I recently spent a glorious week at the University of Victoria for the Treadle Lightly conference put on by the Association of Northwest Weavers' Guilds. It was great to meet weavers from all over the US and Canada and to explore techniques and materials along with them.
If you've been following my instagram account you'll know that the best part was spending 3+ days with Bryan Whitehead learning to make a bamboo reed. Bryan is kind and irreverent and brings humour, warmth and thoughtfulness to his workshops. It was a real gift to have him come from Japan to share his experience of learning to work with bamboo.
As an indigo, green tea and silk farmer he embraces his environment as well as the techniques local to the small farming village he lives in. Bryan spent two years growing and preparing the bamboo materials that we would use. It was a herculean effort by someone driven by an intense attention to detail and getting things right. I feel very lucky to be one of twelve people who learned not only about bamboo but also about the honesty of materials, and concept of refined poverty.
I'm excited to take this new understanding and a reed made by my own hands into future work.