Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Post - Betz

Winston Church once said “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles with it” and that’s what Laura Fry did during the five days I spent with her at her studio in Prince George, Canada.  I wanted to learn how to be a more productive weaver and how to design projects and that is exactly what I did.  When I arrived, the loom was warped so that I could immediately begin to weave. She videotaped me at various times when I wasn’t paying attention and we watched the video on the last day.  It was obvious how much my weaving had improved.  I was amazed. 
It is difficult to put into words all that I learned, but below is a short list that I think you might be interested in:
·     The shuttle should be brought above the beater not in front of it so that the thread doesn’t get caught in the selvedge. 
·     Grab the beater so that your arm is perpendicular to it not in the middle of it
·     Push the treadle with your entire foot, not the ball of your foot
·     Use a rocking motion when weaving, i.e., lean forward to throw the shuttle & push the treadle then lean back
·     If using two shuttles, put stripes on the edges using the color that is being carried so it doesn’t show
·     Minimum input, maximum output
·     Perfection kills good
During the five days I made one towel and 4 beautiful scarves.  My weaving skills improved, I used a trapeze to warp the loom and how to use a reed rather than a raddle.   I learned a few of Laura’s secrets about how to design my own projects. In addition, Laura showed me how to wet finish and cold hard press my projects.   It was a wonderful experience and one I will never forget.  Thank you Laura to being an outstanding teacher and allowing me to light my candle in your knowledge.

  Betz Frederick

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving us a bird's-eye view into what it's like to be Laura's student for a few days. It sounds highly rewarding, and I loved the summary of the benefits you achieved. Lovely work, too. Makes me think we in the weaving community need to find a way to engineer a reverse round robin, where Laura is the one who goes around the country from loom to loom, correcting our posture, our shuttle handling, our treadling and beating, advising on finishing, and generally saving us years of entrenched bad habits. I will have to start playing the lottery so I can sponsor this....