Picot Bead Edging Video

Mosaic Bead Looping will be an online workshop, probably by the end of 2014. But in the meantime, I promised the students in my in-person workshop at Wisconsin Spin-In a short video of the picot bead edging used to finish the project.

Picot edging used on mosaic bead looping pouch by Donna Kallner

This versatile edging can be used on jewelry, bags, garments and other projects. But this video focuses on its application in bead looping.

Bead Picot Edging for New Age Looping Projects from Donna Kallner on Vimeo.

Alternating Stitch Cord Video

Why it never occurred to me before, I can’t say. But last weekend at Wisconsin Weave Away, someone asked about a handout for the alternating stitch neck cord I teach at the end of the Burundi Looping class.

Burundi looping with Donna Kallner workshop students at Wisconsin Weave Away.

It’s a simple technique based on a structure that’s already familiar to students by the time I show it. And yet, students at conferences and retreats are usually getting tired by the time they see this. So I told them I would post a short video refresher. And here it is.

This will live on the page with other video resources I’ve posted for students. If you can’t find this page again to use that link, look at the menu bar at the top of this site. There’s a pull-down menu under “Students”. It’s at the bottom of that menu.

Cordage From Homegrown Fibers

How do you measure time? I’m in the second audio book of a small vessel made from twisted basswood bark cordage using the cross-knit looping technique. It’s a slow but satisfying process.


Cordage from Siberian Iris Leaves from Donna Kallner on Vimeo.

I took a break on Saturday when neighbors stopped in and taught their 8-year-old how to twist cordage. She went home with a basswood bark friendship bracelet. But I wish I’d had some Siberian iris or daylily leaves mellowed instead — something she could fit into her own experience. One of my favorite things to show kids (of all ages) is how to twist cordage from fibers they recognize.

This short video shows the process of turning dried Siberian iris leaves into a cordage friendship bracelet. I’m adding it to the video collection on my student resources page.

Now… back to my project, twisting an arm’s length of cordage, then stitching it, then twisting, then stitching. I’ll probably need one more audio book before it’s done. Any suggestions?

The Video Studio

After a short break to celebrate Thanksgiving with family, I’m back to work on a new eCourse on cross-knit looping, which I’ll tell you more about soon. In the meantime, here’s a peek at my new video “studio.”

The homemade diffuser on the left is fabric stretched on an old picture frame. On the right is an old slide projector screen I found at the thrift shop. The white top on the card table (a family heirloom from the 70’s) is easier for shooting than the fabric-covered table I used before. You can’t really see the fabric backdrop or the two bounce lights. But here’s the key element:

That black tent-like thing at the top covers a modeling lamp that gives diffused light from overhead. A friend who’s a professional photographer helped me set up a photo studio back in the late 1990’s, when I was still shooting my work on 35mm slides. I think we traded her a canoe for equipment, help setting it up, and lessons on how to shoot with it. Once I went digital, the flash didn’t sync with my camera. It didn’t occur to me until recently (duh) that I could use the modeling lamp without the flash.

The new set-up is tucked into a small space in our basement between the utility room and the cold room where we store squash and homemade wine. There isn’t quite enough space to shoot the short “talking head” segments of the course, but it’s working great for the close-up shots of my hands demonstrating techniques.

Speaking of hands, I stained my right hand with black walnut dye when my glove sprung a leak while I was doing “just a quick project.” So no more dyeing until the last of the video is shot and edited!

Add your voice to the conversation at facebook.com/donnakallnerfiberart

Willow Hearts…And More Hearts

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d show you how I make the willow hearts I’ve been including with orders from my Etsy shop. If you’re new to this blog, click on the post to expand the window so you can see the video player.

While I’m at it, here’s a link to a post from last year’s Who Hearts Looping tutorial

I heart you all. Thanks for reading!

Add your voice to the conversation at facebook.com/donnakallnerfiberart

Willow Bark Harvest

Last week while my head was still spinning from the Midwest Weavers Conference, Bill reminded me that I needed to harvest willow bark. Willow is easy to peel when the time is right, and my window of opportunity was closing.

In June 2012, I’m teaching at a brand new willow conference in Decorah, Iowa organized by my friends Jo Campbell-Amsler and Lee Zieke Lee. I have material aplenty on hand for Quixote Coiling, but needed a good supply of willow bark for this class:

Willow Spirit Constructed Vessels
For thousands of years, basketmakers have made vessels by folding, cutting and stitching sheets of bark. In this 2-day class, we replace that bark with a fabric laminate made of contemporary art cloth colored and patterned with willow. You’ll learn a variety of ways to use willow to dye and print fabric. You’ll sample new ways to conceive, model and build hand-stitched sculptural forms, and create two vessels that incorporate willow in the surface design.

So on Wednesday, Bill helped me peel for a little over an hour. The bark slipped off the wood like a pat of butter off a hot ear of sweet corn.

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting the peeled bark ready for drying and, later, storage and easy resoaking.

It’s been drying under the eaves on the porch. Today I’ll move it into my studio to finish drying.

I’ll post details about the Decorah willow conference soon. In the meantime, here’s a short video I took of Bill while we were harvesting.

You’ll see that he uses the wood in his rustic furniture, and I save the leaves for dyeing. Willow is an amazing renewable resource.

Add your voice to the conversation at facebook.com/donnakallnerfiberart

Breathing & Movement Warm-Ups Video

Last spring, I posted instructions on my other blog for one of the movements I got a ballroom full of people to do before my keynote address at the Missouri Art Education Association conference.

This week, I wanted to offer an expanded resource to those who attend my Creativity PhD lecture in Moorhead, Minnesota. So I’ve posted a short video on breathing and movement warm-ups on my You Tube Channel.

I almost didn’t post it because it’s so rough. But I’m trying to practice what I preach: Strive for fluency, but don’t wait for perfection.

Add your voice to the conversation at facebook.com/donnakallnerfiberart