Sunday, September 2, 2007


More black walnut...

The maquette for the tapestry is at the right. Although hard to see in the photo, I've added two elements since the beginning (the walnut hull and the split walnut shell). I drew those from shells found in the yard last month...yes, the tree is producing some nuts, in spite of the Easter freeze, and those have been dropping since early August.

I'd painted in a walnut hull originally on the maquette but then painted it out and began weaving without it. I mentioned in an earlier posting that, as I was weaving the bottom portion, I began to feel the upper area needed work. I redrew and painted on the maquette, then added the drawings of the nuts by cutting out the paper drawings and taping them in place. I took the cartoon off the tapestry, repositioned it over the maquette and made the changes. I put X marks on the cartoon to indicate no longer valid outlines.

A friend came into the studio yesterday to help my husband move a loom. As he saw the tapestry and noticed the mylar cartoon stitched behind the weaving, he said "Oh, you use a cheat sheet to weave, huh?" I said, "Yep, it's like a tapestry coloring book!" He replied, "I thought you just took it out of your head." Well, yes, it comes out of my head but not directly, in my case!

The images I weave are mostly organic. Lots of growing things are of interest to me and particularly trees, details of trees including leaves and now bark. In the process of weaving over several months time the original design seems to develop in my mind--as I see it in the maquette hanging nearby. I've begun to feel the development of the image, as I work, changing the maquette along the way, always remembering what went before (not making any changes to the design below areas already woven in the), is very much related to the organic, growing things I'm weaving.

As I'm moving through this black walnut tapestry I'm realizing the weaving of it is taking almost an entire season...and the maquette changes have reflected this growth cycle. The only thing I didn't add, at the time it occurred in the spring, were images of the catkins.

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