Sunday, February 28, 2010

off to KMA today

I'm going to have my first experience with Anne Wilson's exhibit at Knoxville Museum of Art this week.  Here's the description from the KMA website about the part of the exhibit in which I'll be working:

Local Industry at the Knoxville Museum of Art
Exhibition dates: January 22 - April 25, 2010

 Experienced weavers from Knoxville and surrounding states, as well as a "Chicago to Knoxville" group of weavers, are invited to take turns weaving a continuous bolt of weft-faced, selvedge-to-selvedge, striped cloth. Once one weaver has completed a passage of stripes, the next weaver responds to that passage and continues weaving. Proceeding this way, although abstract, relates to the Surrealist exercise of "exquisite corpse" drawing. The completed cloth bolt will be given to the KMA collection with an archive of all who participated.

Here's a link to an article about the exhibit that has more about the concept Wilson has presented with this exhibit.  My husband was asking me to explain to him why I want to be part of this.  It's pretty hard to articulate my reason(s) and I'll try to do that during this week's experience.

Friday, February 26, 2010

kudzu and more kudzu...

Back to the studio for a couple of days and weaving a bit, but I'll will be gone again in a day... kudzu will remain here--if only it would grow on its own while I'm gone!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

slowly I turned... step by step... inch by inch...

Was that a line from an Abbot and Costello movie, I couldn't remember so just googled it and found a Wikipedia definition at this link - also noticed a couple of YouTubes of bits with various performers.

"Inch by inch" is what I feel like I'm doing on the kudzu right now.  And more than a few inches won't be woven over the next couple of weeks while I'm on a trip to see the Howard Finster exhibit at Krannart Art Museum in Illinois.  Getting back from there, I'll do a quick load of laundry and crawl back in the car to go to Knoxville for my first stint of weaving on the "Local Industry" part of the Anne Wilson "Wind/Rewind/Weave" exhibit at the Knoxville Museum of Art.  A blog by one volunteer describes some of the experience of being part of that exhibit and I'm quite excited to be able to take my turn soon.

OK... I'm leaving the studio shortly and going home to pack a suitcase.  Before I leave here I need to collect a small loom, a box of embroidery floss of a million colors, sketch book.  I have plans to weave on the road (no, I'm not doing the driving!) and as I can while in Illinois.  Got to get the Enchanted Pathways piece finished soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tapestry diary for 2010 moves ahead

I'm taking a different approach to this year's tapestry diary.  Instead of the irregular sized rectangles of last year I'm using a square for each day.  Another change--last year I put ten days across the warp width; this year I'm using seven across, beginning on the left side and moving across the warp width until the seventh day.  Next week begins again at the left and goes across.

I'm still determined to use only wefts from my stash of wefts remaining from past tapestries... in this photo one can see just a bit on that stash in the big plastic bin and basket on the floor.  When finishing a tapestry I empty bobbins by winding a butterfly of the weft that remains.  I store almost every inch of the weft--only if it's a few inches long will I throw it out.  I usually stuff the wefts into a plastic zip lock bag, then put the bag into my storage bin.  I have pounds of yarn of this sort!

My colors, so far, are chosen by week.  I began with primary colors in the first week of January and moved to secondary colors in the second week.  I'm altering that order, week by week, with lots of variations and stretches toward intermediate colors--red orange will fall in a primary week, for instance, and yellow-green probably will fit best in a secondary week.

New rules to what's becoming an old game now that I'm over a month into a second year of weaving a small bit daily on an ongoing exercise.  I continue to be intrigued by what can happen and look forward to sitting down at the loom and making small decisions each day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

kudzu grows slowly...

 A few more inches were woven today and it's about time to roll up onto the cloth beam.  I keep the tapestry level as low as possible so I won't have to be reaching up too high as I weave--much more comfortable on the neck and shoulders that way.

A detail shot, rotated into the direction the piece will be hanging.  So far I'm pretty happy with the intertwining I'm achieving with the vines but it's a constant challenge to get the shadow shapes and values to work effectively.  

The compu-dobby loom is grabbing a number of my daily studio hours.  I've just finished a sampling of about a 2+ yards and am about to tie on another warp of equal length for more sampling.  I'll post shots of what I'm working on later this week.  Fascinating loom!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day to Everyone!

