Samples & Starts October 2023

Sampling & Starting 1 - Barbara J Walker - Fiber Artist - Image ©Barbara J. Walker

We weavers are accustomed to sampling for a major project, although I freely admit to winging it much of the time. I have found that sampling is also a valuable step in ply-splitting to see if an idea will work, or to see if there are hidden pitfalls not anticipated.

Cord colors that seem to look great together as individual cords might not work at all in a ply-split structure. Sometimes I ply-split a sample, and if I’m not satisfied with the colors, I’ll photograph it and change it to black and white, lighten it, and then photocopy examples and color in cords in different colorways with pencils. It’s not a fool-proof method, but it might help reduce cord waste.

I’m not-so-patiently waiting for someone to develop a ply-splitting computer design program, which will do functions similar to our weaving programs . . . anyone?

Sampling & Starting 2 - Barbara J Walker - Fiber Artist - Image ©Barbara J. Walker
Sampling & Starting 3 - Barbara J Walker - Fiber Artist - Image ©Barbara J. Walker
Barbara J. Walker - Fiber Artist
Barbara J. Walker, Fiber Artist

About The Author

Barbara was awarded the Master Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving from Handweavers Guild of America in 1990. She is an active member of Northwest Designer Craftartists, has been a faculty member of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and has taught for guilds and conferences in the United States, England, Canada, and Japan. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and two of her pieces are the only examples of ply-splitting included in Lark Books' 500 Baskets. She is an enthusiastic educator and has had numerous articles published in Strands, Complex Weavers Journal, Handwoven, Weaver’s, and Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot. Barbara has published two books, Ply-Splitting from Drawdowns: Interpreting Weave Structures in Ply-Split Braiding in 2012 and Supplementary Warp Patterning: Turned Drafts, Embellishments & Motifs in 2016.

Barbara’s home studio overlooks the Willamette Valley in Salem, Oregon.

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Fiber art pieces by Barbara J. Walker are available for purchase during exhibitions and through this website.