Colloquium 2010

May 23, 2010

The University of Winnipeg hosted the Rupertsland Colloquium this year. I presented information on the subject of sprang, why it should be of interest to individuals interested in this time period, what sprang looks like, how it is made.
As at the last Colloquium, held in Rocky Mountain House in 2008, I met many interesting people, learned lots about this interesting period in Canadian history. This time around I gained a greater appreciation for the traditional west coast tradition of Potlach. Misunderstanding this tradition and European rules of trade clashed spectacularly, resulting in disaster for the Native Americans.

I also introduced several people to ‘sprang’, the technique in military sashes of the time period, also a textile technique known to some Native Americans.
Meeting up with Virginia Barter of the M├ętis Artists’ Collective. Through her assistance I am hoping to be able to bring fingerweaving to Toronto in mid-June.

Sprang bag

May 16, 2010

I’ve been doing some sprang lately.
A pair of wooden handles gave me the idea.

Sprang bag with wooden handles

Wooden handles, sprang bag

The fingerweaving class is progressing very well. Five women have progressed to the flame pattern. Today we were joined by members of the group that meet monthly at the St Boniface Museum.

Fingerweaving Students, May 2010

Fingerweaving at the St Boniface Museum


May 10, 2010

My husband had reason to visit Montreal at the end of April, and I went along too.
I arranged to visit with the curator of the McCord Museum, Cynthia Cooper. Thanks to the instigation of members of the Braid Society and Michelle Beauvais, the McCord Museum is considering an in-depth inventory of their sash collection. I would be very proud to assist them in this work.

The current fingerweaving class is going very well. Five students have been very diligent, absorbing the technique like sponges. They have also been faithful to their homework, sailing through the tasks I’ve set for them, stipple, diagonal stripe, vertical stripe and sawtooth, and chevron. My daughter taught them the weekend I was gone to Montreal. She has her own approach, sometimes it’s a good thing to get a different perspective. Students reported favorably, did not seem to miss me much. As a testament to their ability, they all completed an arrowhead during class last Sunday. Two more classes to go, and the world will have five more certified fingerweavers. Such apt students remind me why I am teaching. Such a pleasure to teach people who want to learn.

This past week I presented fingerweaving workshops to students at the St James Heritage Fair, as well as to the students of Lord Wolseley School.