A week on Vancouver Island... Victoria

I've just returned from a week teaching in Victoria, B.C. Canada. Victoria was gorgeous, and mostly I just saw the UVic campus and places nearby I could walk to. I enjoyed the mild weather and time on the beach watching the sailboats. I talked a little bit about my love for Canadians in my last blog post HERE.

I taught a three-day pre-conference workshop, Predicting the Unpredictable: Color in Tapestry to 18 enthusiastic tapestry weavers. They did a marvelous job playing with color. It is always fun to see the different things people come up with. I taught the same class two weeks before at Midwest Weaver's Conference and though the samples and exercises remained the same, results in the two classes were quite different.

During the conference I taught The Mobile Tapestry Weaver about weaving tapestry on small looms and on the last day it was all about ergonomics for fiber artists. (If you're interested in the small looms content, check out the online version HERE.)

What follows is a picture tour of my time in Victoria. If you are viewing this on my blog (as opposed to in an email), if you click on the images they'll come up in a bigger lightbox.

Virginia did an interesting comparison of transparency and value using an idea from Josef Albers' Interaction of Color. She was looking at whether blending the colors in the bundle or choosing entirely different colors worked well for the transparency. (The answer always being, it depends!)

Virginia's Albers comparison

The experimentation happening in these samplers was quite exciting. We worked a lot on value and then talked about Itten's 7 color contrasts and how each affects and can contribute to our choices for color in tapestry.

I am always excited to find very young people in my classes. Weaving conferences, after all, tend to be full of people who have time and means to attend such things--which means people who are usually at least middle-aged. Adrienne was a high-schooler who came to the conference with her mom and had almost no experience with tapestry weaving. She was in my 3-day color class. When presented with a value challenge, this is what she wove--quietly with no help from me (!). Notice the shadow from the ball extending into the grayscale. She is a talented and very bright young woman indeed. May she continue weaving for many decades!

Adrienne's value study

Jeanelle, Jenny, and Donna discussing looms. 

A group in the color class working on value.

The one-day Mobile Tapestry Weaver class was a lot of fun. Most of us used Hokett looms though there were a few other looms out there.

Donna took all of my classes (as did a surprising number of other attendees!). Here she is working on a Hokett project.

Elys wove quickly and accomplished this entire piece during the class.

I also saw a few inspirational tapestry pieces in the vendor hall and exhibits. Barbara Heller works in Vancouver in the Fibre Arts Studio with four other fiber artists. Though Barbara was not able to come to ANWG, some of her tapestries did. This piece, Stonewall Blues, was wonderful. It was only perhaps a meter across and I believe was woven at about 4 epi. The color blending and texture were marvelous.

Barbara Heller, Stonewall Blues, as seen in the Fibre Arts Studio booth in the ANWG vendor hall

Barbara Heller, Stonewall Blues detail

Quite by accident, I discovered the work of Katia Paroczi. I had about 10 minutes to buzz through the exhibits at lunch one day before returning to teach. I spotted the tapestries by Katia immediately and wondered why I had never seen her work before. Leaving the exhibit hall, I ran into her and was able to ask a few questions about her work. These tapestries are woven with her handspun. She buys the roving and then mixes the colors by carding. Her technique was perfect and her designs incredibly engaging.

The funny thing is I was able to identify Katia because she was riding a bike. The docent who was watching the exhibit hall realized how interested I was in her work and offered that Katia was here and had ridden her bike from Bellingham where she lives (Katia clarified that she had ridden her bike from the ferry though she could have ridden from Bellingham). So when a young woman on a bike pulled over on the sidewalk to talk to me, I was sure it was her. Fortunately I didn't embarrass myself with that assumption!

Katia Paroczi, Bellingham Bay Impressions II, this piece won the People's Choice award.

Katia Paroczi, Bellingham Bay Impressions I

Katia Paroczi, Bellingham Bay Impressions II detail

Katia Paroczi, Bellingham Bay Impressions I detail

Cadboro-Gyro beach is about a half-mile walk from UVic campus. I enjoyed a little time there spinning and watching the sailboats.