Welcome to the first of my (Suzy's) Majacraft blogposts! This is my introduction, coming to you from the WoolWench – Suzy Brown studio in Napier New Zealand. Today I would like to share a bit of background about why I am writing this blogpost, as the newest member of the Majacraft team.
Here is me:
I’m a spinner who loves to spin any kind of yarn, fine and lacey, to big bold and bouncy arty yarns. My website has a gallery of my spinning if you are interested in seeing what I love to do.(www.woolwench.com). Most people who know my spinning also know I have my ‘One Wheel’ which is the fantastic Aura that Majacraft customised for me a few years ago and which is my dream wheel. Since then I have been lucky enough to add a Little Gem to my stable, along with a Majacraft dynamic heddle loom, hand combs, hackle, blending board, drum carder… Shall we just say I am very particular and wont use anything non-Majacraft in my fiber crafts?
Last year, my business partner Arlene Thayer (Spin Artiste) and I launched our online fiber arts education website Fiberygoodness.com, and as a major component to our flagship course ‘Journey to the Golden Fleece’ I worked with Majacraft to develop the Circular loom, which has become a great success! Together we have grown a wonderful group page on Facebook where people share their circular creations and inspirations, and it has been exciting to see this product grow in use and application.
I also worked with (ok nagged) Majacraft on the development of the Overdrive Spinning Head for production and bulky yarn spinning, it was a thrill to share in the making and the launch of this fantastic accessory (here we are on You Tube) which has opened up many new possibilities in my spinning practice.
Now I have returned to my home in New Zealand after 12 years residence in the Netherlands. The opportunity to work more closely and on a more ‘official’ level with Majacraft as their brand new Enablement Manager came at the perfect time, and in tandem with my plans for expanding Fiberygoodness it is the ideal match! I feel blessed to be able to follow my dreams in this way.
In the near future I plan to bring you some fun projects right here on the blog: things to make with your Majacraft wheel or loom, and tool tips and tutorials for the big range of tools we produce. I will also be working to expand the Majacraft You Tube channel with more tool specific demo’s and projects! Let me know what you would most like to see in a Majacraft video and I will do my best to make it! I will be posting regular customer newsletters so if you want to hear early about any fun activities coming up you should sign up RIGHT HERE!
I would like you to feel comfortable to contact me if you have any questions about Majacraft products such as ‘should I get the one pitch or the two pitch hackle?’ or ‘which carding cloth should I start with on my Fusion Engine?’. I would be happy to give you my take on these kinds of questions in the context of what you want to achieve. I hope my experience as a fibre artist and a user of Majacraft equipment can be of service to you in helping you make good choices if you need it.
I look forward to sharing some fun activities with you and getting to know you better!
Over the years we have learned that sometimes people can feel a little intimidated or confused by how to use the tensioning system on the Aura and Overdrive heads. It is really simple to say "oh its easy, just turn that knob", sometimes the practicality is not so easy to follow. A video however is far superior to demonstrate this and we are exceptionally lucky and grateful to Suzy Brown of Woolwench for putting together this instructional video. If there is anything you are puzzling about with the tensioning, this is likely to help make things much clearer.
It explains in really simple terms the effect of moving the green drive band, the black bobbin drive band and adjusting the black band tension too. I am certain that after watching this, spinners will have much more confidence and control over what they can create.
Thanks Suzy and I hope spinners out there enjoy the video
Until next time
Donyale Grant of Moggy & Me has had some exciting news recently. She entered and won the Dairing Art Yarn competition with a piece she wove on her Dynamic Heddle Loom (there had to be a Majacraft catch in there somewhere!)
She has written a small blog post about creating the piece here.
I have also been encouraging her to perhaps 'tutorialise' the design so ... fingers crossed!
We received a message today in the Majacraft inbox via Christine Oliver of Moondance Colour Company about her Rube Goldberg Overdrive.
Using some backroom genius, she has converted her Overdrive to use an Irish tensioning system. I have to confess that I just LOVE this stuff. Generating a hypothesis and then using the resources available to test and produce a result, just brilliant! While you can appreciate we may not be reproducing this directly ourselves as something that all Overdrive spinners can use, this is simply excellent. If you could see the way many Majacraft prototypes develop, it is exactly like this so much kudos Christine.
