In Bonnie’s Studio

Equipment

I currently operate three looms— an 8 harness 48” Fireside named “Gary” after the maker Gary Swett and a 4 harness 32” Gilmore named “Grace” after the former owner, Grace Hossack. The newest addition to my loom family is 2 harness 20” Saori named “Love” after weaving on it.

Fibers

I have worked with cotton, rayon chenille, silk, wool, alpaca, musk ox, wool, and bamboo. Currently I’ve been testing out Tencel from Webs as another option for Color Horoscope Weaving. I excited to announce “Outstanding Moral Fiber” (un-knitted cashmere sweaters). In the last five years of my mother’s life (when she could no longer knit), we took apart over 200 sweaters, now to weave it.

 

Scarves

China Woods sale 028I often think of scarves as “sketches” for larger weavings and concepts. I recently completed a series of 24 scarves combining the cashmere with weavers’ wool by Mountain Colors and experimenting with Raven’s Ridge, both located in Montana. See the gallery of scarves.

Blankets

If you asked me what I like to weave best, I would answer “blanket”. To create a large textile, equally functional and decorative, is the ultimate in weaving satisfaction for me. See the gallery of blankets.

Techniques

Color Horoscope Weaving

0cd5c-april10-09mmaontheloomDuring the late 70s, I searched to create a product that I would know exactly how much it would cost to make, how much time it would take to weave, and how much I could charge my client. I also wanted each weaving to be different, so I would never get bored weaving the same thing over and over again. I wanted this product to be too individual to be mass produced. The result was Color Horoscope Weaving.

I developed a method of translating an individual’s horoscope into color using a system of superimposing a color wheel over the horoscope. There are 360 degrees in a circle, 360 degrees in a horoscope, and 360 threads in each weaving. I use 12 colors (to represent each sign, house, and planet), and these colors combine to create over 5 billion color possibilities. Color Horoscope Weaving lends itself to any fiber, is equally striking as a scarf or a bedspread, and is the ultimate personal gift. (Satisfaction guaranteed) See the gallery of techniques.

Turned Weft Ikat and Almost Ikat:
Bonnie’s interpretation of an ancient yarn dyeing technique

JOY 112The term “ikat” refers to an ancient technique in which yarn is tie-dyed into patterns before it is put on the loom and woven. This is a very time consuming process. First the design must be planned out and a cartoon made the size of the finished piece. Next the yarn lengths are counted out and placed over the cartoon. Then the sections of the design must be tied and the yarn dyed. The dye is blocked from the tied sections creating a design. If one is planning to use more than one color, the yarn must be un-tied, replaced on the cartoon and retied. I have recently seen a video that simplified this last step, and the warps were painted instead of dip-dyed.

In Turned Weft Ikat, I bypass the planning and cartoon stage. I tie and dye the yarn in skeins, wind the skeins into balls, and use the ikat dyed balls combined with solid colors to count out the warp (placing each length carefully to create a spontaneous design).

With Almost Ikat, one can bypass the whole dyeing process completely and buy variegated yarn! Technically, painted skeins are not considered ikat. When I first started playing with ikat, all I could find was red, yellow, green, blue in regular intervals. Now it is almost impossible to find yarn that isn’t patterned in some way. I love hand-dyed yarn! See the gallery of techniques.

Woven Words

I developed a system of color and number correspondences with each letter of the alphabet. I found a book that had alphabet colors, but I changed them somewhat to suit my aesthetic. As for the numbers: A=1, B=2 and so on. This is a delightful method of producing a personalized textile.

Guarantee

I guarantee my work 100% for as long as I live.