Monday, August 24, 2009

Jacquard!


What a treat! I spent the week of August 10-14 nurturing my passion. I traveled between the boat on Lake Champlain, NY and beautiful downtown Montreal, Quebec to be trained in the Pointcarré program which interfaces with the Jacquard looms at the Montreal Center for Contemporary Textiles (MCCT) Louise Lemieux Bérubé, the center's director taught us the fine points of jacquard design and how to create four different types of jacquard weave structures.


Louise is a master -- both as a very powerful creative artist in this medium and as a teacher. The Center is celebrating its 20th year anniversary this year under her very capable direction. On the last day of the workshop, she gave us a preview of her exhibition called "Love One Another" which opens officially August 24th for 2 months in the center's gallery. Her study was inspired by a desire to show the changing ethnic face of Quebec. She photographed many different people who she has met in different ways: some are good friends, some are people she met briefly, and others are interesting strangers. She designed the jacquard fabric panels so that the figures are lifesized or larger, so that the viewer is face to face with these fascinating people. She has paired them in ways that force the viewer to think about their interaction: a beautiful Asian woman with a comical Jamaican lady, a bearded thin man with aids beside his pinstriped suited lawyer brother who he hadn't see in many years, a Muslim woman with a young African boy (the Muslim woman is actually a self-portrait of Louise who stood in for the young Muslim woman whose husband forbade her to wear traditional clothing.) It's quite a spiritual experience to view this meticulously detailed woven work!

The workshop participants worked in the computer lab designing fabrics that were woven by student weaving apprentices on one of 2 jacquard looms: the older one with a black warp and newer one with a natural white warp. On the first day we designed a Repeat Design using shapes, Tuesday's lesson was on Single Layer Weaves using shaded twills and satins, on Wednesday we explored Multiple Weaves with one warp and two wefts, on Thursday the 4th day we learned about Multiple Weaves with Double Weave pockets, stitched, and piqué. The last day was spent finishing up samples, saving our information in Photoshop so that we can see it at home and enjoying the exhibition and Louise's explanation of the pieces in the show.

This is my first sample woven on the black warp...
Here is a short video clip of the samples being woven...

video
Some more photos of Louise's exhibit and the workshop are on my Flikr site:

2 comments:

  1. I just discovered your blog and will be coming back to read from start to finish. The workshop looks wonderful.

    My dogs are very jealous that yours gets so much water time. They've been swimming this summer and they love it as well as boat rides with their hair blowing in the breeze.

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  2. Thanks for the wonderful compliment! The workshop was fantastic... a lot of mind work and somewhat exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time!

    It is such fun to see Kizi glide into the water -- she looks like a floating alligator -- entirely submerged except her head! She wasn't too keen about jumping off our sailboat, though. Maybe next summer. The water is already getting nippy and it's just Sept 1st!

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