Monday, October 22, 2007

Black Walnut tapestry cut off the loom!

Yesterday was a red letter day in several ways...first, Jacob came by!! This is the first opportunity to see him we've had since his return from Iraq in late September. He only stopped by the studio for a few minutes but just seeing him in person was just great. I didn't have his tapestry at the studio, though, since it's at the Artisans Center exhibit--but he was happy to know it was there.

I'd just finished weaving the last few inches of the tapestry before he showed up and had been out walking around Gold Rush, the annual festival here in Dahlonega that brings in around THOUSANDS of people to our small community. The festival has been held in Dahlonega since the 1950s and originally celebrated the discovery of gold in the north Georgia mountains in 1828. It has grown to be a massive event, mostly with "country crafts"--but there were a few interesting craft booths with pottery and wood working...and many, many food vendors. People come from far and wide to shuffle along with strollers, dogs on leashes, etc.

Beautiful weather for the event this weekend...and by this morning one would not know it has even happened! The local Jaycees sponsor the event but many, many people and organizations are involved. And the clean-up is a major effort undertaken by everyone from volunteer Scout troops to hired hands.

Here's a link from the Dahlonega Chamber of Commerce website to more info about Gold Rush:

So, after Jacob and his friends left I completed the hem of the tapestry, did the half-hitch at the top and invited my husband to the studio to help with the cut-off. The piece is hanging on the wall of the studio right now, put up with push pins. I'll begin the task of finishing later this morning when I get to the studio. Lots of ends to trim and also to stitch away from the edges. A few slits to sew--although I sew as I go, there are usually a few slit areas that I didn't stitch that I feel should be secured. Then, the hanging method will be determined...since this is 8 epi and a lighter weight than the roots I'll probably use velcro for the hanging. Size is 33" w x 53" l.

This photo shows it hanging with cut warps and the hem areas at top and bottom...the inch or so of gray at the top and the beige at the bottom will be turned back.

After dinner I began moving boxes of yarn into the new studio. My lease ends on the 31st at the current studio and now that the tapestry is off I'll be able to have the loom moved in a few days. I'll move what I can carry by myself but probably we'll have a few guys help with the looms and other furniture on one day later in the week.

The tapestry finishing must be completed this week, however, since it's one of the five I'm taking for the Piedmont Craftsman has to be to Winston-Salem, NC by the 9th of November. It usually takes a couple of days for finishing since the stitching movement I have to use as I sew is something tough on my hands.

Yarn boxes and new shelves in the Martin Street studio. Barely visible in the second room are the uprights for the Ruthie loom which isn't assembled yet. I'm eager to get into this studio space and adapt to the new configuration. The Stanton Storehouse space, being a large and open area, has had a great feel to it. Since the Martin Street studio is a small house, the individual rooms will give a different atmosphere for working. All will be well....


  1. Hi Tommye:
    I'm an early bird - like you - and very happy to see your blog. Congrats on your beautiful new piece.
    Question : I notice that your cartoon is attached behind your warp. I like this idea - saves marking all the warp ends. How do you do this? Also, I notice basting stitches in your work (still in progress). What are these for?
    I am proceeding with Sharon as my mentor and am excited to get started. Thanks for all that you do for the tapestry community, and for sharing your wonderful work.
    Rita Landau

  2. Congratulations on finishing this beautiful piece, Tommye! As always, it is both lovely, and it looks like a masterpiece of craftsmanship. Do you have the next piece in mind, or will getting the studio put together be plenty for awhile? Kathy S

  3. Hey Tommye,
    I'm finally getting to your blog this morning. It seems to have a different look/design to it. hmm. did you change the layout by any chance?

    Black Walnut is fabulous! Having seen it progress "in person" I know that it is so well-crafted that there is a kind of plush perception to it. Hyper-texture, if you will allow me to make up a word. Plus, I deeply appreciate the environmental message that is intricate to your concept/content. CONGRATULATIONS!!

  4. Tommye, Black Walnut is sooooo very beautiful! I have really enjoyed watching your weaving progress on this tapestry, & I love the detail on the open shell. I can almost feel that dusty, gritty feeling of a freshly cracked walnut when I look at it!

    I had the fun of having a visitor in my studio a couple weekends ago that you know-- Olga Neuts. We looked at your blog, along with Kathy's, Meabh's, & Debbie Herd's. She was excited to see your work & had good memories of the time you were both at Penland!

    Isn't it so wonderful that we have this little tapestry blog community in place where we can see such current & vivid images of what we're all working on? I feel extremely lucky, it is so very inspiring for a newer weaver like myself to be able to see weaving such as yours & Kathy's in progress!