left to right: Louise Lemieux Berube, Line Dufour, Suzanne Chabot (the Director of the CTCM/MCCT) and Isabelle Sentenne (who teaches machine knitting and does the jacquard weaving for the centre.)
In biology, growing is defined as " the process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level" and today this is my theme for this blog as it applies not only to my recent endeavours but also to the lives of some of the people whose path have crossed mine over the the years of my teaching weaving, as you'll see as you read on. Growth occurs if proper nutrients, environment and support are provided. Over the last several years I can gladly say that many factors have positioned themselves into enabling me to grow as an artist in my area and in developing flourishing relationships. This is evidenced in the ongoing expansion of the Fate, Destiny and Self Determination international tapestry installation, as more shapes continue to come in worldwide. The installation continues to accept submissions indefinitely and if you'd like to participate please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past weekend I was in Montreal, Quebec, Canada setting up the exhibition Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination/le sort, le destin et l'auto-determination at the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles/Le Centre de Textiles Contemporain de Montreal. It's weaving school and the size of the weaving classroom is about 4 times the size of the weaving class at the Toronto Weaving School. The school was co-founded by Louise Lemieux Berube over 25 years ago and over the years they have worked hard at having the entity grow into the exciting institution it is. They offer summer workshops and master classes as well as formal training in collaboration with other educational institutions such as Concordia University and a CEGEP. They have wonderful teachers, not only knowledgeable about their textile area, but are also very engaging. Besides weaving, they also offer machine knitting, dyeing and other textile related workshops. To know more about their programming go to http://www.textiles-mtl.com/en/.
Susan Middleton, Louise Lemieux Berube, and Line Dufour
I departed for Montreal last Wednesday night after my evening class. I was very grateful that Lis Baston, a participant in the class, even drove me to the airport! Susan Middleton, a former tapestry student, who herself has grown her tapestry practice through numerous exciting tapestry journeys, forays and workshops, joined me to assist in mounting the show, and somehow ended up being the official documenter and photographer of the entire undertaking. Susan is herself an accomplished tapestry weaver. To see the entire process of setting up the show on Facebook go here
To see the Opening Reception : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fate-Destiny-and-Self-Determination-An-international-tapestry-project/194385150700425?hc_location=timeline
The number of students in the weaving class has also grown, and so has the waiting list to get into the class. The students really grow in their abilities and confidence while they are taking the classes, along with enjoying a pleasant social environment. Over the time they spend with me I sometimes have the privilege of them sharing their life events and this one from Avril Loretti was especially heartwarming for me:
Here are a few photos of us with the baby blanket i made last spring:)My friend that i made the other two for keeps telling me how everyone stops her in the street to ask where she bought the blankets! I might have to start going into the baby blanket business soon:)
Avril with her new baby (arrived just before Christmas) wrapped in her baby blanket!
Ginette Robert shows us the overshot tablecloth her mother wove for her. It has to be 10 or 12' and woven on a 100" floor loom.Growing our weaving practice can also happen by joining your local weaving guild, or becoming a member of the Canadian Tapestry Network, and the American Tapestry Network as well as the Handweavers Guild of America. Here you will network with many other weavers, both traditional and innovative, and with an inspiring practice. Handwoven magazine offers you many step by step projects, a good way to introduce yourself to the many weave structures that populate its traditions.
Scarf woven by Helen Skelton.
Entering call for entries is a good way to launch grow your reputation as a weaver/fibre artist and as it happens there is one to enter which you can learn about if you go to the Tapestry/Exhibition blog.
Double weave plaid cape woven by Iris Koczerginski
Chenille Scarf woven by Carole Hibbert on her knitters loom.
Colour sampler woven by Julia Pelenyi.
Presently many of the students are weaving a colour sampler to use a reference so we'll be seeing lots of them in the weeks to come. It's a great way to grow your colour repertoire, especially if you are colour challenged or have a hard time imagining what colours look good together. It's also helpful if you find yourself always choosing the same old colours time and time again. In addition, if you are weaving things for other people, you can give them something to help them pick the colours they would like to use.
RESOURCESAre you interesting in writing small educational articles for the Toronto Weaving School or any interesting info and opportunities for weaving?
I am taking any articles from weavers on any topic related to weaving. The article should not exceed 500 words, which is a manageable amount considering how busy we are. Up to two photographs per article.
Nieves Carrasco writes:
"Hi Line, I'm so glad I finally went to your weaving school! It has a wonderful atmosphere, great to see all those looms and the people that were there this morning seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot.: She referred us to this recent book:
The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth: Ancient Threads / New Directions Paperback –
Feb 1 2014 by Elena Phipps Publisher: Fowler Museum at UCLA (Feb. 1 2014)
In 1975 Simon Waegemakers co-founded the Textile Museum of Canada located in Toronto, with Max Allen. Susan Middleton tells me that Simon now gives lectures through the Continuing Education department and the University of Toronto's St. Michael's College. The next series of talks comes up soon:
THE UNCOMMON HISTORY OF EVERYDAY ITEMS
Umbrellas, bags, knitting, lace and hats - a discussion of how textile objects we take for granted often have an exalted background. Many everyday items were once symbols or expressions of status or wealth, and those we now commonly use in the western world often have roots in non-western societies.
Fri. 27 Mar 2015 - Fri. 1 May 2015
10 hours - 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Instructor: Simon Waegemaekers