Saturday, March 31, 2012

More from Tallahassee and the workshop here...

Today we had a full day of weaving tapestry and afterwards we had a great meal at Mary Jane Lord's house.  Her collection of weavings was so inspiring to see... what a treat!

Chocolate to end the meal... did I say "Treat" before; well, yes... but then there's "TREAT!"

So here are a few photos taken quickly at the end of the day of the workshop session.  We've got one full day tomorrow as an end of this adventure together.  Lots of ideas are bubbling and techniques are being refined.  I think we're all looking forward to a good end to this good workshop by tomorrow afternoon.

More photos tomorrow....

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tallahassee rocks!

The LeMoyne Art Center is the location of the workshop that the Seven Hills Handweavers Guild invited me to teach.

The workshop is being held in a small cottage on the grounds of the art center:

Twelve wonderful people decided to take the tapestry journey with me this weekend and here are a few photos of our first day:

At lunch, I enjoyed the sculpture garden on the grounds; my favorite sculpture was the horse, in the second photo below:

More tomorrow... and Sunday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Off to Tallahassee, Florida in a couple of days!

I'll be teaching a three day workshop for the Seven Hills Handweavers Guild of Tallahassee on March 30, 31 and April 1 so I've been quite busy with preparations.  I've revised my handout, woven a new sample (always weave yet another one when I'm about to teach a class since I want to work out the direction I'd like for things to go).

I've sorted through my samples boxes and pulled together the ones that will be most pertinent to have with me this time... they were laid out on the table before getting boxed up again:

The class will be a basic tapestry introduction so I'll be presenting meet and separate as the focus, with ways to use two color, then a third color will be added.  After that, challenges of building shapes, moving on diagonals and curves will be done.  Pick and pick will be part of the exploration, as well.  

We'll be using a 6 epi sett, with 12/18 cotton seine twine.  I often ask participants to use that size warp and sett since it's much easier for me to see what's happening with a student's work at that scale.  I'll have other sizes of warps along with me and we'll discuss the differences in the tapestry when smaller setts are used.

I'll be taking along copper pipe looms for several folks to use during the workshop.  So, the packing and stacking of boxes has begun.  I hope to load the car tomorrow and have an early start on Thursday.

I've still got quite a few things to pull together... weft, for instance, and the books I'll be taking.

On another note... a new loom came to live at the studio yesterday afternoon!  I'm quite thrilled to be the new owner of a Macomber loom that came from Pat Williams' studio.  I decided I really needed a wider floor loom and one with more than 4 shafts.  Pat's loom is 40" wide and has 6 shafts; the Macomber frame will accommodate up to 10 shafts and I'll add at least two more, eventually.  But this will be enough for right now.  My floor loom weaving time is my "hobby" weaving... I've mentioned that before.  Although most of my weaving time is spent with tapestry work, I still like to weave functional cloth.  Usually, those weavings are for our home or for gifts.  So, I'm hoping to make a few new curtains for our kitchen soon... maybe this summer will be a good time for that.  

My husband asked me last week, when I was telling him about the transaction Pat & I had in the works: "How many looms have you owned??!"  I had to tell him that I truly didn't know.  Looms have come and gone in my life since 1972 or '73.  I've enjoyed each and every one of them in some way... some more than others, however.  Some of the looms I've sold, some I've given away.  One day I'll make a list of the looms I've owned... maybe!

So... here's the new addition, fresh to the studio, thanks to my nephew, PJ, who drove my husband and me to Pat's yesterday afternoon in his big pickup and was 1/2 of the muscle needed to load up the loom and then to unload it when we got  back!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Feathers ready for exhibit now...

I've completed the mounting and framing of the feather tapestries. I've also gotten two block prints done and framed. I'll be delivering these pieces to Hambidge next week. The opening of the exhibit is on March 31. Unfortunately, I'll have to miss it because I'll be in Tallahassee, Florida to teach a tapestry class.

This three feather piece is my favorite of these. I've called it "Crow and More" as that seemed appropriate.

NOW... on to other things.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tapestry Diary on March 14, 2012

Here's an overview of the diary in progress on the loom.

A bit closer...

... and closer still. Lots of weather/sky/time of day things going on in this year's diary. I'm not using numbers each and every day to note the date, but am doing so most of the time. If I'm short on time for a day's entry I'm resorting to tried and true pick and pick! And I did have to re-weave the 13th since I wove a 12... was just about through with it and realized I'd woven two x six pick and pick areas, one above the other in the black and gray band just to the right of where I was doing the 13th day (thinking it was the 12th--but had woven that the day before; the night before, actually, hence the black part of the band...) OK, I'm rambling on here, I know!

Studio work is being taken up with finishing off the feathers for the exhibit. I've stitched them to the mounting boards today. I'm also doing a few block prints of feathers... maybe I'll post some photos of those soon. Or maybe not!
I'll see how it goes.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Feathers are flying!

... off the loom, that is.  I've had a wonderfully fun week with a friend who was visiting.  She's a fabric artist, Diane Getty, who's currently living in Baltimore.  She is teaching at John Campbell Folk School this upcoming weekend and came to visit for a few days before her class.  During the week, we walked, talked, critiqued, discussed... all the things good friends who both work with art making do together.  After she left this afternoon, I finished the last of the feather tapestries.  Now... to get them finished off for the exhibit coming up at Hambidge Gallery in a few weeks.

