Clasped Weft Weaving

In my latest piece I was using the clasped weft technique as a way to interconnect two different types of threads in the same open shed.  In my case, discount I was using cotton and wool roving yarn as a way to explore the different ways these two materials shrink and behave after washing.  20161126_132037

However, pilule the most common use for this technique is to have two different colors or textures of yarn in a single row of weaving.  This really is a simple technique with limitless design potential.

If you are interested in learning this technique has an informative blog entry by Kaz Madigan called, viagra  “Clasped Weft Weaving: Easy, High Impact Designs to Try“. Included are step by step pictures to help you get on your way.  If you prefer videos Kelly Casanova has a very thorough video for weaving this technique on a rigid heddle loom.  Below is a picture of the finished piece she works on in her video.

Kelly Casanova. Clasp weft table runner. Cotton. 2016.
Kelly Casanova. Clasp weft table runner. Cotton. 2016. <>




Made with Tears

Never have I cried so much during the making of a piece.

I have cried out of complete frustration but never from sadness and loss. I miss my auntie and making this piece about her was hard. Throughout the process, stomach I was flooded with memories of her, her beautiful smile and how she stayed a bright light until the bitter end. In the moments when I felt like I was going to get emotional I just walked away and took a break. However, the process (and emotion) caught up with me last week. I had just thought gleefully to myself, “The end is near!” and, as if on cue, warp threads started to snap. 1-2-3-4…and finally 5.  I lost it.  Emotion gushed silently out of my eyes.

I now find myself in a position of unknowing.  This piece is raw and ugly.  I don’t think I like it but it is over. I am relieved.

Here are a few preview pics…

Off the loom. Before washing or the secondary addition of raw wool.


Detail after first washing.
Detail after first washing.



Jacquard Images – Daniel Lévesque

Dick pics 2: electric boogaloo

sam_0736  sam_0734




dan-10-2016 dan-graphite

Much Neglected Posts

Here’s some progress images from thumbnail, resuscitation to close to being weavable file and a bonus Vsevolod (Svetlana’s younger but not youngest brother)

Since I’m still having trouble getting the words out to explain my characters, I will give you all name explanations
Daniel Lévesque – It’s an inside joke to myself. Literally named after my grade 7 teacher who would pronounce “Daniel” as it is in French and said Daniel kid would have a hissy fit every time because “it’s a girl’s name”. His name is supposed to be the French pronunciation, which I frequently get wrong.

Both him and Svetlana are couple, which is why I planned on two Jacquard panels.

I’ll be posting a few storyboard test things, but I hope to do more storyboards in the future to explain my characters better than I can by talking about them.


~Sara Y

Jacquard Images – Svetlana Igorevna Druzhnikova





sveta-lines1 sveta1

progress of Sveta

I might use a modified version of Daniel’s background for her . She will be approximately the same dimensions of 20″ x 66″ and will be woven with the same wool, look that being the Aubusson house tapestry wool.

I’ll see If I can get her weaving finished in the time I have left

(Her first name is based from an artist, pilule Svetlana Valueva, who’s work I loved in high school, and her patronymic is based from Igor Stravinsky, one of my favourite composers)

~Sara Y

Conversations surrounding Early Canadian Weaving

Are hand woven textile objects more than just a document of traditions born from the necessity of survival? How does hand weaving cloth still play a role in contemporary textiles? These questions pertain to my research this year. I have become very interested in the concept of origin and heirloom and how objects provide the importance of the handwoven coverlet as a crucial piece of the textile history of early Canada. Canadian textile Curator Dorothy K. Burnham provides us a foundation for defining the connective thread running from the importance of materials and culture in the past to the present. Immigration plays a key to the social, clinic economical development of cloth production in the home.

