Archive for March, 2010

nothing more fun than warping a floor loom!

now, for the task i have to admit i’ve been slightly dreading: warping the loom.

it’s not rocket science to warp a loom (did i ever mention i was on a short list to be in a nuclear engineer for the navy?). there are simple steps, and if you follow them one by one, with patience and time to spend, you’ll have a warped loom, guaranteed.

1. tie your measured bouts to the breast beam
2. thread the reed
3. thread your heddles
4. tie on to the back apron rod
5. beam your warp
6. tie on to the front apron rod

simple, right? ha.

the good news is, i pretty much went through this process with no major screw ups. i didn’t double-thread any reeds or heddles, i lined my warp up pretty even on the loom, and ended up with a nice, even tension across the width. pretty sweet, really, when i consider how many times i had to re-warp a 6″ wide scarf i wove last winter. the only thing that i really need to tighten up is the time spent — i’ve calculated that i need to warp the loom 12 times in the next 6 weeks, so i’ve got to get it down to an art.

i think i can, i think i can, i think i can….

measuring the first warp

ok, i was sick for a week, then spent the past few days catching back up with things, but i’m back at the loom and ready to measure out my first warp.

the first part of my mini green that i’m going to weave is the 4′ x 4′ tee off area. my loom will only weave 2′ wide warps, so i’ll weave two 2′ x 4′ pieces and attach them to make the final 4′ x 4′ tee off space.

i’m going to measure my first 4′ length with all white warp. i’m not sure if the warp will get totally covered over by the weft, and don’t want to use up any good colors in the warp if that’s the case.

here’s the first bout of the first warp on the warping board:

measuring the first warp

measuring the first warp

i need 300 ends (strings) for my 2′ wide warp, but as i was winding and winding, i realized pretty quickly that the pegs on my warping board would only hold about 150 ends. it took me a dumb second to realize you could measure more than one bout for your warp (a “bout” is kinda like a “bundle”).

here’s another view, showing some of the little strings and knots used to help keep count and to make sure the bundle doesn’t fall apart once you take it off:

first bout on the warping board

first bout onthe warping board

at the very end, you can see the “cross” — that’s what i’ll hold in my hand when i transfer the ends to the loom (when i thread the reed, to be specific).

onward brave weaver….

ingredients

there are lots of bits and things and gadgets weavers need, and they all have odd english- (as in, british-) sounding names like heddle, treadle, warp beam, raddle, sley hook, and so on. reminds me of woodworking (dado, kerf, mortise, rabbet, etc). i love it — makes you feel a part of an age-old tradition.

originally, i was going to weave a very, very nice carpet with linen warp (the warp is the part that is stretched on the loom) and wool weft (the weft is the part that you weave back and forth and is wrapped on the shuttle). however, a couple quick calculations made it clear that these quality, durable yarns would soon break the bank — the linen weft alone would, even with deep bulk discounts, cost more than buying all the weft AND warp in cotton. cotton doesn’t wear as well, but as the entire carpet will be glued down to pieces of plywood in the end, and since i’m only getting $2500 for the piece, i’m going to take my chances with cotton. the upside is that there are many more colors available in cotton, and it’s well known that i’m a color whore. given my aesthetic, i figure any wear and tear will, in the end, add to the charm of the hole.

here’s my first shipment of yarn — both the 8/4 carpet warp and thicker weft stuff for the shag areas — plus a couple 30″ stick shuttles:

first yarn shipment

first yarn shipment, plus a couple 30" stick shuttles

i bought a smallish warping board from three wishes fiber arts, and borrowed a larger board from joanne, a member of the mary meigs atwater weavers guild (mmawg). here’s the smaller board with the first guide string tied on (more in this later):

small schacht warping board

small schacht warping board w/2.4yd guide string tied on

i’m weaving this green on a 4-harness schacht baby wolf floor loom rented from the mmawg. it’s really cool —  folds up for easy storage and has wheels to help move it around. here’s the warping board clamped on to the loom, which gives me a good height for wrapping the yarn:

warping board clamped to loom

warping board clamped to loom

next: measuring the first warp out. wheehoo!

the original proposal

putting to the center of the earth
a 337 project miniature golf proposal
submitted by davina pallone, september 15, 2009

I love putting. My childhood summers were spent kicking around the putting greens on my grandparent’s small, 18 hole golf course in central Florida. Recently, I’ve played miniature golf as far east as St. Croix and as far west as Santa Cruz, as well as in between, online, and on Wii. I love fake grass, I love carpets and textiles, and I love interactive art — so when I heard about the 337 Project’s Mini Golf exhibition, there was no question that I became excited about the possibilities.

context
A recurring theme in my work is how we study and decipher nature using science and technology, but are taught to understand our place in relation to nature via cultural structures and mythologies. I create mythic representations of a domesticated nature with references to various scientific and cultural symbols—core samples, shrines, molecules, test tubes, totems, toys. The use of common, familiar materials and patterns means each piece feels as safe, warm and welcoming as a living room or favorite sweater.

Modern miniature golf is a beautiful intersection of nature and culture. The first known putting course, the Himalayas, was created outdoors in late 19th century Scotland as a socially acceptable golf outlet for women. Thereafter, this accessible sport took hold of the public’s imagination, growing into the fake-landscaped, themed and obstacled, fun-filled and friendly competition of skill we all know and love today.

Since 2003, I have been interested in the impact art can have when taken off the gallery walls and made interactive and accessible to the public. Indoor meadows, knotted tangles of interactive yarn, outdoor fences woven with the help of schoolchildren — any way to engage the viewer in a tactile experience with art removes the barrier of untouchability, encourages community and fosters the imagination in ways we can’t possibly measure.

My recent foray into the world of weaving has me excited to pull this age-old craft (which would be fully acceptable for the female putters in late-19th century Scotland) into a fine art interpretation of a modern pop culture sport. The theme of my hole will be the layers of our planet (sky, surface, soil, rock and molten core). The Jules Verne-inspired title pulls in a classic sci-fi reference from 1864, three years prior to the construction of the Himalayas putting green.

description of the proposed hole
“Putting to the Center of the Earth” will be an approximately 97ft2, curvilinear, par 6 mini golf hole with a smooth, hand-woven fairway surface that uses color and abstract obstacles to representationally transport the player from the “surface” (tee) to the “core” (green) of our planet.
Players begin their journey by teeing off on a blue “sky,” working their way along the figure 8-shaped, 4′ wide fairway past green “meadow,” brown “earth” and gray “rock,” ending up on the red “core” green. Each section’s color will blend into the next section.

Obstacles encountered along the way are sloped fairway areas, fake holes, grasses, a bridge, piles of dirt, stalagmites, fireballs, a sand pit and cave lake. The ball will travel through a fire cave immediately before hitting the green.

I’d love to have my hole labeled as no.8 in reference to its layout, although it is not imperative to realizing my vision or theme.

materials and construction
The hole will be constructed of modular, marine-grade plywood platforms with permanently affixed, hand-woven surfaces. A 4″, shag rug border will run the entire outer perimeter of the hole.

The fairway will be woven in sections on a table loom. Durable wool or wool/nylon blend rug yarns will be used for warp. Linen yarns will be used for weft. The resulting surface will be a flat twill and will stand up well to traffic. Any slight irregularities in the weave will add to the unpredictable play of the hole.
All obstacles will be made of fiber, wire, fabric, found objects and other miscellany. Taller obstacles may be removable for easy transport.

Thank you for the opportunity to propose a hole for the 337 Project Miniature golf exhibition. I look forward to your decision, and to playing the entire course in February!