February 18 – Ruby Leslie

Sampling is Not a Dirty Word!

Ruby entrapped in warpAre you a member of that illustrious “full-size sample” club, feeling guilty that you should have sampled first…but there wasn’t enough time, yarn, or money available, and you were sure your weaving software would figure out everything for you? Listen up! The aim of sampling is to acquire information, not cause guilt or pain! Stop treating sampling as a dreaded disease – sampling IS weaving and can significantly improve your textiles.

An inveterate sampler, Ruby has always tried to extract as much information as possible from each warp. After years of being a closet sampler, she wants to dismantle the negative ideas that the word “sampling” invokes and turn it into an easy habit to embrace. Sampling is more than weaving or not weaving a sample at the loom before embarking on a project. It is a design tool – an easily acquired way of thinking about how to weave and create cloth. There are techniques and strategies for how to extract a maximum amount of information from a surprisingly small investment of time, money and/or yarn.

Ruby Leslie maintains a full-time weaving and teaching studio in northern Vermont, where she designs her own line of handwovens as Ruby Charuby Weavings. Boundless enthusiasm for sampling and experimenting, especially with color and its interaction with structure, has guided Ruby’s creative endeavors from the beginning of her weaving career 30 years ago. Handwoven magazine’s invitation to become a contributing member of their ‘Color Forecast’ series, creating swatches on a regular basis, was the impetus for Ruby to streamline her design process. This fueled her desire to share her insights about how to successfully integrate color, structure and yarn in weaving without having to dye yarn or rely on recipes. Ruby has taught above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway and Greenland, as well as at Convergence, regional conferences and guilds throughout the US. She was one of three weaver/designer teams invited by the Handweavers Guild of America to create a collaborative runway ensemble for the second Design Fashion Challenge at Convergence 2010 in Albuquerque, NM.

The rhythms of her looms inspired her children to produce the music video Getya Loom Goin’  for their “Ma, the Weava.”