Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Instant Heirloom: Jan of Obelisk Fiber Arts

Name: Jan, Obelisk Fiber Arts
Location: Saint Paul, MN

How did you learn to weave?
I learned to weave on a second hand rigid heddle loom I picked up when I was in college. I found a nice little book about weaving on a rigid heddle loom written by a local weaver, and used that to learn to weave. I finally met the author a few years ago, and she has continued to be an inspiration.

What about it appeals to you so much?
I think the variety of possibilities in terms of colors, patterns, and fibers appeals in weaving to me.



Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?
Most of my ideas are from feeling, inspired by nature.

Is this your fulltime work?
It's time and a half really!


How long does it take you to make a scarf? A rug?
This is a difficult question to answer because so much depends on the complexity of the piece. A simple plain weave scarf can take less than a day. A more complex scarf especially one with fine, closely set yarns takes 2 or 3 days to weave. Shadow weave or other structures and patterns that require 2 or more shuttles with different colors of yarn take awhile. Wet finishing, and finishing the fringe adds time beyond the actual weaving. A simple overhand knot of the fringe is fastest; flat 4-stand braiding the slowest.

The only rugs I've woven, ripsmatta, shadow weave and double binding all require 2 shuttles, so they take days to complete. Shadow weave rugs take more time because of the color changes in the warp. Some of the fancier fringe finishes on rugs can take days. Hemming is much faster. When you consider the time needed to plan and design, wind the warp, dress the loom, do the actual weaving, then finishing, weaving is a slow process. I've never timed the process from start to finish, hence my vague answer.

1 comment:

  1. Jan, the texture you get is amazing - and your photographs show that off fantastically! Bravo!