NatureArt Lab

Studio Course: TEXTURE WEAVING FROM NATURE, 1 - 22 June 2021, Beginners to Intermediate

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Explore the textures found in rocks, bark, leaf litter in woven tapestry using knotting, looping and tufting techniques with award-winning tapestry artist Valerie Kirk.

About our tutor: 

Valerie Kirk studied art and design at Edinburgh College of Art, where she discovered woven tapestry. As a graduate she came to Australia and worked in the Australian Tapestry Workshop and travelled the country to teach in communities and colleges. Valerie works as an artist-in-residence, exhibits and leads community tapestry projects and textile tours. Between 1990-2017 she was a Senior Lecturer and Head of Textiles at the Australian National University.

During 2004-2019 she was commissioned to design and weave six major tapestries to celebrate Nobel/Japan/Kyoto Prizes in Science associated with the Australian National University.

Awards such as the Australia Council New Work grant, ACT Creative Arts Fellowship, Muse Arts Woman of the Year Award and the Canberra Centenary Community Tapestry project mark substantial success and her artwork can be seen in collections nationally and internationally.

About the course:
Look around you at the textures in nature and bring photos or small samples of bark or rocks to work from in the class. Using a range of plant and animal fibre for weaving – wool, cotton, jute, linen etc. we will experience the different qualities of the yarns. Through using different thicknesses of weft and warp and plying yarns together interesting surfaces can be woven. Additional knotting and tufting techniques can also add more 3D qualities.

Beginners will learn the basics of warping up a tapestry frame loom, plain weave and texture techniques in a sampler or small tapestry format. Advanced weavers can weave a small tapestry of their own design incorporating ideas from nature and the texture techniques.

Advanced weavers will work through the design process to develop an image for a small shaped tapestry and can learn some of the more advanced techniques.

Learning Outcomes: 

On completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Warp up a tapestry on a small portable loom
  • Select appropriate weft materials
  • Mark shapes on the tapestry warp as a guide for weaving
  • Use basic techniques to weave a small tapestry and finish it off

More advanced students will also be able to:

  • Design and weave their own small tapestry.

Materials to bring: 

Tapestry frame if you already have one (we can tell you how to make your own simple frame/or we can provide one for you to borrow)
-    Tapestry bobbins if you have any (also can borrow or buy)
-    Yarns you may like to use in a range of materials. Restricting the colour palette will allow you to concentrate on texture, eg all neutral, or tonal greys... or yarns that match the colour in your photo or specimen you collected.  
-    Scissors
-    Notebook
-    Reading glasses if needed.

Warp and yarn for sampling are included. 

Suitable for all students from beginners through to intermediate students who wish to learn weaving skills. Class size is limited to 12 students. 

Note: Hand hygiene and social distancing rules will apply throughout the workshop. Students are requested to bring their own drinks and snacks for the workshop duration.

Dates: 1 - 22 June 2021

Times: Tuesday mornings 9.30am - 12.30pm

Venue: NatureArt Lab Studio, M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith, ACT

 Illustrations of weaving textures courtesy of Valerie Kirk

textile weavingtextile weaving