Alternative Materials and Fall Teaching
I'm always on the lookout for something unique to weave with. While perusing Facebook Marketplace and entering a search for "rope" I came across some military salvage up for sale. I was originally going to buy 100 feet to "test out" what it would look like...but by the time I could get there, only ONE.HUGE.BARREL. was left, containing 2,000 feet of line.
Like..."bribe your boyfriend with a big cooked meal if you help me get it" kinda barrel. 20 times more than I originally planned on buying. Geez, was it heavy.
The "no, really...I actually want it" look came out. Luckily, he's game for any of this craziness. Most of my family and friends know my imagination runs amuck and the wheels turn if I come across something I can wrap around four rails.
Nothing is safe. I have led many seatweaving material adventures.
Upon arrival though, the store had so many things to look through it wasn't a wasted trip at all. We will be back. Especially after I figure out what I can do with those large mesh military screens with grommets on the sides. Shades for the greenhouse I'm eventually going to build out of the 3 stacks or rescued windows in my backyard? (Let's not go there...right now)
Given the fact that these chairs were PDU (pretty darn ugly) when I picked them up, I think they came out smashingly. Upcyclers have a "vision" of what something can be, if nothing else.
I wanted to weave with nylon because I had so many customers ask if chairs could stay out in the elements. Rattan and reed are natural products and would be compromised by the rain and wind. They should stay UNDER a porch, and brought inside when for the season in the winter.
This sturdy weave should hold up to more weather than the natural material.
Since it was salvaged material...I had to wash it a couple times. Big tubs of hot water, Dawn and a bit of ammonia (no bleach, it turns nylon yellow) Drying it was an issue! First I used fans and towels on the floor. I resorted to putting it piled up on my hot car hood on a 90+ degree day in the beating noon sun.
There are a few imperfections, but barely noticeable.
I did a demo at fair in Mystic, CT this past weekend and they got a lot of attention. A great fit for a Maritime Community. Oil based paint and nylon. Rugged for the weather they may encounter.
I spend a lot of time in Mystic in the summer. I was actually "caught on camera" weaving in one of my favorite spots, Schooner Wharf next to Tall Tales. It appeared in The Day.
If you happen to be in Mystic at Schooner Wharf, stop in and pick up a custom-designed T-shirt I made on request. They are hand silk-screened one by one in a variety of colors. They are available at Mystic Nautical, a marine consignment shop at 15 Holmes Street. The same dock where you can schedule a sail on Tall Tales.
The 12th Annual Seatweavers' Guild Annual Gathering
If you had told me 5 years ago I would be so heavily involved in seatweaving, traveling around teaching, and generally enjoying life doing what I do...I may have given you a disconcerted look.
Yet, here I am. Working from home or anyplace else that has room to host a chair (a dock, a gathering, a back yard, a friend's house, the garage studio, a lakeside view) and some room to weave.
I work some odd hours. Can't sleep? Get up at 2 am and weave. Nice day? Work outside. Rainy? Work inside. On the road? Bring work with you. Watching the kids? They can help you pull the cane through...and learn.
The last week of July I traveled to Michigan for the 12th Annual Seatweavers' Guild Annual Gathering. About 40-50 folks from all over the country came to learn, refresh their skills or learn new ones. My class was on dyeing reed. Since I was traveling light, my only on-board component was my packages of dye to bring along. Imagine my surprise when my luggage got pulled for inspection. I had purposely brought powdered dye instead of liquid!
But in hindsight...good job, TSA
The Gathering was Friday through Sunday, with a full day of classes on Saturday, Tips and Tricks for weavers on Sunday and a public demo for the general public on Sunday afternoon.
Attendees came from all over the country, and Jill Woods hosted with flair!
Classes were on Natural Rush (cattail), Danish Cord, Synthetic Cane, Rushing Corners, Medallion Cane Methods, and some discussion on Alternative Weaving Materials.
Check out some alternative materials here
There were wonderful meals, a side trip to Peerless Rattan and in general, just a whole lot of fun and learning.
The learning day ended with a genius idea of Jill Woods for "seatweaving relay" . Three teams competed in a race to partially cane and rush chairs. Fun stuff!
If you are interested in learning more about the Guild go to seatweaversguild.org
Next year's event will be held near Boston. Plans are already under way!
To see a large gallery, view here: https://www.suemuldoonimages.com/Seatweaving/TSWG-Gathering-2019/
Arts On Main, Coventry CT
Ledyard Farmers Market :
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle August 28, 4-7 pm
Fiber College Of Maine
September 4-8, Searsport Maine
Fiber College of Maine is an annual fiber festival whose sole reason for being is to celebrate the fiber arts in all forms. Maine is particularly blessed with artistic energy and inspiration from the flow of the tides, the rolling hills of the blueberry fields, and the stars in the night sky.
Each year, the weekend after Labor Day, fiber artists, crafters and students gather together for a weekend of casual fiber classes, time with friends old and new, live animals and good food. Location is Searsport Shores Ocean Campground, Searsport, Maine.
Find my classes online. Corded Wool Stool and Porch Weave Stool
New York Sheep and Wool Festival
October 19 and 20
Porch Weave, Herringbone Cane, Fiber Rush, Shaker Tape
Items for sale! Contact me for details.
Blue porch rockers: $350 each or $600 pair ~ Child's painted rocker $65 ~ Wakefield Wicker Rocker $275 ~ Vintage restored canvas chairs $250 pair ~ Keene NH Rattan Rocker $425
~ Redux For You T-shirts $15 each or free with $100+ purchase~
Farmers Markets across the state are in full swing! Celebrate the local bounty our farms, producers and artisans have to offer. As webmaster of the CT Farmers Market Trail I am honored to work with a large group of dedicated professionals that bring you the best and the freshest from around the state.
Check the website for a market near you. Each market also suggests places to go in the surrounding area to make it a day trip.
Sue Muldoon divides her time between 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional work. She bounces back and forth between photography, web design and graphic design to seatweaving (chair caning, wicker repair, rush, splint, etc.) and basket weaving.
Basketry started as an add-on to seat weaving because there was material begging to be used in more than one format.
Sue’s career has always been creative, from wallpaper hanging and interior painting to a lengthy career in the floral industry as designer and merchandiser. Wood carving, furniture refinishing and upcycling furniture in novel ways using unique materials like leather belts, ties and alpaca wool set her apart from traditional seatweaving methods.
Color is rampant and unapologetic.
Where some might see a chair, Sue sees a statement. She spends the majority of her time now repairing seats (an unabashed “chairnerd” and webmaster of The SeatWeavers Guild, Inc) but enjoys branching out into basketry.
She considers her seatweaving work to be part functional and part emotional. Along with repairing chairs, she repairs the memories that are attached to seats that are in demise and disrepair. The joy on a client’s face when they see family history brought back to functionality is inspiring.
Her photography and design work enable her to get the word out about what she does, and her skills in social media are in demand from farmers markets, growers, artists and authors.
Creating special baskets for her most rapt audience, her 3 and 8-year-old grandsons, keeps Sue busy and inspires her to teach them to appreciate nature, natural materials and art.
A frequent instructor at various sheep, wool and fiber festivals and art retreats and farmers markets, she enjoys sharing seatweaving and basketmaking to new crafters and artisans.