Coverlet for the bed. North America: Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada. C. 1860. L 234 cm x W 184 cm. Cotton and wool. Hand woven, overshot, hand-sewn. From the Textile Museum of Canada Collection.
Burnham, Dorothy K., Harold B. Burnham. Keep Me Warm One Night: Early handweaving in Eastern Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973. Print.
Photograph from Keep Me Warm One Night Exhibition. Royal Ontario Museum. 1971. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

In art history my research into early Canadian handweaving lead me to this wonderful book called Keep Me Warm One Night. It goes into great technical detail about the handweaving and  the importance of the coverlet in Canadian homes. This textile object served as a functional item for warmth on the bed, which was thought to be “the center of the home” (Burnham and Burnham 141). Coverlets were also equally beautiful in their craftsmanship often using handspun and hand dyed wool yarns. This cherished textile within the home of so many early Canadian homes serves as a point of entry to investigate identity. This book has opened my eyes to a truly detailed and rich history of weaving in Canada. As I move forward with my work I continue to consider ‘home’ as a key to my own identity and influence in my handwoven work. 


Luigi Bevilacqua Company

It amazes me what I can find online when I am supposed to be doing something that I don’t want to (i.e. writing my grad paper).  This morning I watched many, visit many, many weaving videos in Italian.  No, I don’t speak Italian but that didn’t stop me. Eventually I stumbled across a few videos with English subtitles. The two I am sharing are both about the Luigi Bevilacqua Company in Venice, Italy. Remarkably, the Bevilacqua family can trace their velvet weaving history back to the 1400’s. The equipment and workshop space is breathtaking.  If you feel the need to squander some of your time visit their website.  It includes videos, a catalogue of their fabrics and a blog.

To this day, the Luigi Bevilacqua Company weave their velvet, by hand, on Jacquard looms from the 19th century.  They create their patterns by hand and transfer the designs to punch cards!  Crazy.


Weaving Progress Shots

also subtitled “Unsolicited Dick Pics” even though there’s just one

Weaving progress! Forgot to take one more picture of what I have now

Feet from two days ago because it is three in the morning now
he’s exclusively legs
sample and progress wow!
Halfway done! 1652 picks


Trailer takes the place of the photo I forgot to take

I will be eventually posting the process of how I got to this point with more explanation and what not. Minimal skipping, buy more about hopefully the Jacquard will continue to play nice for the rest.

1991 picks down, some more to go, yay!

~Sara Y


A Struggle with (Im)perfection

In progress and still not willing to “mess” things up.

I won’t lie I’m a bit of a perfectionist with my work. When I have a picture or idea in my mind for a piece I set out to create it – EXACTLY. Are my pieces always perfect when I am done? Not yet and probably never. Perfection is unattainable. I don’t actually believe “perfection” exists but, website
sadly, orthopedist
that doesn’t seem to stop me from trying to find it. To avoid disappointing myself by the minute I have come to define perfection as those things I am able to accept and love as “perfectly imperfect”.

In my most recent piece, The unfinished business of a near perfect mind, OR, Portrait of a Boy, my struggle with perfection is different. I intentionally set out to make this weaving “imperfect”. In fact, in order for the piece to be “perfect” it couldn’t be. The struggle to intentionally pull threads out of place, to purposely leave broken threads as they snapped, to beat unevenly all tortured me throughout the making of this piece…until it didn’t.

At some point I stopped fighting and just accepted what was happening. I realised that I can’t really control the imperfect. I can’t plan to make mistakes beautiful or mishaps easy to deal with. I can only try to work with them and adapt to the challenges as they arise. The thing about life, and art, is there is always beauty to be found. The trick is being brave enough to have faith that the “perfectly imperfect” will be exactly what you need.

The unfinished business of a near perfect mind, OR, Portrait of a Boy


Beatwoven: The Fabric of Sound

Textile producer, here Beatwoven, recuperation developed software with a music producer which translates sound and music in to pixels that serve as a visual language of sound. Beatwoven Founder, allergy Nadia-Anne Ricketts, a professional dancer and weaver, saw a link between music, her loom and the patterns created by music and textiles independently and sought to fuse the two. The geometric imagery is then woven to develop high end fabric utilized in interiors as pillows and upholstery fabric. By looking in to the history of the music, the genre and the artist, Ricketts determines colour and textures. The cloth is woven in a silk weaving mill in England.


