Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Name: April Gramolini
Location: Warren RI
Sites: aprilsworld.etsy.com, facebook
How did you first learn to weave?
I first learned how to weave in 5th grade. We wove on a piece of cardboard with slits on either end. I didn't weave again until I was around 19 or so when I remembered that project and how fun it was. Sometime in middle school I was taught to sew. The first thing I did start to finish was a tote bag. From there sewing became a need when I found all of my pants much too long. As I am 5'2" hemming pants was the first thing I stitched. Besides those two classes in middle school I am pretty much self taught. I learned a lot just through trial and error, the types of things like" I will never do that again".
Describe the process of making a bag- where do you get your design/color inspiration and how do you do the actual weaving?
I don't like store bought patterns or thinking about the design to much. I like for something to form very naturally and with relative ease. Pieces of cardboard progressed to wooden boards with nails (shown below). I start by stringing yarn around nails then weaving across with a long needle. It is a long and limiting process but a relaxing one. Board weaving is limiting because of the size constraints and spacing of yarn but freeing because I don't spend as much time planning the weave design out, like you would have to if using a heddle in other table looms. When I start to weave a bag or wallet I really don't think about it too much, the process of weaving is fun for me no matter the outcome. I pick out 3 (or more )colors and go from there. Being self taught has seemed to work for me as I don't worry about the rules and regulations of weaving, I just do what feels right to me.
What kind of material are you typically using?
I love sharp color contrasts, bright and funky colors, and stripes. I use mostly acrylic yarns from thrift stores, yard sales and places of that nature. I love fat quarters in the quilting section of fabric stores. I don't usually enjoy using the same fabrics over and over, so the quarters help things stay fresh.
Is this your full time work?
I worked for a tailor when I was 19, and learned a lot about alterations. When I was 21, I worked sewing roman shades and pillows and cushions. Now I work part-time sewing bags for Resails out of Newport RI. Although I love to learn about bag making, coming home from sewing all day to sew in my sewing room can be tiring. I cannot wait to quit my day job and make this my full time gig. I recently started making tote bags from reused coffee bean bags that are getting a ton of love, so I will see where this all takes me!