Friday, May 8, 2009

My head is spinning!

I've just arrived home from Vermont after spending the past three days and four nights at the home studio of Bhakti Ziek. I went there to have a tutorial with her with the intent to learn more about what artist/weavers like her are doing with the TC-1 loom, as well as other jacquard looms. And am I ever overwhelmed with information! In these few days I've begun to understand more about the process and complexity of the creation of images through loom controlled means.

For years I've had a curiosity about how involved artist/weavers really are with both the design and excution process when they're using a jacquard loom. And I've made comments in the past that the use of the term "tapestry" by those who are weaving loom controlled fabrics in which images are created is not accurate. But--for an equally long time I've had a suspicion that I've been speaking out of ignorance. I wanted to have a way to learn more about the other side of pictorial fabric weaving, especially through the use of the TC-1 loom.

When I read an article about Bhakti Ziek in a Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot issue a few months back and learned that she offers tutorial sessions at her home studio, including giving students access to her TC-1, I contacted her and asked for details. I've known of her art work for many years and always found it amazing. I felt an opportunity to meet her and have a private introduction to the complex weave approach to imagery couldn't be passed up.

So, over the past three days Bhakti enabled me to take a couple of images from my sketches through the process she and Alice Schlein have described in their book, The Woven Pixel, and prepare those with weave structures to be woven at her TC-1 loom. She is an incredibly patient teacher, taking me step-by-step through the processes. Then, she gave me free rein with her loom to try those images out! Using the loom is amazingly simple and I was sampling away within a few minutes on the first day.

Not only did she spend the days and part of the evenings with instruction, both she and her husband prepared wonderful meals. We spent hours talking about how what we each do is equally valid. We also began to dream about ways that those of us who do tapestry in weft-faced plain weave might begin to have a meaningful dialog with those who create images in fabric through complex means and also call those tapestry. Bhakti has described more about the days I was there at her blog.

Here's Bhakti taking a look at my sample weaving--over 100" long!

So much to think about! BUT now my priority is to think about some shut-eye! We were up at 3:45 this morning at Bhakti's to leave for the Burlington, VT airport by 4:30 a.m. so I could catch my 7 a.m. flight back to Atlanta. Made it all the way home, through various stages... from Randolph to Burlington by car for just over an hour, courtesy of Mark and Bhakti, then through the friendly skies for two and a half hours, via Delta airlines, onto MARTA for the hour-long ride to the end of the line where I jumped in my car waiting in the parking lot, and made the the final hour+ drive on home ... and now I'm about pooped!

This is a quick photo of my final weaving. I'll photograph it again and post after I've had time to cut it off the others and completely finish it.

1 comment:

  1. I bet your head is spinning! I'm glad to see you take the adventure on and know more about "the other side" of weaving. I'm interested in seeing where you take it. I can imagine there will be some incredible blending that will emerge.