Sunday, September 22, 2013

New Booth!

A while back I had posted about how I was designing and building a new booth. Well, with the application of cash, it's humming along nicely. I've acquired the new curved-roof canopy with vents and a skylight, and all of the drapes for the inside. I also designed and created a sturdy, invisible curtain-rod system that lets drapes turn corners without a seam.

Here's the computer mockup I made so that I could take virtual measurements and count parts.

Here's the real frame set up in the studio with the old drapes so I could double-check everything and build a new curtain-rod system before ordering new drapes.

Then the drapes arrived. Oh, joy! They'll never be folded this neatly again.

Here's how my drape system handles corners. Seamlessly!

Here's the booth set up outside for a dry run. In this shot, the drapes are 8' tall. It's too much. The space feels a little intimidating and the ceiling is so high that I would need a real ladder if I had to work on lights during a show. This is no good so I hemmed up all of the drapes and dropped the booth down to 7' tall.

And, finally, here it is set up at its first real show. See how bright and spacious the ceiling is? There's a skylight and vents up there.

There are a few things left to upgrade:
- Decoration. I'm using my old booth decoration - photos of my work mounted on a scarf, hanging dress form, etc. These will be replaced with large professional photos.
- Lighting. A few years ago I bought super-cheap clip lights for a dark indoor show. They look terrible in such a beautiful booth and will be replaced with nice track lights when I can afford it.
- Podium. My podium weighs a ton and does not collapse when I pack the van. This needs to change when I can afford it.

We have a real threat of rain this weekend so I used the back wall to create a sheltered room for back stock and booth parts. This was only possible because the new drapes are opaque so they serve as an effective back wall.

And then I slid one of the drapes over so I could watch for customers while cutting the last set of shawls. Better late than never!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wildfire Cloth Sample Blanket. Time For Preorders!

It's that time again! Time to claim a piece of weaving from the newest cloth design before it's all woven and sold. I know that it doesn't happen that fast, but it sure seems like it sometimes.

This batch of cloth is pretty special to me and to others who went through the fire experience here in Wolf Creek. It was supposed to be designed and started to be woven a month ago, but we were all evacuated for about a month to escape the danger of a huge forest fire. It was over 60,000 acres altogether, and they managed to catch control of it less than 1/2 mile from my place and only a few dozen yards from the retreat center that means so much to me. We all saw lots of flames and breathed a lot of smoke before it was over. This cloth is my attempt to capture the intensity of that whole experience and some of the things I saw.

Here's the warp on the beam.

You'll notice that there are two more stripes than bobbins. I started weaving before I remembered to shoot the picture of the bobbins. The missing ones are black and navy blue. I also swapped the position of two of the reds before weaving it. Sorry.

Because the two edges are so different, I've decided to include two photos of each stripe. And sorry about the shadow of the camera in some of them. I'm running like a chicken with my head cut off right now in order to have some garments from this new batch before my next show in Arcata, California. It's next weekend. Yikes!

And just to reiterate the new boundaries around my custom work... I can weave you a piece with a custom weft color, but I cannot do custom sewing or weave nonstandard yardage sizes. It's just too much energy to track the details of a piece that's not something I weave every day. I currently weave square shawls, sofa throws, short hooded cloaks, and long hooded cloaks. Just let me know which garment style you're interest in and which color stripe most appeals to you.




Royal Blue


Multi-value Purple

Multi-value Magenta






Dijon Mustard

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Beam Switch Day, New Booth Demo

Today's a critical day in the preparation of the Wildfire beam. It moved from the "winding loom" to the production loom. I've woven just enough blue to get me by so it can sit on the almost-ready-to-weave-on loom while I prepare and weave some Wildfire.

Before: blue is in production.

After: wildfire is ready to prep for production.

If you look at the previous two shots again you can see that I'm working on the new booth at the same time in the same space. I need to take real measurements from it and count the parts that I have so that I can order the missing parts and block out the exact size of the new graphics and get them printed.

Here's how the booth (barely) fits into the studio.

And here's a panorama of one configuration of the new open layout. Now that I have good measurements I can order the new certified-flame-resistant opaque drapes.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wildfire Beam Is Wound!

When I set out in July to design and create a batch of cloth based on fire, I had no idea what was about to happen. The beam winding was interrupted by a lengthy fire evacuation, but I finally got it done.

Here are three semi-close-ups to give a feel for the gradients.

...and three real closeups so you can see the intense micro-contrast. This cloth is going to have a lively energy to it. Wildfire!