I'm Alice Schlein, a weaver and book maker in South Carolina. Occasionally I write about Photoshop, Network Drafting, bread baking, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Thanks for stopping by! Comments are welcome.
Explorations in Double Twill Two-hour lecture at the Complex Weavers Southeast Gathering. June 17-18, 2017, at the Yadkin Valley Fiber Room. For more information on the Gathering, click on above link.
Spin Your Own Yarn Jan. 17 - Mar. 13. Learn to use the simple drop spindle to spin your own woolen yarn for knitting, crochet, or weaving. This hand tool of prehistoric origin is inexpensive, portable, and easy to use. Create a mid-weight yarn suitable for garments, accessories, and household items. Pack all your spinning supplies in a lunchbag-sized tote and take it with you on vacation! Click on Winter Brochure 2017.
The Woven Pixel: Designing for Jacquard and Dobby Looms Using Photoshop® Co-authored by Alice Schlein and Bhakti Ziek. 362 pages, many illustrations. Now available for free download on handweaving.net. The accompanying CD with 1400 pattern presets is not included with the free download, but may be purchased separately. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for more information.
Network Drafting: An Introduction By Alice Schlein. Break away from the block. Curves for your dobby loom. Originally published in 1994, now available as print-on-demand from www.lulu.com.
A Crepe Is Not Just a Pancake 52 pages of text, b&w and color diagrams, and drafts for multishaft tradle & dobby looms. Many color photos of actual cloth. Methods for drafting your own crepe weaves. Annotated bibliography. Pdf available for immediate download. $21. USD. Payment by PayPal. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for payment instructions.
Echo Weave Based on the 1996 article in Weaver's, Issue 32. With brand new diagrams and high resolution scans of original fabrics. Pdf available for immediate download. $7. USD. Payment by PayPal. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for payment instructions.
For all you animation fans (you know who you are), and for all the Photoshop mavens, here is an absolutely wonderful video link sent to us by photographer Sam Wang. If you don't love this, I will eat my warp.
Friday's book signing at Sutherland was a great success. I arrived at the gallery in Asheville's River Arts District early in the morning…
…and was greeted by energetic and talented owners Karen Donde and Barb Butler.
The gallery is a beautifully renovated warehouse space, high ceilinged and brightly illuminated, with the patina of old brick walls.
Their newly delivered Wolf Pup looms are in the process of being warped and are ready for classes.
More weavers arrived. Below from left to right are Betty Carlson and Catherine Ellis, and Bob Martin, showing off Betty's woven shawl.
And here are Kathy Roig (left) and Susan Leveille (right). Sorry I can't identify the others, but they are among a group of very enthusiastic participants in in the Sutherland classes.
Karen and Barb have some of their gorgeous weaving on display at the gallery. I was especially struck by this gossamer plain weave scarf in very fine silk by Barb (click to enlarge).
After chatting for a while about my experiences in self-publishing, selling copies of Network Drafting, The Woven Pixel, and The Liftplan Connection to these nice people, and signing books, I joined them for lunch at The 12 Bones Smokehouse, a restaurant experience not to be missed. 12 Bones is just across the street from the River Arts District, and it's worth waiting on line to get one of their salads or famous barbecue. Check out the rib flavors here:
The book with handwoven cover started here is now complete. I chose to wrap the first and last signatures in patterned paper, which would later be pasted down as endpapers. The remaining signatures have narrow wraps of the same paper plus a few in orange paper.
Here are the covers and the signatures, ready to punch.
After the sewing, the endpapers were glued down:
The other border of the wrapped signature had a nice deckle edge, which I decided to leave:
Here are two views of the spine…
…and a close-up of the stitching.The top row is kettle stitch, which transitions the sewing from one signature to the next at the head and tail of the book, and the second row is link stitch (sometimes referred to as coptic stitch).
Hitched an early ride to Furman Tuesday evening and spent an enjoyable two hours in the library reading the opening chapters of Perez-Reverte's The Nautical Chart. This is going to be a good one!
