Since Selvedge Magazine is London-based, I thought it would be appropriate to glean the definition of selvedge from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. A selvedge is "an edge produced on woven fabric during manufacture that prevents it from unraveling". Polly Leonard launched Selvedge Magazine in 2004 "to celebrate our cerebral and sensual addiction to cloth and promote the beautifully made and carefully considered." "First and foremost. I am inspired by the variety of fibre the world has given us, each beautifully designed to serve a unique function. I love the crispness of cotton, the stiffness of linen, the rustle and lustre of silk, the downy texture of mohair, and the weight of wool, to name just a few of the rich variety on offer."
In February, Fred applied to participate in the 2021 Selvedge Magazine World Fair. He was interested in the event not only because of the truly incredible variety, creativity and artisanship of previous participants, but because of the emphasis on sustainability of the many processes. Since Fred's weaving is now officially "carbon neutral" (thanks to solar panels on the roof producing more energy than we use), and the "ranch and community to artisan" character of the wool itself, he thought the fair would be a good fit for his work. He was humbled and thrilled to be accepted in late May for the 2021 World Fair online which opened this week. Since then, the collective "we" have been shooting and putting together photographs and videos for his entry.
Because the selvedge is so critical in fabric, I wanted to show a few examples of how Fred is able to make his selvedges or edges precise. First, he creates a "peak" with his fingers, and measures it to maintain proper tension on the weft as shown below on Rug 355, in progress.
The peak here has been measured and the shot of wool is ready to become part of the rug.
As far as photographing the work was concerned. square photographs were required, which needed a bit more thinking since most of Fred's work is at least a third longer in length than in width. Definitely not square. We used part of the traveling frames he uses for shows to get this shot of Rug 347 between courtyard walls, as well as the required portrait below.
The same rack was also useful as a backdrop for the official photograph to accompany Fred's brief biographical information.
Rug 328 on adobe wall
Rug 340 showing the selvedges on both sides. The tops and bottoms of his rug are tied off and ends braided to keep the fabric from unraveling.
A detail of Rug 344, showing a selvedge on the right side.
And where the weaving begins, with sheep and their wool. This magnificent specimen is Marcos, a Navajo-Churro ram.
I highly recommend taking a world tour of fiber in myriad forms by clicking on the link to all the 100 artisans featured in this year's world fair. Fred's work is included and linked at the bottom of page 3. It is a lot but worth it when and if you have some spare time.
Also, the Selvedge opening video is beautifully done.
On this Labor Day, 2021, I must thank all who, by raising and shearing sheep, and carding, spinning, and dying the wool Fred uses for their part in the process. And huge thanks to all who have labored through pandemic, fires, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes for the greater good. Thanks to Christina, Connie, Jean & Sam, TTT, Victoria, Louise, Steve, Susie, Wayne and Barbara for your comments this week.
until next Monday,
a passion for the [email protected]