Friday, August 20, 2010

Fourth day at Penland

Even fewer words... it's 11:12 p.m.; I got to my room from the studio about 10:30 and have just resized photos to post. No more time or energy left to say much more. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words (and those thousand words, if I had them, would say this group is amazing!)

We started the day with a sharing of work by those in the class. We did this yesterday and again today--tomorrow we'll see work from others, as well.

Karen showed flame work pieces from a class she'd had at Penland a couple of weeks ago.

Andrea shared many amazing drawings. These are only a few that she finally laid out on to cover the table.

Joan had photos she wants to work from, watercolor paintings, images of completed tapestries and a copy of a travel journal with small illustrations for each day.

We've completed our fourth full class day now. Everyone is at a different point yet we're all experiencing these beautiful views around Penland. There was a quick thunderstorm this afternoon that caused some excitement since we saw a lighting strike in the near woods. Since we didn't hear later sirens perhaps the strike was at a tree in the woods and not somebody's home.

We've had rain almost every afternoon... this photos was from yesterday afternoon's storm shower.

So now here are random photos from the studio as I left tonight.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Third day at Penland, August 18, 2010--mostly photos

Just a few words below... lots of work done and more to come so I need to end the evening before midnight today. It's 11:25 p.m. now. The post will be made tomorrow since I don't have internet access here and am using Blogo to write the post to be published tomorow.

Audrey thinks about what's next...

Audrey shows where she is at the end of the day...

Barbara showed a few of her small pieces to the rest of the class and I think everyone was amazed as I was at the beauty of these small pieces.

Meredith demonstrates continuous warping for the class and then continues for the warp she's putting on for her next weaving. Raising the loom on boxes at the four corners is a handy way to warp by one's self.

Joan continues to work on her piece.

Karen sets up to begin a cartoon.

Karen, who's staying in a condo near here so she can have her dog with her, brought Mitzi to the studio tonight.

Kimberly works out more ideas in her sampling.

Meredith works on her hew warp. She's used the Churro wool for warp that I bought at Convergence.

And here at the third floor of Lily Loom House we'll all begin our next day together on the 19th of August.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Second day at Penland--Tuesday, August 17

Second day... and it feels almost like the second week! How can so much be packed into each day? This is what it feels like to be in an intense 24-7 class situation. I both love it and find it very challenging. I continue to think of the "before lunch" time as a different day than the "after lunch time" and now, already, the "after-dinner evening event" time is seeming to be a THIRD day. So I guess my sense of time here seems to be telling me that each day spent in this situation contains at least enough creative experience to fill THREE "normal" days in the real world.

Here are a few photos from this seeming "several day-day" here at Penland in my class... and at the end are links to the instructors who showed amazing slides tonight... and I'm sorry not to be able to have links right now to their studio assistants whose work was also amazing.

These photos are not in any chronological order except that they were done today.

Andrea works after the slide show.

Audrey's piece at the end of the day.

Barbara's weaving tonight. She showed me a few of her earlier tapestries today--amazing pieces!

Joan is working on curves with a circle to end the sampling. She sewed a cartoon traced on mylar onto the back of her warp threads today and began the trip up this ribbon-like shape.

Joan's cartoon, yarn snippets as samples, her scissors at the yarn table and a few balls of yarn I brought from which most students are selecting colors. The yarns I use in my own work is what I have here... Vevgarn from Norsk Fjord Fiber and a 20/2 worsted wool from Fine Fiber Press (Kathe Todd-Hooker's business). Both wools are from Norway. Students also had the option of bringing and using their own yarns or buying from the Penland supply in the weaving studio.

Karen's piece underway. She has never woven in anyway before but is quite creative.

Class hours are flexible here; all studios are open 24 hours during the sessions (except for hot glass, I think). Normally, everyone works together as a team made up of instructor/studio assistant/students between 9-ish and 5-ish (lunch time for an hour in between), and then have evening hours depending upon evening events that have campus-wide invitations (like the instructor/studio assistant slide shows almost ever evening).

For instance, this afternoon there was an opening of this session's instructors' exhibit in the Penland Gallery at 4:30 p.m. Here Meredith and I are standing in front of my tapestry in that exhibit--

Following that exhibit opening, there was an open house at Cynthia Bringle's studio just down the hill from Horner Hall where the gallery is located. Here's Edwina Bringle (Cynthia's sister) and Barbara, one of the students from my class whose also studied with Edwina.

First thing this morning was a demo of the cutting off of a finished piece when Meredith Dahle, my studio assistant, cut off. She'd woven it to have a shaped effect and so was describing how she'd planned that before she cut off.

After cutting the piece off the loom she pulled the warps to make the piece shaped. That's what's happening here.

Her shaped piece after pulling the warps looks like this before the complete finishing.

Everybody's working hard all day long and into the evenings! Great group of students.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Penland class begins

Yesterday (Sunday, the 15th of August) was such a full day. I drove to Penland on the 14th but only moved my things into my room, nothing into the studio. So first thing yesterday morning I drove over to the Lily Loom House to begin the many treks up the stairs to the third floor where our class is being held. Lots of trips up and down those steps! I got quite a few of the boxes upstairs before Meredith, my studio assistant, was free from her early morning meetings to become a pack animal. BUT she took up the heaviest loads of all. I felt somewhat justified in eating the extra calories at the great Penland meals yesterday after the "stair-master" workout I got. Here's one view of some of the things brought up from the car...
These were all essential things to bring along with me but hauling it all up to the third floor became increasingly tedious (and hot) as the morning progressed!
Here's a view of the space before setting up.
The first meeting was yesterday afternoon at 5 when all students, instructors, studio assistants and any others on campus were invited to a welcome from the Director of Penland and brief talks by others of the staff to orient us to the two weeks to come. Next was dinner followed quite quickly by an instructors' meeting with the Director and several staff members at 7 p.m. Then our classes began at 8:30 p.m. We stayed in class until around 10:30 p.m. and then, dodging the results of the heavy rain that had fallen during the two hours we were in class, tapestry class folks wandered to their rooms--some more slowly than others because of no flashlights. That proved to be quite a challenge because of the rain... lots of puddles in unexpected places!
This morning was full of activity with safety orientation by the studio coordinator and warping the copper pipe looms. We didn't begin weaving until after lunch--beginning with basic meet and separate, even for those who have some experience with tapestry.
Some views of the room we're in and tapestry work underway--

