Friday, May 31, 2013

Feathers are approaching the end

I've got about 8 +/-" remaining to weave on this tapestry.  Lots of things going on here that I'll write about eventually.  My weaving time on this piece is limited but I'm putting in at least a few minutes each day.  Tapestries only get completed by fingers placing weft into warp, after all!  Over and over again.

So here's where I'm leaving it today, the last day of May, six months into the process.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Paper Weaving Workshop at Lillian E. Smith Center is now HISTORY!

What a great time we had today!  Eleven participants came to the Center for the paper weaving workshop and were eager participants.  Here are a few photos from the day.  Thank you, everyone, who attended and who were ready, willing and able to take on the tasks I suggested!  I hope paper weaving will be in the future for some of you beyond the piece you did here today.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Preparations for tomorrow's paper weaving workshop continue

I've been working all week to make new examples of paper weaving.  A few photos of the process:

I used several photos taken here at the Center as both warp and weft for this piece.  I'm using a bamboo skewer to help pick up and hold the selected warps until the paper strip can be slipped into place.  I cut both the warp and weft strips in different sizes to make the image a bit more interesting.  The weave is simple plain weave.

In the next example, I scanned the weaving above, enlarged it and used that for a new print.  The warp strips were cut in an eccentric way for the next version.

Here's the finished weaving before trimming up the edges.

One of my favorite ways to do plain weave is with a method called "log cabin"-- I use this quite a bit when I weave with yarn, too.  Even simple plain weave can appear so complicated when done in log cabin:

I have a few more things to do today before I'll feel that I've gotten all the preparation work completed. I'm in the Common Room now where we'll have the class... here's one of our work stations--the table holding the assortment of papers and the important tools of scissors, x-acto knives and rulers:

And, yes, I have used paper weaving as a designing tool for tapestry in the past.  Here's a piece from several years ago.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spending time at Lillian Smith Center once more

Peeler Cottage, my residence for a few days. I'll be teaching a paper weaving workshop here on Saturday. I'm working on new example pieces and incorporating photos I'm taking while here into the paper options. I'll post some of those later.

This morning's walk around the Center was beautiful. I discovered a Jack in the Pulpit along the side of the gravel road! That was quite exciting:

I was ambling along looking at the ferns and, lo and behold, there was Jack!

These tulip poplar blooms are beautifully bright and the contrast of the damp gravel they are falling on is striking:

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Next to the last day here at Hambidge... least this time around. I hope I'll be able to return in the future.

Today's work included developing darker values on the cartoon as well as changing the temperature a bit by using a deep blue colored pencil in lower areas. I then painted again with darker values with ultramarine mixing with the rust colors I'd mixed earlier. There's still quite a lot of work remaining on this design but I'm progressing on it, I think.

Here's about a 32" wide X 13" high section of the 80" wide design... that's as far as I've taken the darker areas at the bottom.

The tapestry sample has progressed today, also:

Again, imagine this turned 90˚ from the direction it's being woven, with the right side as the bottom of the design. I'm finding out quite a few things by weaving the sample. One of the things is the amount of value contrast I'll need between background and leaves & fiddleheads. The fiddleheads are much lighter and so stand out quite well, but the ferns are merging into the background. That's OK in some places but in others I'll need the greens to be either lighter or brighter--or both. I'm also trying out the way I want to do the stem of the ferns. These thin lines will be done with soumak but how many strands, do I return the soumak line, and other questions about what's going to be both weaverly and visually effective.

I'm using 8 epi for the sample, the sett at which I expect to do the finished tapestry. And I'm using three strands of weft, two of Vevgarn and one of 20/2 worsted wool. This gives me some color mixing ability and adds the thin line of the 20/2 wool that I like to see in the surface of tapestry. I'm photographing everything with my iPad so the details aren't very clear.

I want to finish the sample weaving and maybe cut it off before I leave on Sunday so I have a few more inches to weave tomorrow. I've got to also begin to load up the car to leave. And there's an artist talk tomorrow evening that I'll take part in and so I'll leave things as they are in the studio for visitors... I guess. Sort of playing that by ear until it happens!

This morning when I walked to the Rock House to check emails, I also checked my friends, the Pink Lady's Slippers in the woods along Mellinger Trail. The two I spotted first are still standing proudly and I sat on a log close to them and did this sketch with my SketchBookX app on my iPad (I'd forgotten I had the app since I haven't used it very much--could have been "drawing" with it earlier in the stay!)--

I know I've got lots to learn about drawing with my finger and an iPad screen; if I had a stylus, I might have more control. But this still is an exciting new tool for me and I'll be sure to use it more frequently now that I've rediscovered it.

