Thursday, 11 September 2014

Lace Weaving : Huck and Bronson

In the latest tutor blog post Anne Dixon offers us a clear (and well-illustrated) overview of her course:

The aim of this course is to use and experiment with the huge variety of possibilities available with both Huck and Bronson lace, comparing and contrasting them. Lace weaving is usually treated as separate types, each with its own rules as to threading and weaving. 

I enjoy exploring the structure of weaves, always querying the standard and asking “Why?” and “What if?” I want to encourage others to approach designing in the same way. There will be information sheets at all stages, with suggested weft patterns as well as design sheets to create your own patterns.

Bronson warp & weft spots
With Huck and Bronson the standard rules, of blocks and ‘profiles’ mean that the linear patterning is horizontal, vertical or diagonal, but even within the rules there can be diversity of numbers within each unit, to create different patterning.  Bending the rules only slightly can result in a variety of patterns, even with a standard threading, whilst breaking the rules means that a variety of curves can be woven.

Huck warp & weft spots
With a standard threading the number of possible lace units depends on the number of shafts available. This is always two less than the number of shafts. Eight shafts gives six possibilities, sixteen gives fourteen. Table and dobby looms mean that all the possibilities can be used singly or in combination.   For the class I suggest an eight-shaft table loom, this will give an insight into the possibilities. However, if students wish to use a loom with more shafts, that is not a problem!

We will be weaving samples – not yardage, so the width will be narrow. I will contact each student to find out what is their loom width, shaft numbers, and preferred yarn. Then I can divide the class evenly into Huck and Bronson and send each student a warping draft so that the looms can be pre-warped. Get someone to help you with this if needed! Then we can get to work immediately.

Everyone will use their own threading for two days; cut off the samples; then exchange to the other type of lace threading for two more days and back again to your own loom with even more ideas. Lace needs to be washed to see the full impact, so this will give time for that. 

Finally, by going even further and using a simple Rosepath threading, there is even greater freedom to position the lace units – we will also explore this.