Can you see the way it works?
Until next time
P.S. Great to see the Overdrive running on an older generation Suzie!
I have put together a video of highlights from the Majacraft Magic camp for this year. If you attended it may remind you of the great time that was experienced by all. If you weren't there, see what you were missing!
The Majacraft camp is over for another year...
I am currently going through that low funk that happens in life after a special experience. And unsurprisingly, the camp was another high point.
The tutors were marvellous and people learned stuff and had a lot of fun so thank you so much to Pippa Willison, Kathy McLauchlan, Donyale Grant, Catherine Watson, Esther Rodgers, Angela Daish, Pat Old and Brigid MacAlister. Anita and Pam worked tirelessly in the kitchens along with the Keswick staff to keep our tummies full.
The Overdrive was announced just on a week ago and this was the first time we were able to show it to people and give them a hands on. Judging by the questions and new orders, I think it might have been rather popular!
For me, the best part of these camps are the people. The sharing of stories and ideas and experiences is simply wonderful so to all the people who attended - from New Zealand and even overseas - and made the camp what it was, thank you!
See you next year!
On the weekend of the 22nd February, Alet Tienport hosted some classes for double heddle weaving on the Dynamic Heddle Loom as taught y Patty Poot and Suzy Brown.
There were some amazing pieces created by the students. These photos of weaving by Annick Keters appeared in my Facebook feed and really stood out. I thought you might like to share them too. As I have mentioned before, I am so proud to see what people are creating on Majacraft tools.
Congratulations Annick on some beautiful weaving!
The next Majacraft ad for PLY magazine again features artists and work from all around the world. One person I contacted to use their images was Bren Boone who was very gracious in letting me use this beautiful picture of her spinning. Because the final image in the ad is going to be fairly small, I wanted to share it in a way that does her n-ply justice. So here it is (you can click the image to see a larger version)
Thank you so much Bren!
Here is the press release about an exciting project that we have been invited to be a part of - The Journey to the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Course. This has been developed by Arlene Ciroula (SpinArtiste) and Suzy Brown (Woolwench). More news and pictures will follow but I wanted to share this as soon as I could.
The Journey to the Golden Fleece
Spinartiste.com and Woolwench.com are excited to announce the impending launch of their new co-hosted creative space, www.fiberygoodness.com and its first offering, The Journey to the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Course.
With The Journey to the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Course, we are thrilled to be able to offer an opportunity for fiber enthusiasts to join us on a path of exploration, revitalization, learning and inspiration. This course is designed to provide participants with their own fiber hero journey, to reboot their creativity, work towards finding their own unique creative voice, and to celebrate uniqueness.
We are proud to bring this new and exciting learning opportunity to the fiber community with the support of Majacraft, creators and suppliers of amazing and innovative spinning and fiber preparation tools and equipment. We share their desire to help people be creative!
In conjunction with the launch of the Journey to the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Course, Majacraft will be releasing a custom designed Circle Loom developed especially for this course.
All details on the course and enrollment forms will be available with the launch of www.fiberygoodness.com on November 1, 2013.
With Arlene Thayer at the helm, Spinartiste.com is an online publication focused on making and using artisanal fibers and yarns with a focus on indie fiber artists and is read widely throughout the international fiber community.
Woolwench.com is the online home base of the internationally known fiber artist, Suzy Brown, who holds the Creative Fibres (NZ) Certificate in HandSpinning and possesses an extensive educational background.
For those who are fans of Facebook and are interested in the new Majacraft Dynamic Heddle Loom, you might be interested in checking out "Manic Dynamic Majacrafters". This is a page set up by three of our weaving heroes, Donyale Grant, Esther Rodgers and Suzy Brown. It is dedicated to weaving on the Majacraft loom. People are posting their work, using it as a forum and taking part in the challenges offered to build a very cool community.
Here is a small selection of pieces being created:
As I have mentioned before, I feel very proud to have been able to have a little part in the amazing things that talented people from around the world are creating - so thank you all. I can't wait to see what you do next!
You can visit the page here Manic Dynamic Majacrafters