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.
It rained. And it rained. And it rained. It certainly had a dampening effect on Open Studios. But a core group of hardy souls did brave the mud and visited my studios this weekend, and overall I had a good time. The visitors included several new people and I enjoyed fielding all the very probing questions about the computer/loom interface. These people really get it.
A number of people will be getting handwoven towels and handbound journals for Christmas. Yay!
I loved having loyal helpers to keep me company and direct people to the sign-in book. Thank you, Ellen, for putting in long hours on Saturday, and thanks, Catalina for Sunday.
After a stint on the rigid heddle loom, Catalina spent the slow part of the afternoon sorting my pin collection. My pins are now organized by type and by color. Amazing. When's the last time that happened?
She also organized the bookmark collection, as you can see at the top of the photo. After the official closing hour, we all sat down to a supper of chicken soup, and then watched the final episode of The Great British Baking Show. And so to bed.
This group of nine drawstring bags came about after I was rummaging through old scraps of jacquard cloth. The handwoven bits from my beginning days of jacquard weaving were too small for clothing & pillows, and structurally inadequate for books. But they had to be used or sent to a new home. Decision time.
I paired them with odd bits of lining material, black kona cloth, and twisted cords, and here is the result. Nine little drawstring bags, repurposed from my stash.
They're useful as knitting project bags, for packing small items such as socks in a large suitcase for travel, as lunchbags, or whatever else strikes your fancy. They'll be ready for you to take home at Open Studios on November 7-8. Y'all come!
Yesterday was the opening of Bruce's & Cecelia's photography exhibition at the Pickens Museum. It was beautiful. I know my opinion couldn't by any stretch of the imagination be considered unbiased, but there you have it. If you're within driving distance of Pickens, SC, be sure to put this on your list.
In local news, my environmentally responsible neighbor continues his textile displays:
And in the studio, an effort to get back to work. This is a brocade sample to determine correct aspect ratio. The background is 12-end satin. I'm zeroing in on it.
There must be something in the air...lately I've been seeing more thoughtful writing in the blogs I follow regarding why and how we do what we do. All of these people have the rare knack of writing well about their visual art. Here are a few of my favorite observers; the particular posts I cite will give you a small taste of what these particular artists are about.
From Cecelia Feld, some words about how she works through her collage process. From Terry Dimond, thoughts about what drives her work. From Bhakti Ziek, a fascinating story of returning to a simpler technology. And from polymath Danny Gregory, a provocative essay on the dangers of dabbling.
And as for me? My verbal muse has temporarily left the room, so I'll leave you with the following and let you draw your own conclusions.
The moment before the artists appear on the stage is filled with possibility. It reminds me of a perfectly beamed warp just before the first shuttle is thrown.
This snapshot was taken this past Thursday at the Gunter Theater, waiting for the arrival of Miles Hoffman and Reiko Uchida onstage. It was a wonderful performance; the theater was packed, despite the very uncongenial weather.
Speaking of the weather——we were afraid no one would attend the reception for our exhibition at MAC Friday night, but we needn't have worried. The gallery was full of art-lovers, friends, family, and various combinations of the above. Bruce's framed black & white photographs (theme: Spaces) looked beautiful and attracted a lot of close attention, and he had some very kind words to say about my books and a few pics from the event here.
The super-cold weather is starting to moderate into a more seasonal somewhat cold. The clear brilliant blue skies provide a dramatic background for the bare trees. I treasure these images of bare trees. In a few short months the cycle of green will start again and the pictures will be more about color than about line.
We took a quick run downtown for a first look at our show at MAC. Kim and crew did a beautiful job hanging it, and I was surprised to see that some of Bruce's photographs are totally new to me—or else I'm looking at them with fresh eyes. Beautiful.
The books look good, too, and it was interesting to see the butterfly-themed book displayed open flat. Makes sense!
I hope at least a few folks will get a chuckle out of "My Secret Life." At nearly eye level, it's hard to miss. If you take this book home, you can complete it with your own secret life.
Another view of the gallery.
In case you missed it, here is a look at the announcement and invitation to the opening.