Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Catching up with the big one...

I'm still weaving away on the large tapestry that's been on the loom since late November.  It has been a really hard one to weave.  Not difficult to weave, just hard to find (make) time to do it!  Distractions, what-ifs, and multiple other things have kept me from putting myself at the loom bench and weaving.  But my resolution now is ... DO IT! 

Here's where I left it last night: 

I hope to have a few more inches woven by the end of the day.  If those pesky what-ifs will leave me alone for awhile.

Friday, July 1, 2016


Tapestry weaving is an obsession for me.  I spend much of my day with either weaving tapestry, thinking about weaving tapestry, teaching others about weaving tapestry, reading about weaving tapestry, talking to others about weaving tapestry.

Therefore, in the past weeks since the last post I've been doing just that!  I'll show some of the things I've been doing relating to those tapestry obsessions sometime soon.  Maybe today if I can find a break in the weaving of tapestry.

Happy July 1 and the beginning of the next six months of the year to each and all!  Tapestry diary unrolled from the loom today to review the past six months:

July, August, September, October, November, December... here I come!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Weaving, weaving, and more weaving

Tapestry weaving takes time.  Lots and lots of time!  Here's where I spend hours a day when I'm working on tapestry:

This tapestry is one I began back in November.  I wrote about it at this post and have mentioned it occasionally since then.   I have a self-imposed deadline of finishing it by early August so that I'll have time to do finishing work on it and prepare it for hanging in the next exhibit I'll be having.  That will be at Piedmont College in late September.

Finishing work takes hours--sometimes days, in fact.  Not as long as weaving the tapestry, especially when the tapestry is a large one like the oak leaf one is (at least, large for me).  When I'm working on finishing I spend lots of time doing this:

What I'm doing in the photo is using a curved needle to whip stitch the warp ends to the back of the tapestry.  I've already used a half-Damascus finish on them that causes them to lay at the back.  Before mounting the tapestry, I like to be sure the tails of the warp won't flip out and so do the whip stitch to group a few ends together about 3/4" away from the edge.  I use sewing thread and just nip into the back of the weft... don't want the thread to go through to the front.

Here's the small tapestry that I was working on there:

This photo was done before the warp ends were taken to the back.  The little tapestry is 3" wide by about 6.5" high.  It's at the framers now to be completed--I want to use it in the exhibit along with several other small ones that are also being framed.  By the way... all the dyes of the black walnut tapestry were dyed with black walnut hulls as I wrote about at this post--except for the darkest in the walnut.  Those dark browns were from a commercial dye.

I have a couple of other tapestries in process now, too.  I'm hoping to have these finished before the exhibit.  Here's one of those... it's going to be about 12" square.  It's another of the several that I'm doing based on paintings I made while at the Lillian Smith Center retreat last summer.

And my 2016 tapestry diary grows daily.  I've devoted the month of May to the black walnut tree's catkins--I have a few more days to finish it up!  For June I'm thinking I'll do the female flower from the tree.  I was able to take a few photos of several of those... quite small compared to the catkins but I've drawn one version and will do a couple more before committing to what I'll be weaving for next month.  I keep learning more about black walnut trees as the year progresses and I see more and more of the seasonal changes the tree at our house goes through.

Now... back to the loom!  Inches more to do today. 

OH!  The Penland Spring 2017 Concentration catalog is now published--just had the link to it in email.  Here's the link -- scroll down to textiles to see the description of the class that Bhakti Ziek and I will be collaborating to teach next spring.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Appalachian Arts Craft Center tapestry class

Over the weekend of May 14 and 15 I taught a beginning tapestry class at Appalachian Arts Craft Center in Norris, Tennessee.  There were eleven people in the class and all were eager to learn about tapestry.

I'd asked them to come with frame looms that we'd warp at the class and there was an assortment of types there from several Archie Brennan-style copper pipe looms to artist stretcher bars, with a few other configurations, as well.

We set up a warp with 12/12 cotton seine twine at 8 epi for 4" width on Saturday morning and everyone was weaving by early afternoon.

In beginning classes I introduce basics of meet and separate technique, working from the front.  Two colors are used as they become familiar with the differences of high and low at the turns of the passes, and I ask them to make vertical edges between the shapes with steps of several passes.

Next come diagonals with different angles that result from the number of passes for each turn.  And then a bit of hatching before the introduction of a third color between.

The students worked intently for the two days and everyone, I think, accomplished what she needed to so they can more forward with exploring tapestry on their own.  And I hope they will!

By the way, read more about the class from the viewpoint of one of the students at her post to Loomy Tunes--Tuesday Weavers blog!  Thanks, Carol!