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Welcome to Musings – The Loom Room Blog

26 August, 2012

Braids and busy times

It’s been a while since I last posted to my blog.  It’s been a busy summer with students and visitors, and a lovely one too, although quite tiring!

One of the highlights was the Braids conference held this last week in Manchester.  Braids are not something I am associated with, and I didn’t go under false pretences!  I was lucky enough to be an after-breakfast speaker and to present the conference with some of the wonderful archive pieces to be found in the north-west of England, plus Warners from Essex, the Paisley archives and some images from the National Wool Museum and just a few images from a private collection of narrow fabrics and braids from France.

The atmosphere in the conference was vibrant and warm, and the organisation of the conference really good.  All the participants were enthused and engaged.  I arrived just before the Braiders Bazaar which was enlivened by a physical human braiding in the manner of a country dance crossed with the maypole dancing!  Great fun.  All we were missing was some music!

It was lovely to meet so many new people, and to put faces to email names, including William Hall, the cotton and linen supplier, whom I have known for many years via phone calls and emails, but never met face-to-face.  The delegates list read like a Who’s Who of braiding, including names I know and respect such as Rodrick Owen, Jacqui Carey, and Julie Hedges from the UK, and many from abroad.

Looking at Jennie Parry’s takedai braids which have wonderful movement and organic ripples, I thought just maybe she could persuade me to try my hand at braiding!

Now though, it’s back to sampling for workshops coming up in the autumn, preparing my presentation for the Complex Weavers’ Seminars in a couple of weeks which will be in Washington DC, and getting my head back into gear for working on a written piece for my masters which starts again right after CW Seminars.

Oh yes, and there was a rather splendid sporting thingy which happened in the UK this summer, and another one to come next week.  Really looking forward to seeing some of the Paralymics.  If you want inspiration, look no further than the amazing super humans taking to the stage of sport in a few days time!  Respect!!!