Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tour of the Lacis Museum in Berkeley California

close up tatted 'cherry blossoms' by Taeko Takashima Kobe, Japan
In February I visited my son and family in California. I usually try to get together with weavers when I am out there. This year I spent a day with Melissa who is a member of the Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Artist Guild who lives in Sonoma, California during the winter and in near Lake Linden during the summer. 
Melissa and I spent a day visiting Berkeley, for a little shopping, lunch at the famous
Chez Panaisse Cafe, and a tour of the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles. 
A toast to my weaving friends !
Our lunch was lovely and very relaxing. The mission style interior was beautiful. When you eat at a place like this there is always room for dessert! Melissa choose the Cardamon Cake, which was quite tasty, I went for Chocolate Mousse.

The Lacis Museum started out at a retail store in 1965 by Kaethe Kliot. She was a fiber artist enthusiast and provided materials to the artists in the area. The Kliots collected many original pieces of fiber through out the years and it was also a place to exhibit some of this collection. When Kaethe died in 2002 her husband Jules, who had become a partner with her in the store, took over with the help of their son Perrin. Today the Museum is a Non Profit Corporation and the store provides all the textile needs, product and books for all forms of Fiber art. All proceeds from the store support the Lacis Museum which asks only for a donation for the tour. The original small store has grown to occupy over 10,000 square feet.
The Museum has at least two big shows a year. We visited the show Tatting from "Concept to Conceptual ART" and Art it was - I was not disappointed. June 3, 2016 - April 1, 2017

Irish Lace crocheted coll
PreColombian lace
We first explored the conventional and historic exhibits in the retail store. Period dresses and costumes were hanging from the ceiling and hundreds of antique sewing machines scattered about the store. Trying not to be distracted by the supply of textile products for sale all around us we waited for patiently for the our tour guide and three other people who called about a tour. 

The tour took us into another larger room that the walls were covered with Tatting- some so large they were hung high up on the wall. I did not realize it at the time but after reading the online story I think the tour guide was actually Jules the owner of the Lacis Museum. Some of the exhibit was traditional tatting of doilies and lace. Then we saw tatting that was colorful jewelry and bridal necklaces some of Irish origin and some of Asian origin. So Many great pieces to show you

' Christmas Fantasy' and 'Cherry Blossoms' by Taeko Takasima
a tatted alphabet

tatted San Francisco highlights

colored Tatting Lindsay Rodgers Scotland
 Then there was the creative use of color and technique that really caught my interest. Painting with colored tatted elements, Check out Helma Siepmann's web page with tatting lessons in German

Helma Siepmann Germany
close up of her interpretation of nature


Also some beautiful three dimensional Sea Urchin made Andrea Brewster of Oakland CA. 

Beautiful Jewelry by Terachi Yuuko of Kyoto, Japan.

Tatted and beaded necklace 'Lovely'
Tatted and beaded Purse 'Tsukubal'

Here a beaded and tatted Bridal necklace by Nina Libin of NY NY. I was truly inspired by this exhibit of Tatting.
Bride necklace

Tatted garment

Virginia Mescher   Parasols

Jules gave us a quick tatting lesson and a shuttle to take home.

Because we were so amazed by the art these tatters had created he took us upstairs and gave us a sneak preview of the show they will hang this Summer.

 'Pina Philippine Cloth of Pride, Endurance and Passion' July 7, 2017- May 4, 2018

LOOK CLOSE this is Applique
Pina is a fiber made from the leaves of the Pineapple plant and is commonly used in the Philippines to weave cloth. From the 1500's until today. It is sometimes combined with silk or Polyester to create a textile fabric for clothing. 
Each strand of the fiber is stripped and knotted one by one to form a continuous filament to be handwoven. Production of this fabric has been revived in the past 20 years.
Hand embroidered / Appliqued Pieces are called Sombrado. The cloth Calado is stain resistant and strong although it looks delicate. It takes 8 hours to make a 24 inch by one meter cloth.



Appliqued Pina Cloth

 this really looks like a good Exhibit coming in July 2017 to the Lacis Museum in Berkeley CA.
 I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you want to see more ask to see what is on my iPad.

Our next guild meeting is at noon Monday, March 20 at Gloria Dei church in Hancock, MI

The topic will be' color theory' by Phyllis Please bring 4 or 5 yarn samples from your stash, for her presentation.  A few yards of each will be fine.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Rag Rug weft cutting February 2017

3 shuttle Finnish Rag Rug

We had a big turnout at our February 2017 meeting, with many new members attending for the first time. Show and tell included examples of weaving, spinning, dying, and knitting. 
John brought in his samples from the class he audited at Finlandia last semester (Weaving and Off Loom Structures with Phyllis). He showed samples of log cabin and other techniques, as well as his final project, an overshot table runner and krokbragd rug.
John's samples

Anita brought her treasured buffalo fiber and discussed its properties and collection methods. 