Sunset on this beautiful campus was especially memorable this evening.
The comfortable chairs in the reading area of the library are covered with this jacquard upholstery, and it was fun to try analyzing it:
Finally, the concert I was waiting for at Daniel Chapel: an organ recital with Charles Tompkins at the organ and Gary Malvern on trumpet. Then out for drinks with friends, and by the time I got home I was too tired to watch the ice skating. And so to bed.
On Friday, February 26, from 10 am to noon I'll be appearing at Sutherland Handweaving Studio for a book signing; I'll be selling and autographing copies of The Liftplan Connection. Sutherland Handweaving Gallery & Teaching Studio is located at 6 Riverside Drive, CURVE Studios & Garden, in the River Arts District, Asheville NC. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required:
sutherlandstudios[at]gmail[dot]com or 856-261-4324
The response to my handmade books has been very gratifying. Thank you all for your comments; I treasure the feedback. Some of you have asked what I'll be doing with the books. Short answer: I don't know yet. I'm still on the learning curve. Many of the wrinkles remain to be ironed out (pun intended).
I do know that finding a new craft at the age of 70, after having spent so many years as a weaver, is a wonderful surprise and a gift. To be able to combine weaving and bookmaking is great! It looks like my initial goal of reducing the fabric stash will remain unmet, however. I now seem to be amassing a stash of paper!
Some bits and pieces of Thai paper were too good to throw away. When torn, they have lovely feathered edges. I glued them onto a background of another handmade paper.
Then I ran the sheet through the sewing machine several times.
I covered boards with the resulting decorated sheets. Folded signatures were wrapped in an interesting patterned brown paper. More of the brown paper decorates the front cover. The book was sewn with brown linen thread.
A second, smaller, book was covered in dark red Thai paper. A small scrap of handwoven fabric, backed with paper, is glued into a well in the cover.
The signatures were wrapped in a patterned green paper, striped on one side and randomly patterned on the reverse.
The book was sewn with light brown waxed linen.
The green wrappers on the first and last signatures were glued down to act as endpapers.
Here's a detail of the sewing and the fabric rectangle embedded in the front cover…
…and a glamor shot of the day's two books. The smaller book now sports a wooden button closure.
Finally: a view of my four most recent books. I love the spines. Can you tell?
Now a few observations after working for a while with cloth and papers in books.
If I'm going to write or draw in the books, hard covers are easier to use than limp covers. They provide a firm base on which to write or draw.
If a book will be thrown in a purse or backpack for travel, limp covers that wrap around and tie protect the contents of the book more securely.
My goal of using my stash of handwoven fabrics in books is more quickly and easily achieved with limp covers.
Backing fabric with paper in order to glue it to boards is very time consuming, but worth it, because I like the effect.
To back the fabric, use a lightweight fusible web such as Fine Fuse or Misty Fuse, and fuse the fabric to a lightweight but strong paper. This backed fabric can then be glued to the boards.
Best choice of fabric is single-layer fabric such as plain weave or twills. Avoid double weave, overshot, or other fabrics whose layers are not integrated. They will be harder to glue.
Collaging elements onto cloth or paper before covering the boards produces wonderful effects, but it's a good idea to keep collaged elements away from the turn-ins, otherwise the glueing of the turn-ins looks sloppy.
The book now sports a button closure. Click to enlarge.
Friday, on the way to Charlotte, we passed the infamous Gaffney Peach on Interstate 85 and I snapped this picture (no, Mom, I wasn't driving). It's actually a water tower, but it does look like a giant you know what.
From the ridiculous to the sublime—when I got home I saw that the roofers had finally installed the new metal roof on Ampersand House. The metal is dark gray, but in the brilliant afternoon sun it reflects the blue sky. How wonderful! What I'm really looking forward to is sitting in the little house in the rain and listening to the drumbeats of rain on the roof.