Since 2004, Carol James has been delivering intensive weekend workshops for groups on the topics of finger weaving and sprang. These workshops are ideal for cultural organizations, historic sites and fiber art guilds whose members are looking for a patient teacher. Carol will come to your site and deliver the instruction. This could be a half-day, full-day, two-day or three-day weekend.
During the workshop Carol will cover the basic ‘stitch’, set-up of new pieces, the most common mistakes, how they could be corrected and how to avoid them in the first place, as well as finishing techniques.
Learn the basic technique to create a broad flat braid. The method was used traditionally in North America to create wide belts as well as bags. The only requirements are your hands and a fixed point; no loom is used.
A half-day workshop introduces you to the basic technique, and results in a small piece that could be a bracelet or book mark. Instruction is given on starting a new piece, as well as a demonstation on how the pattern can be varied.
A full-day workshop introduces you to the basic technique, which results in a small piece that could be a bracelet or book mark. This first piece complete, you will have time to set up a second piece and explore further.
A three-day workshop allows participants to learn the basic technique, and then explore some of the variety of patterns possible in fingerweaving: horizontal stripe, vertical stripe, sawtooth, and chevron.
Sprang has been around a very long time. According to Peter Collingwood (Techniques of Sprang) it is among the oldest evidence of humans creating cloth. Associated with human remains from the bronze age, found alongside Egyptian mummies, depicted in Greek and Roman iconography, probably the method for creating those vertical-stripe socks in medieval times, and the method in military sashes from the 1700s, humans keep returning to this textile method.
Sprang is a ‘reciprocal braiding technique’. A set of threads are fixed at both ends; each participant needs a frame. Carol can supply the frames. Work at one end of the threads results in a mirror-image piece at the other end. This means that you get two rows of cloth for every row worked!
Carol James has been exploring sprang since the mid-1990s, and is happy to spread awareness of this amazing textile technique.
The half-day workshop introduces interlinking. Students work on a figure-8 warp to make a drawstring bag.
The full-day workshop contains all the material from the half-day workshop, anticipating that most students will finish their drawstring bag. There should be time to explore the set-up of a new project. Time and interest permitting, some surface designs may also be explored.
The two-day workshop includes all of the above. On the second day of the workshop we explore circular warp (pg36-39). This amazing technique allows the creation of a piece of cloth that is twice the length of the frame.
The Three Day Workshop includes all of the above and in addition allows exploration of shaping, how to shape a bag, a hat, a vest. We can also discuss diverse surface designs and embellishments such as the addition of beads. On the third day of the workshop participants will receive assistance to set up a project of his/her choosing for work at home.
Advanced Sprang Workshops
Sprang is an amazingly adaptable technique. Carol has spent several years exploring and is happy to share her experience on a variety of topics.
- Lace: pattern reading and writing
- Changing directions: Patterns in S and Z
- Interlacing: a tighter weave
- The ‘W’ pattern: interlinking and intertwining combined
Other Important Information
Groups interested in these workshops should contact Carol James in order to book a weekend. Bookings should be made well in advance. Please note that the number of participants should be between four and ten.