Here they are, warp strings hanging:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Workshop woes

Yes, one more injury to document here at the blog! Becoming an annual event, it seems. At least this time around my injury wasn't as bad as last year's when my hand was impaled--my right hand, at that. This time, the left hand took the fall; I mean that quite literally. I fell and put out my hands to break the fall (so this time around I didn't fall on my head like I did when at Hambidge a couple of years back!)

OK... so, how did I fall? Well, by being inattentive. Isn't that always my excuse for these injuries? At least, I think I've heard myself say that before. On Saturday during the lunch break at the workshop I thought I'd walk around in the River Arts District to get some air. It was bright, windy and cold. So I strolled up Depot Street for about a block, then crossed the street to walk back. On the way, I saw an interesting store window in which a dog was looking out. I looked over to smile at the dog and didn't see the uneven sidewalk that my toe ran into quite hard. And I went tumbling. As I fell, my phone flew out of my pocket and landed several feet in front of me, my glasses came mostly off my face--hung up at one ear, and my knees and hands took the brunt. My left hand has cuts from the sidewalk and my wedding ring cut into my finger and was bent by the impact. My right knee has an abrasion and my left knee is bruised. Although shaken up, my ego was pretty much intact although a bit sheepish. The dog in the window? He just continued to look out but this time he seemed to have a WTF thought balloon over his head.

Back in the studio, I asked Pat if there was a first aid kit; she had antiseptic lotion and bandaids so I washed out the cuts and put that on. Trish had some rubber gloves and she gave me one so I could cover the hand to be able to continue to work for the rest of the afternoon.

Yesterday morning, I picked up a pair of cotton gloves and more rubber gloves from the nearby CVS, and more bandaids. I was able to work throughout the rest of the workshop without problems with the hand... thank goodness!

I'll write more about the workshop and work done during it later. Got to get on the road home shortly. A friend is coming into town tomorrow for a few days of shared creative time at my studio and I'm looking forward to that. She's on her way to teach at John Campbell Folk School this weekend--driving down from Baltimore to our house, then back north for an hour to get to Brasstown on Friday afternoon.

We're having snow showers right now in Asheville... hope the road home will be clear!

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Last day at the workshop

Too many things to talk about for today's ending of the Steve Aimone workshop. Only thing I'll say is that it continued to be amazing for everyone who was there.

A few photos from today:

We started out today with an exercise to use three colors and to engage all four edges by first taking one color into the field and let it do whatever it wanted but to exit again at the same edge, the reenter at the next edge and do the same thing. We were to do this with all three colors and then do whatever we wanted. This is my beginning.

Suddenly, a figure seemed to emerge and I then emphasized her/him with color and contrast.

Then, here's how the figure was resolved.

I've been wanting to work with in a figurative way in tapestry for some time now... maybe this figure is showing me how to begin.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another fabulous day at Steve Aimone's workshop!

Steve is truly one of the most gifted teachers I've ever had the opportunity to work with. His guidance is on point and yet he lets us make mistakes. His teaching is practiced and methodical. But he knows what he's sharing with us so well that he can "go with the flow" of the class and its needs--the perfect combination in a teacher, in my opinion.

So... today we worked hard yet again... here are a few photos of what went on:

Here's where I'd begun after working in response to Steve's directions to start with (on the left) a number of angular marks (like check mark, Ws, Ls, etc.) and on the right, with a dictated grouping of other marks (like S, commas, Ms, etc.) The point was that the left side beginnings contained more sharp and angular lines/shapes while the right side was full of more rounded shapes. We were then encouraged to develop them both in any way we wanted to. These are my two... didn't photograph the initial marks that I'd made on the two panels with chunky charcoal... but those marks in charcoal were in response to Steve's dictates (" Put in two Ls... add an S... three commas....")

We moved through several exercises today... can't even keep count anymore! The day is spent with activity at one's own space in response to Steve's challenges and the "gallery walks" that I mentioned last night... walking around the room and spending at least 5 or more seconds taking in a viewing of each person's work. That's only one of the several ways that Steve so kindly allows for each of us to have her/his place on the agenda of discussion of work.

We worked with rhythm today and with an exercise to begin with full body engagement as we made marks. Steve asked us to put the marking tool (could be graphite, brush & paint, or any other medium) into both of our hands and to connect our hands and the tool to somewhere on our body... head, shoulder, or anywhere... and to make the marks from the whole body in a rhythmic way. He wanted us to repeat motifs/movements with the tool held in a way that lessened our control.

A few photos of the initial stages after we'd stopped:

Then, as we circled up for discussion after the initial work had been reworked:

Steve talks about Trish's work here...

... and then makes a point/counterpoint during discussion.

Here's my initial rhythm marks... I used a wide brush and dark paint, attached the brush to a cardboard roll and put it mostly against my chest/heart as I made the marks...

Then, this is what developed from the rhythm that I set up.

Last thing today, Steve talked about how the space of the rectangle or square we use is activated and how our eyes "read" the shapes.

One more day of this! Everything each one is doing is so amazing and it's mostly because of Steve's gentle, yet directed, guidance. I'm not sure any tapestry work will come from this... but, perhaps! Working with composition and design and concept is always valuable for a tapestry maker--after all, that's what we have to do before we even begin to weave!!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Steve Aimone workshop

That's where I am right now. I've had one other workshop with Steve (2008) and found it to be exceptional. So far, this one is, too. He introduced several exercises today to get all 14 of us in the class working. We moved through four things today and had time for "gallery walks" where we'd move through the room to take in what everyone else had been doing. Steve is a wonderfully gifted teacher who is able to encourage, motivate, critique and guide each person to bring out what is in her/him.

Two more days of this--WOW!

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