Saturday, April 25, 2015

Time for some changes...selling a loom.

Time to find a new home for this wonderful loom:


This is a 4 foot Shannock loom.  I am the third owner of the loom and it is in excellent condition as it's been lovingly used by all of its owners for many years.

I haven't made this decision lightly.  I became the owner of this wonderful tool about six years ago.  I purchased it from another weaver in North Carolina.  I still fondly remember driving my station wagon there, hoping all the parts and pieces of the disassembled loom would fit into the car (they did).  How excited I was to finally have a larger Shannock tapestry loom!  I had once owned a 2 ft. Shannock tabletop model that I converted to a floor standing one with John Shannock's leg and treadle modification.  I used it happily for a decade or more until I found it had been sitting idle while I used other looms more often.  And so the smaller Shannock went to a new home.

That's what I realized about this loom a few days ago.  I've woven four fairly large pieces on it since I've had it but I haven't rewarped it in over a year now.  I've been working on other looms and so it became clear that someone else may be a better owner for this great loom at this point.

So... here it is, offered up for sale.  If anyone is interested in the price and the dimensions, please contact me at bittersweet.tapestry.studio at gmail dot com

It must be picked up since I won't be able to ship it.  But, like I said, it will fit into most SUVs or station wagons when disassembled!  Assembled, it would fit into a truck or possibly a van.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Exhibiting Thoughts


I could look back in my blog to see posts I've made when I've been very disappointed to have learned about having my work rejected for juried exhibits.  I could also find posts where I've noted being accepted into exhibits and even a few times being fortunate to have won an award.  I've had encouraging comments from folks when I've been whining about having my tapestries rejected, and I've also had congratulations when I've mentioned acceptances into shows.  I so much appreciate all of the times people have reached out to give a virtual pat on the back or a hug, whether in commiseration or congratulations.

Exhibiting one's work is a daunting process, to say the least.  What's involved?  Here's a short list:

  1. Making the work in the best way possible at the particular point in one's conceptual and skill development. 
  2. Once the piece is off the loom, next comes the finishing steps for presentation.
  3. Documenting the work, including photographing it and recording size, materials, etc.
  4. Managing the images so they'll be accessible when a exhibit possibility arises.
  5. Finding an exhibit venue.  This might mean reading listings of upcoming exhibits either in magazines or online, being part of an organization that mounts exhibits, and/or through word of mouth.
  6. Assemble exhibit information, note deadlines as well as specific requirements for each submission.  Image size, information to include, artist bio and/or statement most likely are different for each show.
  7. Once determined that an exhibit is one to strive for, submit the entry, with images, and other info, including payment in whatever form is required.  These days, most exhibits may be entered online... quite a bit easier in many ways than having slide duplication and mailing to deal with.
  8. Next one waits to hear about the status of the submission.  
  • Accepted?  Hooray!  Then go to the next steps required for the particular exhibit--including any further information required, packing and shipping the work or delivering it in person, attending the opening (if possible), then receiving the work back sometimes months or even a year later and hoping it is in good shape upon return (and not lost in the meantime).
  • Rejected?  Groan, whine, gripe and get over it and start the process all over again.
In the meantime, new works are being conceived and made and becoming ready for the next show on the horizon.  Why try to have work shown in exhibitions at all?  That's a thought for another post sometime down the road, maybe.

I've been very happy to have had tapestries accepted in several exhibits over the past two years.  Several of the exhibits have printed catalogs, as well.  It's always nice to have one's work in a show that has an actual catalog.  Three of the exhibits that have published catalogs are below.  There's a link to more information with each show name--



Here's my tapestry in the ATB10 catalog.





 The Art is the Cloth, curated by Micala Sidore


And the page showing my work, along with Jan Austin's.  We both had tapestry diary pieces accepted for this.  More about the exhibit is at Micala's website.

Intertwined, sponsored by Southeast Fiber Art Alliance


I have a couple of pieces in this exhibit--here's the catalog pages showing one of them.

