News & Notes from Cameron

How String Changed the World - March 2010

On my drive north to share "How String Changed the World" with the Central Coast Weavers Guild, I turned on the radio and caught this "Ears on Art" interview with two guild members, Roberta Foster and Kay Thorne. They spoke about an exhibit they had organized for the San Luis Obispo County Library on the rich history of spinning and weaving. What a great way to get our passions out to the larger world - an interview on a popular radio station with an interviewer who considers textiles to be another art form, a library interested in showcasing textiles, and guild members willing to create such a terrific display. And how fun to have these two women in my class the following day!
Link to, enjoy, and pass it along.

Below, left - (re)designing an early loom.  Below, right - my hostess, Sally Knight, in her studio.



Indigo Dreams - February 2010




I've always loved indigo blues and have been intrigued for years by Rowan Denim , a yarn "that bleeds and shrinks just like blue jeans." Another yarn I've wanted to weave with is Ty Dy from Knit One Crochet Too - each coloration is an object of beauty just sitting on the shelf. Well, Denim and Ty Dy have been engaging one another in conversation over the last couple of months - as I've been contemplating a design that will use both yarns.





New Visions/Ancient Paths is the theme for Convergence 2010 and both California Fibers and Designing Weavers challenged their membership to create work that addresses this theme in some aspect. Designing Weavers decided to use the same theme as Convergence, while California Fibers came up with Myths and Meanings as the thematic title for our group show that will be displayed during the Convergence Conference.




Both indigo yarns and tie dye have such historic resonance they seem the perfect materials to explore a new direction in my own work. And of course I am using twill weaves - the only possible choice for a yarn named Denim. My fingers are stained blue and I'm loving every minute of it. I've just finished weaving several samples and am now designing the schematics for a full-scale series, working title "Indigo Dreams."

Spinning Yarns – from Nepenthe to Bali, by Way of Long Beach - January 2010



myNepentheMy Nepenthe, signed by author Romney (Nani) Steele, arrived this month, and what a feast it is. MyNepenthe "celebrates the magic and history of place through food and the Fassett family". Nepenthe, in Big Sur, was the childhood home of designer and author Kaffe Fassett, who changed the world of knitting with his first book, Glorious Knits, written in 1985. An extraordinary colorist, he continues to inspire, create and teach. Nani Steele, Kaffe's niece, is a gifted storyteller and chef and her book is full of photos of the family, Big Sur, Kaffe's textiles and, of course, food! Yes, you can get the book cheaper from Amazon, but why not order a signed copy from the Phoenix Shop in Nepenthe instead?


I shared My Nepenthe with friends and colleagues at the National Needle Arts trade show in Long Beach, CA. Kaffe Fassett designs for Rowan and Westminster, so it was only fitting that his niece's book should be enjoyed at the Westminster booth!



Another booth at the trade show that created excitement was that of the Spinning and Weaving Association (SWA). Deborah Jarchow did a stellar job organizing the booth, and recruited members of the Designing Weavers Guild to help out. SWA introduces the joys of our craft to a broad audience, and as a result more retailers are bringing spinning and weaving into their mix of offerings.




CA_Fibers_jan_2010California Fibers met in late January, where member Michael Rohde presented a wonderful program on textile artisans of Bali. He passed around lots of fabulous handwovens and batiks which of course we all went crazy over. On February 5th, California Fibers will celebrate the opening of our next exhibit, Liminal Spaces, at Visions Gallery in San Diego. The exhibit runs from February 5th through April 25th.

Unique Signage from Curious Creek- December 2009


Earlier this month I visited my friend Kristine Brooks in San Diego, the talented hand dyer who founded Curious Creek Fibers.  No doubt about her location...I turned the corner and was greeted by a tree adorned with glorious purple yarns drying in the late afternoon sunlight. I'm sure that UPS has no problem finding HER studio! During the Christmas season I reflect on life and count my blessings. How lucky I am to have found the fiber community, which gives me so many lovely friendships and wonderful adventures!

The Coronation Carpet - November 2009


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Photos: Coronation Carpet

The Ardabil and Coronation carpets - two stellar examples of Persian carpet weaving - are on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through January 18th .   I urge all fiber enthusiasts to grab the opportunity to visit the museum, as these carpets are rarely exhibited due to their size and sensitivity to light. I am told that the Ardabil carpet is the more famous of the two, but  found the Coronation carpet to be much more intriguing. The fanciful motifs include jaguars and dragons peeking out from the foliage. On a "serious" carpet, it's fun to see such whimsy!