I'll share my February 14th tapestry diary entry as my Valentine to you... sorry, no chocolate is involved.

Here's wishing you happiness, combined with lots of affection from all whom you love (and who love you).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

kudzu... need to roll around the beam shortly

I just measured the remaining cartoon and see that I have 18" to go, from the lowest spot that's in this photo and 15" from the highest point.  The finished height (which will be the width of the piece) is 48" so I'm about 3/4 of the way through the weaving.

I looked back to my first post about the drawing from which the cartoon was made and saw that I'd described that on January 11th and I began weaving within a day or so of that.  I haven't finished this tapestry in a month's time but am making fairly good progress.  I still have hopes to meet my deadline for exhibiting this piece in April... fingers will be crossed as I weave!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

kudzu and other distractions...

Yesterday's progress .... not too much but today this is where the kudzu grew to... again, not too much but some:  

I rolled up by a few inches and tackled the large leaf at the right.  There are quite a few more inches in that but tomorrow I'll be working on the left side to fill in the triangular shaped part that contains another vine.  And I'll be trying to keep my hands off my new loom--another previously owned loom but this one is something I've been wanting for a couple of years--a multi-shaft loom.  

This is an AVL Workshop Dobby loom, 16" wide, with 24 shafts and a compu-dobby attachment.  I've had WeaveMaker software for awhile and have been wanting to again weave in multi-shaft structures.  I certainly am NOT giving up tapestry, rather I see this as a new direction that, I hope, will enhance all the work I do.

So... here's the new entity in the studio--sampling underway to see how the loom works.  Next week I plan to warp it up and begin learning about using Photoshop for designing liftplans, using Alice Schlein's new book, The Liftplan Connection , as a tutorial.

p.s.  Yes, I know the top of the beater looks funny.  We neglected to get that little piece of wood out of the car when the nice person from whom I got the loom delivered it on Monday.  I couldn't stand not trying it out that very day so rigged up a solution to hold the reed in place temporarily.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

not as much kudzu growth as I'd hoped today--but...

... any little bit is more than none!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

kudzu--more of filling in the blanks...

Seems like it's going very slowly now yet I know that I'm making progress and the tapestry's growing, inch by inch.  Today as I wove I listened through three CDs and one NPR program--and a good bit of silence.  I frequently pull out the Howard Shore's soundtracks for The Lord of the Rings trilogy as I weave--right now as I post this, Annie Lennox is ending the last of the three CDs with Into the West.

It's still cold and damp here so I'm weaving with a couple of layers of shirt and sweater on.   I'll click "publish post" now and walk on home, maybe settle in short nap to warm up. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

and a kudzu leaf grows larger...

Today has been a rainy day following a rainy night in Georgia--can't complain, though, since we're not having snow or ice like friends further north are having right now.  I was able to get more of the large kudzu leaf shape woven on the right side and I'll continue at the left tomorrow to get up to the next vine that's intertwining with the one coming up from the left edge in the middle ground.  That one is going to emerge to the top and sweep across to the front in a few inches.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

another kudzu vine is placed...

Only wove a couple of hours both yesterday and today but now I can really say I'm over half-way into the piece.  Yes, barely past that point but even so... progress!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

lots of kudzu leaf work... less on vines today

I spent the weaving time today filling in at the right side after shifting the whole piece down a few inches.  I'm getting used to how to move the warp forward with this Shannock loom--different than with the other looms with warp and cloth beams.  It took a couple of times of doing this to feel at ease with the process.  I really like the tension possible on the loom with the large screws that move the top beam up or down.  I'm quite sure I could put enough tension on the warp to break some, if I tried (not that I want to try that!).  I couldn't easily achieve that kind of tension on the other looms.  I don't weave with the warp as tight as I can make it--but am impressed with the ease on the body for tightening.  These days every bit of body help I can get with my equipment the better!

Here's a view of the same thing rotated 90˚--and I realize just as I wrote this that the highest part of the background area is now an inch or so above the half-way point of the design.  A couple of days weaving at the left side to catch up to that level but I'm getting there!  I'm weaving this for an exhibit in April--more details later.

Monday, February 1, 2010

kudzu twines on...