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Penland adventure begins today

I'll be leaving shortly to spend two weeks at Penland School of Crafts.  The class I'll be teaching is called "Tapestry and Other Weft-Faced Adventures" and it will indeed be that, I hope... lots of adventures to be had.  Photos from the class will follow in days to come (and maybe while there I'll have time to catch up to post a few from the New Mexico trip and the ATA retreat).

Adding to today's post before I leave... I wanted to mention the generous serving of crow that I'm eating right now--tastes delicious, in fact... although I'm using more than a pinch of salt with it.  Some may remember my firm statement about not entering juried exhibits ever again after the rejections I received earlier in the year.  Well, that resolution lasted for about six months.  I decided to get over it and move on and enter juried shows when they seemed interesting.  In mid-July I submitted work for jurying into an upcoming show at the The Bascom Center for the Visual Arts in Highlands, NC.  Here's the information about that from their website:

American Craft Today

October 2–December 18, Main Gallery
Juror: Carol Sauvion
Free Sunday Curatorial Highlight, 2-3 pm, October 10
This national competition will feature original works in all craft media: ceramics, metal, wood, glass, fiber, book arts, etc. This year’s juror will select some 40-50 handcrafted works for inclusion. Juror Carol Sauvion is the executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated “Craft in America” PBS television series, as well as creator and director of Craft in America Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to presenting the history, practitioners and techniques of craft in the United States and their impact on our nation’s cultural heritage. Artist’s call for entries available at

Yesterday I got an e-mail saying I've been accepted into the show with the tapestry called "Life Force"--that's the kudzu piece that was completed not too long ago.  Mmmm, mmmmm... that crow is tasting fine right now.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

No post with photos from New Mexico is ready yet!

So instead, I'll direct you to a few posts from others...

I was very happy to finally meet Lyn Hart, face-to-face.  We've corresponded through e-mail for a few years now.  In fact, her blog and Kathy Spoering's blog are the ones that got my blogging started.  Lyn and Janie Hoffman allowed me to ride along to the opening of the exhibit Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and the Bauhaus.  The work in the exhibit is by James Koehler, Rebecca Mezoff and Cornelia Theimer Gardella.  I asked Rebecca if I could photograph her statement "Spiraling" from the exhibit and she kindly consented.  She's also posted it to her blog... so I'll direct to that rather than my photo of the text.  Her work is just beautiful and I was glad to meet her.

I had fun meeting some of the Weavolution folks in the vendor's hall at the Convention Center in Albuquerque.  Laverne Waddington was there to demonstrate backstrap weaving and Kathe Todd-Hooker was there at the same time--here's the link to Laverne's blog post with Kathe and my photo at the Weavo booth...  then here's a photo of the bag I bought from Laverne, also from at her blog.  The bag works just great for small bobbins.

Jan Austin's blog has some of her thoughts and photos from New Mexico--and she's going to be adding more about the experience, bit by bit.  Jan and I were in the same workshop at the ATA retreat--the one James Koehler led.  What an exerience--I've got a few photos from both the classroom and also the visit to his studio but haven't had time to edit yet.  Jan and Marcy also allowed me to share their rental car on a gallery adventure in Albuquerque (to see Kathe Todd-Hooker's exhibit at Village Wools).   I also rode back to the airport from Santa Fe with them on the morning we were leaving.

My Penland class is rapidly approaching and most of my time is being spent with final prep work.  I made a quick trip there on Thursday of this week to take five table looms--got one more to take along next weekend to add to those.  There's also one or two at Penland we can use.  There's another weaving class going on at the same time as mine and they will be using the primary weaving studio.  We'll be on the third floor in the surface design studio.  Mostly we'll be using the copper pipe frame looms but I'll also be showing about a few weft-faced loom controlled methods and so need looms with at least three-shafts.
More about all of that will come soon... maybe!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

a few sketches from the plane, going and coming...

I always select a window seat on flights, if given the choice.  This time I had window seats reserved for both flights--however, when I boarded in Atlanta a lady was in my assigned seat by the window.  She asked if I'd mind changing with her and taking an aisle seat.  My usual compliant nature didn't come forth--I said, "No... I'd like my seat, please."  I wasn't huffy but I intended to SIT BY THE WINDOW so I could see the land, the sky, the clouds as we traveled the 1000 + miles from Atlanta to Albuquerque.  She moved, not a problem... but, by even mentioning it here I know I still feel guilty about insisting on the seat.  Oh well.

I draw and photograph when I'm looking out.  This time I did a sort of running commentary in notation about what was happening as the flight progressed.  Here are a few of the sketchbook pages--these are in a small sketchbook that I can carry in my purse.  Drawings were done with felt-tip pen and also a small pack of colored pencils that I carry with me.  I did make a few photos from the window but mostly just drew.  Both flights were exceptionally good ones.

Most of the time this sort of sketching is just to remind me later of some of the details of a trip.  But a portion of one of the field sketches might be able to turn into a design for a tapestry... I'll consider it more: