Friday, September 15, 2006

Fruit of the Loom


I think you know by now that my extended family is very musical! We've come by it naturally through my mom who lived and breathed music her entire life as a pianist, composer and choir director.


Both sister Ruth and I have posted about her son, Peter, who is an accomplished guitarist. But this post is not about music or about Peter but about his 18-month-older sister, Lesley, Ruth's daughter, who is an accomplished fabrics maker and designer. Just take a look at this shawl that Lesley made for her mom, hanging on the living room chair at The Farm. When I found out Lesley had actually made it, I had two responses: "But of course!" and [no words, jaw dropped on the floor]. Now take a look at it up close and personal. I didn't have the foresight to take this close-up while we were at The Farm in Michigan last month so I asked Ruth to please take a pic for me. Here it is:


Ruth's photo, by request.


Now here's the artist, Lesley, herself, telling us about the 100% rayon shawl! It took her 20-25 hours to make, 10-15 of which were in threading the loom itself. Once the loom was strung (the warp), it took her another 10 hours to weave the woof/weft of the scarf. She says the pattern of the scarf is called "Color and Weave," which means that the warp and the weft are equally threaded. She told me she used 3 different patterns divided equally throughout the scarf and then alternated patterns to see what the different patterns would do in the different areas. Because each pattern is different, it required different pedal combinations. Ruth has a post with a pic of the loom as well as a post about Lesley herself, one talented woman!

Lesley now lives in NYC after graduating from Detroit's College for Creative Studies. After 3 months of interning, she became a salaried employee at a company that designs and builds tension-fabric structures. In fact, she's already one of their creative designers! Eventually, she'd like to have her own studio and make creative items like this shawl full-time.

The cousins were trying to quesstimate how much that shawl would cost in a NYC specialty store. They came up with $200. Hands down, she's worth every cent and more!

Lesley, we're proud of you!

24 comments:

  1. wow - so exciting yet incredible! That girl has talent... wow wow wow... I'd love to have that talent too but I wouldn't have the patience to do it, too many other things I want to do too... hehe

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  2. Wow, what a creative young woman! That shawl is just stunning. Weaving must be so fascinating when you know what you're doing - I wouldn't have a clue, it all looks so complicated.

    Lesley has a great future ahead of her!

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  3. ET: I'm sure it takes a lot of patience but it's the kind of creativity I could really get into. I tend to have patience for that kind of thing.

    Christina: Lesley actually hopes someday to have her own loom. Can you imagine how fun and creative that would be! And therapeutic after a long day's work, I'm sure. A great hobby!

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  4. So cool! I can't wait to catch up with Lesley and see some of her creations in person. Go girl! :-)

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  5. I get to wear that shawl! :-D I haven't yet, but I look forward to the day, probably on a visit to NYC! Hmm, need just the right outfit . . . shopping, shopping.

    Thank you for doing this post! She really is amazingly talented and full of creative energy.

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  6. BTW, I took your CCS link (Lesley's school) and found a rendering of hers in the gallery under interior design. :)

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  7. Amy: You cousins all have so much to share of your many talents!

    Ruth: Wow. Thanks for alerting me to Lesley's rendering under Interior Design. So cool. Yes, YOU get to wear that shawl! Lucky tou! I know Don is proud as well.

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  8. I used to learn handweaving when I was at the beginning of my twenties. I had even bought a loom. But I didn't make it for long. See how much time to string the warp. Just to prepare the threads before is very long too and for those parts you need to be two people. They were not always available. Weaving itself (weft) took a lot less time. I gave up.
    This said, Lesley makes a very good job! Hats off!

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  9. Do you still have your loom, Mei? And is it a big one like in Ruth's post? I know that Lesley wants to buy one some day! :) She never said anything about needing two peopple to thread the warp. Hmm. I wonder if that part has changed in the years since you did it?!

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  10. What a lovely post and how beautiful these fabrics are!! Thanks for sharing – no wonder you are proud of Lesley and I wish her the very best luck!
    You know I’m also fascinated of old furniture too and the first pic reminded me of my grandma. I can easily visionlice her sitting there telling me fairytales in the good old day.
    Have a lovely Sunday and a great week ahead:-)

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  11. I don't kept it for long. It was a small one you put on a table. I thought it would be easier for one person. But I still needed two people and I was limited to small pieces like tablemats and cushions. I would be surprised that it changed to be only one person, considering what must be done with both persons, a job that cannot be avoided.

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  12. Renny: Those memories are so important, making up who we are. Your history in Norway is so much longer than ours anyway! You, too, have a great Sunday (almost over for you by now :)

    Mei: Hmm. I'll defintely talk to Lesley about this because needing another person to help thread the loom is something she never mentioned. Where's Lesley when we need her!

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  13. That's incredible. I'm happy that I can sew on buttons and basic stuff, but a shawl?? Nope. I have no patience for that. Chapeau! I wish I had that talent!

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  14. Wow! That is a such beautiful shawl..and I just LOVE the colours.

    I enjoyed the college's website too, the way they display the designs and art as the background.

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  15. thank you Aunt Boots! what a thoughtful post, it means so much to me. i'm so lucky to have found my passion so early in my life, i only hope others can do the same.

    and thank you all for your kind comments!

    as for a loom needing 2 people to thread it....i certainly WISH i was 2 people! alas, i've always practiced lone threading. but i've never woven with a table loom. this sounds like another contraption entirely! i'd love to hear more!

    love you aunty. =) hope you're doing well.

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  16. CS: It is definitely a talent for which one needs patience. I can tell just by looking!

    DW: The colors are FABULOUS, I agree. It's a great school that does great at job placement afterwards!

    Lesley: You deserve every bit of it, of course! Hmm. You'd think the larger loom would need 2 people to thread it all that much more. You are indeed talented!

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  17. Thank you for posting this I wondered about the shawl and Lesley when you posted her pic in your album about farm day.
    So wonderful that she has such a passion.
    Beautiful work. She must have TONS of patience.
    Thank you also for the link to her college. I am currently involved in the college search for my youngest daughter. This school looks fantastic. I will point it out to her.

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  18. Oh yes, Jozee. And if you want more info, I'm sure Lesley would be more than happy to answer any questions!

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  19. That's beautiful. Lesley definitely does have talent. Love it.

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  20. I agree, Tim. Lesley will appreciate your comment, I'm sure.

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  21. Literally, my mouth dropped when I saw how beautiful this shawl is! I'm totally in awe! You've got a very gifted family.

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  22. Yes, Mad, I think you're right about the family being "gifted." And I think we all see it as a privilege AND a responsibility. Thank you.

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