The Journal for Weavers Spinners and Dyers

Summer School 2019 - Norah Ball

Summer School 2019 - Norah Ball

Another way of looking at it - alternative approaches to designing and
making
- course tutor Norah Ball

Norah Ball
Norah Ball

I never wanted to weave: I started by chance, first using plain weave and twill, then progressing to more complex structures.I didn’t take to college courses: I found it more productive to learn from books and videos, by trial and error, and on a ‘need to know’ basis.

I intended converting my floor loom to computer control but didn’t and I avoided shaft envy: I still only possess an eight-shaft floor loom and rarely use all the shafts.

So why am I telling you this? Concentrating on weave structure and colour didn’t engage or excite me: there needed to be more. If I hadn’t found another way of looking at it I doubt I would still be weaving.

My work
My work

My work is somewhat eclectic as the extracts above may suggest. I can and do use traditional structures, but rarely are my finished pieces weaving alone. Other skills nudge my elbow asking to be included: paint, dye, stitch, print and photography for example. ‘Design’ is often done in my head or with pen and paper rather than by computer. At the moment there is a lot of thinking rather than weaving going on! My work seems to be taking a new direction - but I’m not exactly sure where it’s going yet!

For folk contemplating joining my workshop at Summer School, don’t get too worried! I won’t bring a crystal ball to try and read your mind! Instead, I will be introducing some simple design methods you might like to try, perhaps including these among others ….

Design montage
Design montage

…. and also some simple hand manipulated weaving techniques, including perhaps those below, that might be used to produce art pieces, household textiles or garments.

Samples
Samples

You would not end the week with complete mastery of different design or weaving methods, but hopefully you could gain an insight into a different way of thinking and working. Techniques that do appeal can then be explored further as part of your own weaving development.

Categories: Weaving Dyeing Design Textiles

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