Sunday, April 29, 2012

Second fiddlehead is done!

I just finished it a short while ago... have to stop to do other things right now.  But I hope to get back to the tapestry later today.

Here's the drawing detail it's based on:

Sort of a wonky spiral.  Those fiddleheads open so quickly and turn into ferns that they sometimes seem quite wonky to me.  I almost think I could watch them unfurl if I sat in the woods long enough!

Here's the woven version:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tapestry continues to grow... inch by inch

Two photos for today. The first is where I started this morning; I'd just put in the half-pass of red-orange and was ready to roll the piece down on the cloth beam.

Below is where I got to today.  I'll tackle the second fiddlehead tomorrow.  It has a more distinct spiral in the drawing and I need all my concentration to get it right!  Enough for today.  I'm pooped!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More tapestry progress

I'm back at the loom after a couple of days away.  The Southern Highland Craft Guild annual meeting was on Saturday and I went to Asheville for that.  On the way back, I spent a wonderful afternoon and evening in the woods near Whitewater Falls in North Carolina.  Not in the woods, literally, except for a late afternoon walk, but with friends who have a place there.  I've written about Noel & Patrick's paradise several times over my years of blogging.  My image capturing there was mainly in sketches this time around.

So, this tapestry continues to grow.  I'm over 1/2" at the center and right side now, still have to catch up at the left side... hope to get there by tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More of the current tapestry progress

When I reach the bottom of the first fiddlehead I'll be at the 1/2 point in this piece.

Wonder if I can finish it by the end of the month?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Looming Thoughts

OK, bad pun, I know.

Somehow it seemed a bit appropriate for much of today's studio time.  I'd ordered two more harness sets for the six harness Macomber loom I recently bought from Pat Williams.  I placed my order through Sarah Haskell, who's a dealer for Macomber, about ten days ago.  They were sitting in a box by my front door today when I walked home to check the mail.  So even though I knew it would be challenging to install the sets by myself, I decided to give it a try.

Yes, I also know that I got hurt in a MAJOR way last year when working with a floor loom by myself.  One lesson learned with that awful accident was to be more aware of what the equipment was doing as well as what I was doing.  I managed to get the installation done today with only a few scratches and dings on my fingers and hands.  Of course, I'm going to feel the pain later from sitting in yoga-like positions under and around the bottom of the loom for much of the afternoon!

Here's the loom now--with eight harnesses and ready for a warp in the near future!

But... back to the tapestry now.  Here's where I stopped with it earlier this morning:

This tapestry is based on one of the several sketches I did of fiddleheads a couple of springs ago.  I'd worked on them with positive/negative effects, trying to make a balance of dark and light that was interesting in the composition.

I'd stuck them in a portfolio and pretty much forgotten about them after completing the tapestry based on one version, the one called Spring Profusion.  I had the sketches with me at the Tallahassee workshop recently and when I looked at them again, I found that a couple of them were pretty interesting.  I picked one that would adapt to the 24" wide warp that was waiting for something.  And now I'm happy to see it pretty well underway.  

If you're wondering about the red orange half-passes that run through it... those are indicating where I've stopped weaving at the end of each session.  I've thought about doing that before but never have... showing the progress of a tapestry in some way.  Just one more indication of my obsession with time passing, I guess.

Since I work on tapestry by building shapes, the line of red orange meanders rather than traveling straight across.  As a half pass, the line is a dotted line.  There is a border of color at the bottom of the piece so I thought the red-orange lines would be fine throughout the monochrome of the main body of the tapestry.  

Current tapestry proceeds...

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Friday, April 13, 2012

New tapestry progress

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Time at the creek house

Spring profusion once more:

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Handout revisions underway...

I'm making new samples in strongly contrasting colors and photographing them to replace some of the photos in my teaching handout. I'd originally had the handouts printed in color but because I sprinkle the photos throughout the pages, the copying cost was greater. By having the handouts printed in black and white I can keep the cost to about $2.50 for a 20+ page booklet. The handouts, as well as warp and assorted weft yarns are part of my small materials fee students are asked to pay in my workshops. Those costs range from $5 to $15, depending on the length of the workshop (hence, the amount of yarns used).
This is a tedious process but fun in a way. I really like to do these and have many of these now (a few of them shown in an earlier post). Simply using two colors and changing positions of those gives almost endless possibilities to explore the interaction of positive and negative. Or the effects of Notan. More about Notan later.
Now, back to the loom and the camera.  Oh, and, yes, I'm weaving with the camera in place where it is... a little hard to reach around it but is working out OK for the time being.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Next workshop coming up in a couple of months--in late June, Arrowmont School of Crafts

Seems like only yesterday when I was in Tallahassee for the workshop... no, wait!  It was only yesterday (at least when I left Tallahassee).  I'm getting my planning hat on for the next workshop I'll be teaching and that's in June at Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg.

There are still spaces left in the class, according to the numbers I learned from the Arrowmont office today.  I believe the minimum number has been reached now so the class should make; The maximum is 12.  4-5-12-- Just got word that the class has indeed made and is a go!

I'm going to do some revision of photos for my handout booklet before the next class to make some of the techniques clearer.  I may also do a few more diagrams, if I have time.  I'm always revising to see if I can make it better!

One of the Tallahassee participants showed me a really interesting app for iPhone, called CamWow.  It's a free download (I have no vested interest in the app other than I've downloaded it myself and it can indeed give one a "WOW!" pretty easily.) Here are a few quick photos taken on a walk to the NGCSU bookstore today--this is only one of the several options one can select for the images you're photographing.  I liked this because of the linear quality.  These could adapt to thinking about tapestry versions pretty quickly, I think.  I emailed them to myself from my phone, then changed the size in Photoshop Elements.  I know that Elements can do something similar with find lines filter... but this is almost instantaneous.  I like the extreme simplicity of it, too.

Large thunderhead to the north of town earlier... and here's where it is now:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Wonderful End to a Wonderful Workshop...

... at least, in my opinion!  The students of a workshop or class are always the best judges of the success/failure of the class, I believe.  But, in my humble opinion as the teacher of this particular workshop, the class was a success.  Everyone worked so very hard to accomplish many inches of tapestry weaving.  And, I truly believe that the principle of good old "meet and separate" was firmly fixed in most everyone's minds, eyes and hands by the end of the workshop today.

Here are a few photos from the ending of the workshop:

Color mixing was a goal of several today. 

Workshop in progress through the day... and then...

Cutting off!

Lovely work, lovely people.  I'm so glad I was invited to Tallahassee and so glad I came!  Thanks, Seven Hills Handweavers Guild, for having me and I hope to see your tapestries in the future.