Weaving 3: Vagabond Weaving

« Back to course listings

TEXTL-318

In the current climate of "do it yourself," the acts of hand weaving and dyeing have proliferated as expressive languages to explore function, conceptual content, and formal concerns including scale and sculptural form. In this intensive hands-on course, students learn the techniques of weaving on the floor-loom, the processes of dyeing yarns, and how they interact to create color, pattern, image, and texture. Techniques include pattern weaves, structures for textural and sculptural forms, techniques of creating pattern and image in the dyeing process, dye calculations, and the use of the computer for designing pattern and structures. Both traditional and experimental use of materials and techniques are explored, and cross-discipline work is encouraged. Continuing or advanced students focus on developing individualized direction through an in-depth investigation of techniques, materials, and content.

Commonly understood as a controlled process bound by heavy tools and expensive equipment, weaving is, in fact no more than the interlacing of pliable linear elements, held under tension. As a means of liberating ourselves from formal studio constraints, this course invites participants to engage in woven "cloth", by any means necessary. We will begin by exploring traditional mobile looms, including backstrap, inkle, rigid heddle, and tablet weaving. We will also consider alternatively constructed looms by way of found objects or architectural influences. Strategies around materials, patterns, and forms will help locate intersections between space, production, and the body through the rhetoric of weaving vernacular. Readings, lectures, critiques, and discussions will illuminate histories of weaving as a nomadic process, collective practice, and performative spectacle.