Wednesday, January 29, 2014

old spindles with a new twist

Chancay Spindle Whorls — Peru

800 AD - 1200 AD

A collection of five Chancay spindle whorls. The wooden spindles are painted with bands of varying colors. The terracotta whorls are carved and painted and vary in form. Condition is very good. A few spindles have minor losses and faded paint. Several whorls are chipped, but overall a nice group.

Sizes range from approx 9.5" long to 13" long.

From the first moment I saw an ancient Chancay Spindle Whorl, I was captivated.

There was something about that small photograph and description of them.

How wonderful it would be to actually see one, hold one, spin one, I thought.

And thought some more.

I often found myself daydreaming about them.

It was only a matter of time before I decided I needed to try and make one.

Last summer I played around with some clay and made some bead whorls. (link)

Finally, I've gotten around to finishing some of them. I've experimented with a sort of pit and saggar meets raku firings of my own making. Low temperature, no glaze but enough to give me a bisqueware bead. I've played with different ways to get some color and used different reduction materials.

The beads are glowing red when I take them out of the fire and put them in my little can full of saggar materials.

I've used things like coffee grounds, and grapefruit rinds, and handfuls of tow old hummingbirds nest, and broken pieces of a hornet's nest.....there have been hemlock pinecones, dried corn cob, wood shavings...chicken manure, dried herbs, etc.

After the smoke has cleared, I dump them in the snow.

It is a primitive technique, and the materials are simple.

I'm happy with the results.

And very happy with the way they spin!

I painted the shafts, and don't fix the whorls in place, but wrap the whorl with fiber. This way, I can remove the whorl when it becomes too heavy for the cop. The original Chancay spindles were most likely used as support style spindles, but I am spinning with them in hand, from a distaff.

So, I keep dreaming about those Chancay spindles, as I keep trying to make my dreams come true by making a few spindles of my own.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

linen on the line

There has been some tape weaving happening. I used the Double Hole Rigid Heddle Tape Loom and wove a plain weave, so I only warped one row of holes.

Last night, January's Full Wolf Moon had a frosty halo around it. The snow it predicted, happened overnight and early this morning.

My handspun/handwoven linen tapes had been set to hang on the clothesline early in the evening..and they caught the moonlight that danced and glittered over the frozen warp and weft.

I finished one tape early last week, and it had been hanging out there for a few days before the second was complete.

If you look close, you can see that one tape is already lighter than the other. I will leave them on the line for a few days. They will soften with help from the freeze and thaw of the tempertures, and they will lighten with help from the sun and the moon.

Other projects are in the works, there are clay beads for spindles gathering together in a bowl. I'm inspired by the small weights-the small clay bead shapes-and the colorful shafts that I see on the Ancient Chancay Spindles.

I won't show you the fresh white snow that falling outside the window, rather, this bold red Amryllis that blooms inside the window!

Monday, January 06, 2014

in preparation

Roc Day is upon us again!

My Almanac states that today is Twelfth Day....

"At Twelfth Day (Jan. 6) the days are lengthened a cock-stride."

The garden is sleeping.

But in the bud, there is a spring that waits to be.

"As the day lengthens, the cold strengthens."

In preparation for tomorrow, Roc Day (St. Distaves Day), I'm clearing the bobbins. And preparing for the icy weather that is predicted.

I look forward to opening up the flax and dressing the distaff!

and to weaving with linen!

Happy Roc Day! Celebrate the Distaff!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin