I am 5 weeks away from our trip to Spain, grants are submitted and just a few workshops to go before I leave… time to turn my head to travel prep!
This year I feel I suddenly turned a corner- no longer am I an artist using weaving techniques in her work, but I feel I can- to some degree- now claim to be a weaver. This feels a bold step in owning that my skills have taken shape and with time-invested, been honed to the point I can claim this title… something I was hesitant to do in the past.
To that end, I needed a travel bag- with a wonky neck that goes out with any weight on my shoulder, finding carry bags with hand holds only has always been a challenge. I decide to just solve that problem in-house, and design and make exactly what I required- what a concept!
What to use for materials?
I have been sitting on cedar bark I harvested last spring with Tracy Williams, and liked the idea of having a cedar bag- something that really announced I come from the Pacific North West.
As luck would have it, Sheena showed up at the maker nights with bags of freshly harvested cedar bark she need to learn how to process, and wanting to learn how to weave a bag- Sheena’s timing spurred me on- if teaching someone else how to do these things, why not do it myself?A plain weave base, 14 inches long, 7 inches wide.. I want my SLR camera to fit in the bottom and my laptop and sketch book to be the right length… the twining went very quickly, I added in some spruce roots, vinok and other twisted garden fibres and used processed phormium tenax as my rope 9 ply handle and closures- good and strong fibre! the form was woven over a cut, shaped and taped up liquor box- the box had a glossy paper coating that made it last JUST long enough to have wet fibres constantly squeezed over it as I put it in and pulled it out of the growing woven form.
As I neared completion I started thinking about what other bags were missing in my life… now I have to ask:
How Have I Lived Without A Clutch Purse?
In only a few short weeks of using it, I keep asking that question. Again, without a little shoulder bag- keys and wallet traditionally have left the house loose and I hope for clothes that have pockets- or that David is with me and willing to carry my goods. A cell phone makes it all more challenging. This little bag was woven over a book wrapped in tyvek paper( so it was waterproof and the book was unharmed). I put a cordage handle grip so my fingers can be used while the bag still sits on my hand- no need to drop my belongings on counters. A cotton lining and zipper close the bag up and it works like a charm!
On my first voyage with the cedar briefcase on a ferry last week I took a travel selfie…I feel ALMOST ready for Spain now…. I just need to process, spin and dye enough of our local linen so I have a knitting project for while I travel.
Thanks to Sheena, pictured below with her cedar travel bag in process- for helping me jump on this task.