And, one more thing... as I looked at the several other Pink Lady's Slippers that are popping up in the woods I spotted this one. The leaves of the Lady's Slippers are pushing their way up THROUGH a leaf! Talk about life force and that nothing will stand in the way of it! In my first week here I also spotted a trillium that had done the same thing, pierced a leaf on its way from the forest floor and into the light.

I'm so grateful to have been able to spend this time in the woods here in north Georgia. Tomorrow is another day!

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Working today...

I've stayed at Mellinger for much of the day, working either on the cartoon or on the sample weaving. Here's another view of Mellinger. This is one of my favorite spots at Hambidge. There's not as much room to spread out on the walls as in some of the cabins but I've had plenty of space for 80" wide papers that I'm using to develop the cartoon. I also have two spacious worktables and was able to borrow another small table for my computer and projector. I've also taken over the small table near the kitchen area as my paint table and am using a smaller side table for meals. So it all is perfect.

Mellinger is at the end of the road -- a dead end-- on this side of the Hambidge property. It's a nice walk down through the trees to the Rock House where we have the evening meal and where I can get online. The path this morning:

This view of Mellinger Trail is almost to the lawn at Rock House.

And this is looking back in the opposite direction.

Around mid-day I drove into Clayton to return things to the Rabun County Library and checked out a few more books on CD. On the way into town, I traveled on a new road for me... one that Brenda and Donn had recommended yesterday and it was a wonderful winding road along a valley, lovely views of the fields and mountains. I was sorry I didn't have a camera with me but my eyes filled with many views of the developing springtime here in north Georgia as I drove.

I'd worked on the cartoon earlier this morning and then later this afternoon, and here it is at the stage I've gotten to. There are more hours of work before I'm satisfied with the value contrasts and the color.

Here's the section of the earlier watercolor of a section that I've framed off to use as reference as I do the sample weaving:

Here's where the tapestry sample has gotten to today--not a lot of change from yesterday but some. The sample is turned 90˚ to the way it would hang and is a 7.5 x 7.5" section of the 13" w x 80" l cartoon that I'm working on.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Another trip to Black Rock Mountain

I spent a wonderful day spent walking along the Tennessee Rock Trail at Black Rock Mountain in Rabun County with a couple of friends and collecting more photos of wildflowers.

Brenda and Donn were my guides and here they are at the overlook:

And, as you can see, I was quite tickled to have gotten to this point after an pretty long uphill climb!

The weather couldn't have been more perfect, breezy and cool with clouds flying by.

We spotted Yellow Trillium -- at last.

I can't find this lily in my books... perhaps the buds will open into a more full bloom later. Any help out there??

Brenda said this was Bloodroot, she thought.

Donn took lots of photos, too.

Many of these Trilliums, as well.

And Galax.

In addition to the wildflowers, several other things caught my attention... like rocks and lichens.

More adventures tomorrow!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jack in the Pulpit--found today!

I've been looking for this plant for the past two weeks. Today, a friend and I walked on Cove Forest Trail here on the Hambidge property. I'd walked there last week and didn't have the list of the identified and flagged plants with me. And this time I had the list to use as reference while we searched for elusive Jack. He was number 12 on the list of 41 identified wildflowers along this trail, as of April 26. While a few of the plants were past their blooms (some of the trillium) I did indeed find the one example of Jack in the Pulpit that was flagged. Possibly there were many more, most likely there were many more off the trail... but I was quite thrilled to see this one.

Brenda and I had a wonderful time ambling along and gawking at the verdant woods. Here's Brenda as we were taking a break along Betty Creek:

Brenda lives in Rabun County and is very familiar with many of the trails around the area. In fact, I'll be going on another hike either tomorrow or later in the week with her to a trail at Black Rock Mountain. She said she'd spotted yellow trillium there and that's one of the plants I'd like to see and photograph.

Back at Mellinger, the cottage where I'm staying while here, I continued to work on the weaving sample. First, here's Mellinger and then photos from inside.

Here's a portion of the larger design in watercolor sketch. I'm sampling with tapestry about a 7 1/2" square section of it to see how the design will translate into tapestry and also to try a few colors.

And, the day began with Mr. Big at the Weave Shed... you can see from the photo why he's called "Mr. Big"... he works hard at it!

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