Anita with Buffalo sample

Nancy, attending a meeting for the first time, brought a rug she wove. 
Katie holding her mat
Kathie showed off the first project she’s completed on her new rigid heddle loom, blue and white mats that she plans to give to her grandchildren.  She talked about some challenges she had beating nubby yarn that she included in her warp, and is already on to planning her next project. 

Dawn brought in some lovely hats and yarn that she hand-dyed. We were surprised to learn that the deep turquoise color in the hats was the result of a dye from black hollyhocks. 

 Clare's knit blanket
Clare shared her almost finished circular blanket knit from Icelandic wool. 

After show and tell wrapped up, Carol started the February program about cutting rags for rugs.

She showed samples of items woven and crocheted with rags.  She then demonstrated several ways of cutting rags using a rotary cutter or scissors, including methods for cutting continuous strips of fabric and cutting on the bias.   Carol also demonstrated how to use the guild’s rag cutter.

Guild Rag/Weft cutter - contact Carol for availability
 Thanks so much Clare for taking notes and pictures and writing this up for the Guild. 

Please join us for our next meeting which will be March 20th at noon at Gloria Dei Church in Hancock, MI. The program will be Color Theory presented by Phyllis.

if you want to come early or stay later to socialize bring a project along that you might have questions about or want work on.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Knitting Boot Camp January 2017

Buellwood Weaver and Fiber Artist Guild met Monday January 20th at Gloria Dei Church in Hancock, MI. Our guild is growing with new members each week. To entertain the group before our short business meetings we have show and tell and a short program. The program for this meeting was 'How to read a Knitting Pattern' presented by Clare our resident expert knitter. Not only did she answer questions we had about patterns that were giving us difficulty but she prepared some knit swatches to help us understand using the given gauge to select a proper yarn or needle substitution for a project we would like to knit.

woven top accents knit hat.

Clare just finished her final project for her Fiber Class at Finlandia so she shared with us the hats she created each using at least two fiber techniques in their construction. The ladies had a good time trying on Clare's creations and modeling them for my photos.

Kathie liked this little number
Woven Bonnet worn in first picture
knit with Inkle band accent
Clare has her favorite knit hat with an Inkle band
close up of Clare's fine knitting and band.
 Our show and tell continued with Anita, a new member who has moved up here from Virginia sharing samples of her Bobbin Lace work. Anita brought in two examples of her Bobbin Lace, Torchon Lace which uses the Torchon Grid to make squares and rectangles and more geometric designs such as the pink lace shown here. The other I believe was a sample of Milanese Lace which allows more curves in the design. 


torchon Lace on grid background

Dawn has been busy dying and knitting hats, although she admits she is giving away her hats as fast as she can knit them. These beautiful balls of yarn were dyed in Buckthorn bark with a pre soak in ammonia. The rose was the original color and the rust was after a giving the yarn an iron after bath and the lighter color from a dye bath with the color exhausted. Dawn will be teaching a natural dye class at the Porkies Folk School in July 2017

faucet base
Karen once again brought in a number of woven baskets she has been working on. She is pretty animated and it is hard to catch a picture of her that is not blurred. Her baskets are each a piece of art. The little one was created with Iris leaves and the base is an antique faucet handle. What a clever base this made for her basket.

One series of baskets each has a title as 'Helix' or 'Kaleidoscope' each is made of a variety of barks. Maybe a spruce outer and willow or cedar interior and other barks such as elm or poplar all her bark is from a fallen source. She is environmentally conscious of what she gathers for her baskets. All lovely examples are finished off with just the right embellishment.
Karen teaches her basket techniques all across the country. She will be teaching a basket and star class at the Porkies this summer in August 2017.

Needle case class project

Check out the class schedules at
love this basket!
 Carol has been half way around the world in Australia and besides coming home with a slight tan -something Scandinavians do not easily achieve- she had a few fiber treasures to share. A felted Angel ornament with embossed motifs in the gown, a cleaver doll to add to her collection and two beautiful Eco dyed scarves. 

Detail Eco dyed scarf
Australian Doll
felted Angle 

Obituary: Randall Darwall a talented weaver and designer from Cape Cod died last month. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Rhode Island at Convergence 2014.  I made the mistake of admiring his garments and scarves - all of which were beautiful. Randall and his partner Bryan were in the booth selling his garments. As lovely as his use of color and his weaving was, I could not afford a woven jacket and I thought I had enough scarves to last a lifetime. I was encouraged to try on a few just for fun, they quickly found a hand dyed garment that was made just "for me". They were certainly two charmers.
check out Randall's work at