Learn ply-splitting techniques to create bags, baskets and fibre art, after making your own cordage from natural materials. The basis of the technique is when ropes, strings and cords made up of two or more elements are divided and another element passed through, a very simple and useful weaving structure is made. When this process is repeated with many ropes or strings a whole world of textile creativity opens up. These techniques of ply-split darning and ply-split braiding make very strong woven structures used extensively for animal regalia, footwear, bags and baskets. This family of techniques went unnoticed by textile artists in the west until the 1980s when it was researched and popularised by the master weaver Peter Collingwood. Ply-Split Braiding is largely associated with camel regalia in Rajasthan while Ply-Split Darning is more widespread from Nepal to South Africa, Spain to Mexico.
You will learn a variety of string making techniques with soft plant materials including rush, esparto and cyperus. These strings will then be used in a variety of traditional and contemporary ply-splitting projects to make bags, baskets and fibre art pieces.
During the course you will:
• Make by hand two- and three- ply cordage in several techniques
• Learn how to identify, harvest and process native plant fibres
• Learn how to add colour and strength to your cordage with recycled fabric
• Look at a variety of traditional objects from Tim's textile and basketry collection
• Learn traditional ply-splitting projects from Spain and South Africa
• Make bags or baskets of your own design
• Explore experimental approaches to ply-splitting for wall pieces, openwork meshes and three-dimensional forms.
Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above
Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.
6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).
8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.
(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)
"The teaching was excellent, Tim is generous with his knowledge and very inspiring!"
Over the past 25 years, artist and basketmaker Tim Johnson has explored the relationships of material, place, nature and culture. His diverse creative practice encompasses basketmaking and performance, photography and painting, sculpture and installation, textiles and costume, his work has been exhibited internationally.