Pas De Deux. Tchaikovsky’s work from the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Silk, Rose metallic yarn and neutral cotton.
Source: Web. 28 Sept. 2016.

Piano Concerto No. 2. Rachmanioff. A sample from the collection. Silk, wool, copper and silver steel metallic yarns.
Source: Web. 28 Sept. 2016.


My Tribe. Collaboration with DJ and music producer Demi. Copper metallic yarn, silk, wool and polyester.
Source: Web. 28, Sept. 2016.

Learn more in the video below.


The Fabric of Sound – BeatWoven from Goldsmith on Vimeo.



We’ve lost Shuttleworks but not access to Maurice Brassard yarns

Last year I took a huge leap out of my comfort zone and enrolled in 3 ceramic courses at ACAD ceramic courses. At the time I was looking for a challenge, more about I left as if I had become too comfortable in my textile work and was no longer feeling a need to push and develop ideas. I was lucky enough to have Katrina Chaytor as my Introduction to Handbuilding instructor, and Robin Dupont as my Introduction to wheel throwing instructor. I remember my very first throwing class feeling as if I would never be able to move a 1 pound of clay into anything resembling a vessel, but still managed to accept the challenge it presented.

Katrina Chaytor. Cups and Saucers. Hand-built Earthenware with slip, glazes and iron transfers. Web. 19 Oct 2016.
Robin Dupont. Soda Fired Plates. 2012. Web. 19 Oct 2016.

What I learned in that semester was not only a multitude of skills and practices that I will carry throughout my life, but also the to practice care. To do the things you care about, to cherish new obstacles as an opportunity to grow as an artist and a person. I think what I learned the most is that the work I care about most is the work that doesn’t sit on a wall in a gallery, it is the work that I get to touch, use and cherish every day. Art can be enjoyed not only intellectually and visual but also physically. As I seek to develop more functional work for the use in the home exemplifying care has become an essential part of my practice.

Visit Katrina’s site here

And Robin’s here

There are two things about weaving supplies I would like to share with you all right away:

  1. Shuttleworks is CLOSED!
    Cal and Diane will have a final “last chance” sale starting Thursday, prescription
    October 6.  Check out their newsletter for the details.
  2. A & B Fiberworks
    This summer I discovered A & B Fiberworks at the Calgary Crossroads Market. Ann and her husband are the new local distributor for Maurice Brassard yarns (these are the same cottons that both Shuttleworks and the bookstore carried). Their store space at the market is small but they have most of the 2/8 cotton colorway in stock.Ann has all of the sample cards from the Maurice Brassard collection (bamboo, more about
    boucle, cottolin, etc.) available for perusing and she told me she would be happy to order in anything that you may need.

    A & B Fiberworks have both a website and Facebook page.



The Never Ending Process

Weaving, dosage dyeing, ambulance weaving, medications dyeing, weaving, weaving, weaving, dyeing…is all my my past semester seemed to consist of (not that I’m complaining… I loved it!).

I have been working on different types of weaving with different fibres and different dyeing processes. Here are some results you may have already seen:






One thing I had never tried was dyeing my own skein of yarn, which led me to my next project…

I had a skein of plain white wool which I dyed using 4 different colours of fibre reactive dyes in squirt bottles. I laid out the skein, applied my dye, and let it sit overnight wrapped up in plastic. When I went to wash out the dye the next morning, all of the colours seemed to have bled into each other, creating a VERY subtle colour. Although it wasn’t what I was expecting the colour to turn out like, I was quite happy with the end product. Here are some progress shots of the wool once it was dyed and then turned into a woven scarf:

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Trying out this new process was really fun for me and I think I will definitely use it again and try it with a different material.



Sydney Sogol

I came across a wonderful artist on Instagram named Sydney Sogol (@sydsthread). She primarily works with weaving and dyeing her own yarns – no wonder I found myself interested in her!