Print catalogs are expensive, I know, but I hope they aren't to be replaced by only online catalog options anytime soon.  Nothing replaces the hard copy and the chance to sit for awhile with a cup of coffee, turning page after page and immersing one's self in tapestry imagery of all kinds, from all over the world.  Thank you, show organizers, for keeping the tradition in place for awhile longer!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Recent classes--John Campbell Folk School and Florida Tropical Weavers Guild Conference


I'm so fortunate to be able to occasionally teach about what I love--tapestry weaving.  This year I've been to the Folk School (February) where we had a grand time thinking about the work of William Morris for inspiration--and enjoying a couple of lovely snow falls during the week.  In March I was off to Florida to teach a 2 1/2 day session at Florida Tropical Weavers Guild Conference held at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center.  Weather in Florida was quite a contrast to the snowy days a month before in Brasstown, NC.  It wasn't too hot (low 80s)--definitely not coat weather.

I often post photos and comments about classes when the sessions are underway.  For various reasons this year I haven't been able to do that.  I want to catch up a bit to show off the work from the classes--everyone worked so hard and accomplished a lot.

So here goes--first from the John Campbell Folk School class, February 22-27, photos in no particular order:













Now, a few from Florida Tropical Weavers Conference, again--no particular order:










Next class is in June/July at Arrowmont, a two week one.  The session length should give us enough time to delve into explorations a bit more.

Happy Easter! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Returns


Sometimes in the winter I wonder if spring will ever return.  Even here in north Georgia where the weather is much milder than in many places in the country it seems like springtime will never come again.  Cold, gray and dark the days all seem to be.  Maybe that's only my perception but when new growth begins to show its many faces I am happy. 


Yes, it makes me very happy to walk by this gingko tree (I can't call it the little gingko tree anymore since it must be 15 feet tall now) and to see the first appearance of the new leaves for the year.  I've watched the buds for several weeks now, waiting to see the first tip of the green.  I saw that a few days ago and this morning when I walked by they'd made a great push and broken free to begin unfurling!  They will move so fast now.  Last year there was a freeze after the young leaves were out and they were nipped.  The tree was OK, though, and fully leafed out for summer.  I hope a later freeze like that doesn't happen this year.  Here's a post last year on April 7 showing the new leaves.  The freeze happened during that following week, I think, while I was at the Folk School.

I've done more springtime viewings at a local park, Yahoola Creek Park, recently.  Here are a few photos from those walks--first several views of bloodroot:



After the petals fall off and the leaf has grown.

A bloodroot blossoming and in context in the forest floor--can you see it?

More from Yahoola Creek Park over the past week:





While my eyes are on the woods, ball games and soccer are being played at the adjacent sports fields. As you can see, I've got other things on my mind!

Those lovely springtime distractions have been brief; for most of the past ten days I've been doing a major organization and clean up at my studio, with the help of Jeff, the guy who can do anything.  He installed wider shelving units in one of my rooms so that I could begin to get my flat works under control.  Here's Jeff vacuuming after drilling for reinforcing brackets for the 20" wide shelves:


So that he could get to the shelves to remove the narrower ones I had to take all of the stuff off and park it somewhere--like all over the rest of the room:


It only took Jeff an afternoon to redo the shelves, putting in the new ones and cutting the narrower ones and reinstalling them in another room.  But it's taken me most of several days to go through this stuff, sorting and tossing several years worth of clutter artwork, tapestry designs, and teaching materials.

Here are the newly revised shelving solutions, first the room with the wider shelves at one side:


And then the narrower "skinny" shelf in the corner of another room--yes, I do have to use a step ladder to get to the top shelves in both rooms.


I posted about my new shelves at Facebook yesterday and it was funny to read a comment from a friend, Janette Meetze, who said she'd also been doing a major spring cleaning/organizing at her studio!  Here's a link her blog post about her own organizational doings this spring.

Photos from my February John C. Campbell class and the Florida Tropical Weavers Guild conference class are coming soon, I promise!

I'll end with another favorite spring viewing thing... fiddleheads!  Yes, they're out in abundance here in north Georgia.  My interest in fiddleheads began in 2008 when I first noticed them at the creek house.  Here's a post about the first of the tapestries in this series.  You could find other posts about this tapestry and the other four I've done with this subject by using the search feature in the left margin of the blog.

After weaving five tapestries with fiddleheads as subject I don't believe any of this year's viewings will develop into new tapestry designs.  I don't think...



...but this one looks interesting....