Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two tapestries are underway

Both of these are small.  I mentioned the William Morris study I'm doing a few posts back.  The first sample using thoughts from the study is this one, oak leaves drawn and begun while I was at Hambidge in mid October:

Pretty simplified, I know, but that's OK for this study.  Size is 12" high (to be) x 8" wide.

The other tapestry is one I had on a demo loom during the Tapestry Weavers South exhibit at the UNG library during October.  I'm working on both of these now, a bit on one then for an hour or so on the other one.  I'd like to get both of them off the loom before the end of November.

The landscape is going to be about 14" high x 19" wide.

Hambidge is once more in my future--another fill-in is coming up in early December.  I have some serious design work to do while I'm there.  I'll continue to read and make notes in my Morris study but I have another tapestry to develop.  Focus time coming up!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Tapestry Weavers

I had the pleasure over the past several weeks to spend time with the weaving class at the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, and to work with them as they learned about tapestry weaving.  I have special ties to the weaving classes at UNG since I began the program back in the day.  The "day" being in 1972, in fact, the first year I began teaching at what was then North Georgia College, in the second year of a newly created department at the school.

In 1971 Bob Owens, a ceramicist and art educator, was appointed as head of the department that he'd been instrumental in developing NGC.  The new department was called the Fine Arts Department and included music and theatre classes as well as those in visual arts.  For the first years there were only a few of us on the faculty--three in visual arts, three in music, and one in theatre/speech.  There were maybe 8 or 10 students majoring in visual art when we began offering bachelor degrees (B.S. in art education and in a degree we were calling craft design at the time).

Although we were a small department, like the little engine that said, "I think I can, I think I can!" we thought we could make a difference by having the option of an arts education degree for students to choose.   And we did.   Over the next twenty + years, art education majors from North Georgia found jobs throughout the region.  They went on to make wonderful contributions to arts learning for youngsters, many of them being recognized as teachers of excellence in their schools and communities.

In fact, the visual art and music areas of the program grew to the point that they were made into two distinct departments several years ago.  The university now covers four campuses throughout north Georgia and the Visual Arts Department has a combined total of around 28 or so faculty, including full and part-time members.  The Visual Arts program has over 300 students across all campuses now. Here's a link to the Visual Arts Department at the University of North Georgia.

Today I visited the UNG Library and Technology Center to see the latest exhibit of senior art students' work.  Once again I was impressed with the level of the technical abilities in the works created (this exhibit has sculpture, surface design on fabric, weaving,  and digital work on display), as well as the thoughtful artist statements presented by each student.

Bob Owens is no longer with us; he passed on in 2004.  But his legacy is certainly alive and well in the arts at the University of North Georgia.  Congratulations, students, faculty and staff of the Visual Arts Department at UNG!

Now--a few photos from the tapestry sessions:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blue Ridge Fiber Show 2014

I was quite pleased recently to receive a letter informing me that the tapestry, with cartoon designed from my niece's painting, was awarded the First Place in Professional Weaving--Tapestry at the Blue Ridge Fiber Show.

I wrote about the weaving of the piece earlier in the blog in several posts... one here and another one here.  I also wrote about the process of working from Megan's painting in the American Tapestry Alliance online newsletter, Tapestry Topics.  The article was in the Fall 2014 issue.  Unfortunately, the newsletter is for ATA members only so I can't post a link to that. Back issues of Tapestry Topics ARE available for viewing online... here's a link to those.

Here's the piece hanging at the Blue Ridge Fiber Show with a nice, handwoven blue ribbon beside the label:

The title is Probation Violation

During the trip to Asheville to see the exhibit I was also able to make a stop at Tim Barnwell's studio to have him photograph the large stones tapestry--here's Tim getting ready to shoot a detail:

If you visit Tim's website, be sure to click on links to his beautiful books.  His latest one is Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas.  It should be a wonderful read for anyone who loves the Appalachian mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I visited my friends Noel and Patrick when in Western North Carolina--and gave them the towels I was weaving with the hemp yarn that I showed in an earlier post--

and here's one of them in use!

I enjoy weaving functional fabrics for friends.  I only give myself time to do that once or twice a year--but I truly love to see the cloth in use.

Things are calming down a bit and I hope I can soon catch up in the blog more with some of the very busy fall doings around here.  But this is it for now!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

2015 approaches!

Yes, it really will be next year before you know it.  My tapestry diary tells me that as I move along in it, day by day.  So do my journals--yes, plural for journals.  I write a lot and in several notebooks or handmade books.  Then there's my calendar for what's coming up.  The days of paper calendars have gone by the wayside, for the most part.  If I have a cloud failure, I guess I won't know where I'm supposed to be.  Hope I'll still remember who I am.  But, how I did enjoy getting the new Month at a Glance calendar, back in the day.  All those blank days of the new year neatly bound together, just waiting to be filled in with this and that and another thing.

Now... about 2015.  I have three teaching trips planned and links to those are at the left side of the blog.  The first one for the year will be at John C. Campbell Folk School, February 22-27.  Next will be a three day workshop at Florida Tropical Weavers Guild Conference, March 20-22.  And the last class that's now on the schedule is at Arrowmont School of Crafts, June 38-July 11.  The Arrowmont class will be a two week session and it's always nice to have an extended time for a tapestry class.  Right now the link at the Arrowmont site is for a sneak-peek listing only; registration for the 2015 classes there will begin on November 17.

I hope I'll see you at one (or more) of those classes next year--or should I say, in a few months?!