Sydney completed her Bachelor of Arts in Weaving and minor in Biology at Earlham College and then completed her MFA in Textile Design from East Carolina University. Her work is very inspirational to me because of the beautiful colours and patterns she creates in her weaving. You can see how unique each piece is because she hand-paints most of her warps and dyes her other yarns.

I’ve gotten a lot of inpiration and tips and tricks from seeing her work and her process. In one of my classes this semester I have been focusing on hand-dyeing my own weaving which I had never done before and was partially inspired by seeing Sydney’s work.

Not only does she make beautiful functional pieces, mycoplasmosis she also makes work she calls ‘woven paintings’. This body of work is another reason why she is an inspiration to me because they show how weaving, which is traditionally all about functional use, can be brought into a completely different atmosphere and can be looked at as fine art as compared to craft. My work tends to focus on the functional side of weaving, so being able to see this series of work is important for me in order to remind myself that I can branch out and try something different with my woven work.

wovenpaintingSo go check out her instagram page to follow her process and to keep up to date with her most current work! Also give her website a look to see her woven paintings series and a lot more professional work!



The Mysterious Weaver: Helena Vento

While working on my transparent cotton weavings, public health I began to research artists who work in a similar way. This search was too specific in nature, and I had a difficult time uncovering artists working with the same concepts and processes as me. However, I did find Helena Vento. When searched, her name brought results of only her Pinterest page, where little information was given as to her work as an artist or how these pieces evolved.

The images included a caption simply stating that they are a transparent weave of linen. Despite the lack of further information, I was inspired by the subtle design of the weavings, the finishing of the edges, and the documentation in everyday spaces. These are the decisions that are most critical in making a weaving successful, and I feel that her weavings are presented very successfully.


This work gave me something to think about as I continue to document my own weavings and strive to present them as successfully as possible.


Image Source/Helena’s Pinterest page:

Congratulations Jane Kidd!

Congratulations to Jane Kidd, view this year’s recipient of the Saidye Bronfman award!


The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts were created in 1999 by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada. Over the past 16 years, online the awards have celebrated Canada’s vibrant arts community and recognized remarkable careers in the visual and media arts.

In 2007, cough the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts (originally created in 1977) joined this prestigious family of awards. This ensures that Canada’s outstanding craft artists receive national recognition each year alongside their peers in the visual and media arts. The Canada Council has been administering the Saidye Bronfman Award since 1997.

Through the act of weaving, Jane Kidd, engages in a sensual process and employs a physical language to establish links with the viewer. Kidd appreciates that she is a participant in the continuum of its makers, the counterpoint it provides to modern life, and the hands-on materiality it embodies. She creates contemporary objects that convey a deep engagement with the natural world and draw our attention to our constantly renegotiated relationship with it.

Jane taught at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary, Alberta from 1979 until 2010.

“The Only Way Around Is Through”

In a reaction to the loss of a loved one, healthful I decided to switch gears within my practice and focus on creating a work that allowed myself to work through the grief. This work took shape in the form of two weavings which are roughly 2′ x 6′. The weaving process is repetitive and therefore conducive to reflection. I feel this direction provided an outlet for my grieving process, while also providing new insights for my practice.

Weaving, In Progress
Weaving, In Progress

After reflecting on the process, I see that this was an important step towards facing what I did not want to; in the weeks between losing my grandmother and beginning the weaving process, I inadvertently kept myself busy with activities which would not bring up thoughts of the loss. Starting and following through with the weaving put a personal pressure on dealing with every aspect of my loss.

Weaving, In Progress
Weaving, In Progress

The scale of these woven pieces is meant to reflect a figure. I chose to keep everything concerning the weaving minimal, including the weaving structure and colour palette. I did not want any distraction from the conceptual meaning of the pieces. I chose to weave openly so there would be a high level of transparency in the cloth. These pieces stand for what is gone, but not lost. It is an attempt to put to materiality what cannot be seen or touched, but is certainly present. It is an ode to the elusive, deep understanding that the loss of a loved one is only a physical loss.