Weaving on a Tiny Mighty Loom

So I want to share a bit about my weaving adventures!

loom-room-view-webHere is the view from the loom I am using.  The loom room is amazing. It has been cold, windy, rainy, and somewhat raging for the last few days but we are snug inside. The whole building is heated by hot water that runs through furnaces in the rooms. The heat is very inexpensive because the water in the furnaces are heated by the underground hot springs.

This is the loom I am using..

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It is tiny…but mighty

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This loom was made by local farmers and is about 90 – 100 years old. I believe it is a counterpoint, counterbalance, or countermarch loom. The other looms in the room are countermarch and they are twice as big. They do not know who made the looms here, but are trying to find out. I wondered if this may be due to the fact that last names in Iceland are different than last names in other countries. For example one’s last name is the first name of your father along with the word son or daughter. So each person has a unique last name and no one shares a family name.

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This is the first time I have ever woven and I really like it. I thought it might be slow like knitting, but it is not. I was surprised to find that a loom seems something like a cross between a piano, a horse in harness, a sail boat, and a sewing machine. It is very satisfying. And these wooden looms are very quiet.

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Here is my piece as I take it off the loom. It will be cut apart and tied. There are multiple small weaving pieces in here – some about the size of a coaster.

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Frame Weaving by Hand in Iceland

I went back to grocery store today and used my newest word phrase – aðskilin kaup, which means “separate charge”.  This way I can keep my wool purchases separate from my food purchases.. The clerk was speaking to me in english as I “spoke” Icelandic but I gave it shot. However, my three words of Icelandic did let me down when I realized I had not paid for the pencils I stashed in my jeans when I returned to pay for them.

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And yes, I did buy more wool while in the grocery. The two different greens that are in this felted piece. I love this heathery green.

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Worked on some frame weaving  by hand that I finished up today.  I have never done this type of work; except as a kid making potholders! I enjoyed the frame weaving a lot, it was very meditative once I got the hang of it. I am quite a slow knitter and the weaving was faster than knitting for me – so could see myself doing it into the future.

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Here the weaving samples are taking shape..I cut them apart and knot them. You can see the wool I am using – the Lettlopi from the grocery store. I may felt some of these samples.

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Iceland sunset – a segment of it looked like a minimalist painting.

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Word a Day – Ja and Nei

Today’s word is já –  it means yes. It is pronounced like “yow” – makes me think of a cat. Working to catch up; drawings are up to date but posts are behind – so two words that go together – Yes and No as four days have already passed. The residency is moving quickly. No is pronouced like “neigh” – makes me think of a horse’s neigh.

RUDDLE_JAJa and Nei

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I also needle felted them into tiny felted “stones”

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Iceland sunset views from studio window

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and another!

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We shared art work today which was excellent – so great to see everyone’s work. It is exciting to be with a group of all textile artists!

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One Word a Day – Takk

The word of the day is Takk. Takk means thanks! This is how I decided to start to learn a few words is Icelandic. I was in the grocery store and I realized all I pretty much said was hello and thank you and that I was sure that I could learn to say that in Icelandic. Yesterday, I was out for a short walk and walked by a woman and said “Halló” in Icelandic and the woman replied back in Icelandic. I am not sure what she said – but it felt like a triumph! I think she said “good afternoon” or “good day”.

Ruddle-TAKK-thanksI need to go to the grocery store again today and will try out my little combination of “Halló” and “Takk”.

Ruddle-takk-wool-felted-webFelted “stone” takk piece – merino wool and fine wool from grocery store.

ruddle-takk-thread-webTakk – wool hand stitched sparsely onto muslin

I am interested in incorporating words into my work. It seems sort of tacked on right now. I will be working to see if I can integrate the words into the images and into the visual forms of the pieces. I am not sure it will ever work – but it is an interesting challenge – words are so different than the visual language.

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Icelandic Textile Residency

Here is the textile residency where I am staying. The building on the right is the artist residency. Some of the rooms are dedicated museum rooms and are preserved with artifacts of the original women’s college. The building to the left is the textile museum, which has a sod roof!

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This is a pretty special place. Throughout the building are traces of past artists. Many of the door stops are rocks with felted embroidered cozies and there are other textile touches at every turn.

Ruddle-rocks-textile-residencyFood in the grocery store is quite expensive.. However, wool in the grocery store is very inexpensive.

This is a small section of the wool wall in the grocery store. The whole wool wall  is about 4x as long as this picture. There is also Mettler sewing machine thread in the grocery store. I think the grocery store may cater a bit to the residency? But Blönduós is a wool center, so wool is collected, gathered, and produced here.

Ruddle-Wool-groceryI was more excited about the wool and admittedly bought more wool than groceries.

Ruddle-Wool-IcelandHere is some wool that I purchased.

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One Word a Day Project

Halló from Blondous!
One word a day project starting! – I am going to learn some Icelandic. One word a day. First day was Halló.

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The days of my residency are bundled in four neat seven day packages. My travels have been anything but neat and orderly. More on that later.

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Preview of Icelandic Residency

A preview of what I will be sharing on my upcoming trip:

I hope to be participating in the Réttir horse and sheep round up
at the end of beginning of September and learning new techniques such as wool felting, spinning and weaving.

Vatnsdaela Tapestry at the Textilsetur Islands.

As a guest I will be able to contribute to the tapestry and its history.

I am excited to share this adventure with you on this blog!

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Lichen in Iceland

My main focus while in Iceland is to naturally dye fabric with lichen while concentrating on an environmental piece about preservation of species.
Lichen is fascinating as it is really a combination of two species – algae or cyanobacteria and fungus in a symbiotic relationship.
Some Lichens are considered among the oldest living species.

Lichen are self-contained miniature ecosystems are considered “pioneer species” , which means that they are among the first living things to grow on bare rock, difficult soil or areas denuded of life by a disaster. Some lichen have been used to monitor air pollution in the environment as they are unable to avoid the accumulation of pollutants.

Not all, but many lichen are currently endangered.

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Iceland Residency

Welcome to my Icelandic Blog.
I will be taking an exciting adventure this Fall and posting about it here! I am going to be living in Iceland for the whole month of September to take part in an artist residency just for textile artists.

Blonduos, Iceland

 

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Sketch O’ The Day – Marrus orthocanna

Marrus orthocanna is a type of Siphonophore which is closely related to the Jelly fish.  They can be quite long – but this one is only 40 cm (a little over 1 foot)

The color was so amazing that I broke out the colored pencils. Not super happy with the result, the colors murked it up. Might try it in photoshop as well.

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