Valda first gave a short synopsis of Theo Moorman as a way to do tapestry on a floor loom that would be faster and less labor intensive. The Theo Moorman technique involves a threading and treadling sequence on a four harness loom that would allow the weaver to inlay designs without imitating tapestry weaving by passing the weft from selvedge to selvedge. Sheri spoke of her journey... the first project had yards of sewing thread that the cats ruined and ended up being tossed. Her second project was "inspired" (read "pushed into") by her older sister and was supposed to use their mother's old clothing for the inlays. Somehow that project got shelved. After seeing the projects that came out of the workshop Heather Winslow gave, Sheri thought about giving it another try and suggested it to the study group as their next area of focus. With some trepidation, the group decided to embark on this journey.
In her first attempt, Sheri learned that the sett of 22 epi caused the wool to "rumple up putting it on", the wool shed was hard to open, but her piece was beautiful. Her second attempt was a tartan in the technique using a sett of 24 epi in finer wool and 10/2 cotton for the tie downs in reds, greens and yellow. While Sheri thought the piece "weaved like coming home from a tavern", it was another piece that everyone thought was beautiful.
Next up was Jennifer, explaining that she took Heather's class 20 years ago and didn't think it was a weaving technique she would ever use, since she likes to weave things that are useful and have a purpose. Trying hard to decided how to use this technique to make a final product that had a purpose, Jennifer came up with a bathroom rug with a little of the background showing through in spots. It looked and felt like something you would want under your feet!
Valda was up next. Her original idea was to use a Robert Mapplethorpe photo found in a calendar by experimenting with the shadows in it. After a few attempts, she decided she bit off more than she could do. While mulling over what to weave in this technique, Valda started playing with a small Weavette loom and wove many small projects with it. The purse she brought along to show was just the right size for carrying the necessary items for a quick trip to the store.
Aja was the last to describe her journey. She decided to make a runner for a small table in one of the rooms at her church. After sampling a variety of fibers, Aja settled on 10/2 and 20/2 pearl cotton with an inlay of a cross in metallic thread. It was absolutely stunning!
This group's journey into the Theo Moorman Inlay technique showed us we should not to be afraid to try something different and always keep on trying!