Thursday, April 30, 2015

This and that about things...

... open topic, isn't it?  Well, that's the way things are going around here... a little of this and a little of that.  Loose ends are being tied up all around and new ones are beginning to show themselves.

Here's a bit of what's going on.  First, the April 2015 installment of this year's tapestry diary is complete:

Daffodils begin to bloom here in north Georgia in February and usually have some cold weather to contend with -- this year, an ice storm was followed by snow.  And yet the daffodils came through just fine.  I photographed them several times during March.  Then those photos were used to design the four weeks of April.  Above you'll see my celebration of one of the first flowers of springtime just above the twigs done for March--in honor of the fallen things from the ice storm in February.  So you could say that my year's journey seems to be moving forward by looking back.  Reflecting on what's gone before is something I do quite a bit.  May's theme is almost set in my mind (I have quite a few photos of at least two different items to consider) and I'll be ready to go with whatever I decide to use by in the morning.

Earlier in the week my husband and I made a trek to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to take a tapestry to Arrowmont School of Crafts for the upcoming instructors' exhibit.  The day before we'd picked up my newly framed tapestry at Caroline Budd's Picture Framing in Atlanta--it's in a floater frame.  Here it is sitting in the kitchen before I wrapped it up for delivery:

The day was sunny and beautiful as we drove to the Great Smokies and over Newfound Gap to Gatlinburg.  We could see lots of wildflowers in the woods and along the roadside as we went along and traffic wasn't bumper to bumper as it often is in the peak tourist season.  We dropped off my tapestry and after showing my husband around a bit, we headed back home.  Here's the entryway to the main Arrowmont building that houses offices, galleries, library and many of the studios.  I inadvertently included a selfie as I took the photo--and missed getting the entire name of Arrowmont above the door:

My class has at least seven students enrolled now and can take a few more.  There's also another fibers class during the same two week session, being taught by Amy Putansu.  Here's the link to both of the classes:  Mine is here and Amy's is here.  Another fiber related note, Andy Saftel will be teaching in the printmaking studio.  I met him in 2012 when he and I were both teaching during the same session.  He mentioned the tapestries from his designs that he's having woven in Mexico and I recently contacted him to see if he might bring some with him during this summer's session... and he said he would.  I'm eager to see them in person--his work is quite interesting and I'm wondering how the weavers interpret from his imagery.

On the way back we took a side trip to the top of Clingman's Dome.  The road there leads off of the main road near Newfound Gap.  I've traveled to Arrowmont many times in the past but I've never gone to Clingman's Dome.  It's about 7 miles from the turn at Newfound Gap and the road keeps climbing and climbing--seems like to the top of the world!  And it almost is--at least on this side of the U.S. At 6643 feet, it's the third highest peak east of the Mississippi.

We made the 1/2 mile steep climb on foot from the parking area to the observation deck--a structure that looks suspiciously like a space ship receiving unknowing humans (remember the Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man")... but there didn't seem to be any Kanamits waiting at the top.  Not that we saw, anyway.  Just other tourists like us.

Seating just below the tower.

On the way back down the mountains we stopped at a pull over and walked across a bridge over the Oconaluftee River.

And we walked a quarter mile or so along a gravel path through the woods.  Lots of wildflowers are out although many of them show ravages of weather and hikers.  Here's a few that were near the path and not too beaten up:

Showy Orchid
Painted Trillum
And we were thrilled to be going by one of the fields in which the elk are often seen in late afternoons and to find several were there!

Elk were once native to the region but were killed out by the 1800s.  There has been an effort to reintroduce them to the Great Smokies starting in 2001.  It was nice to see them grazing and relaxing and paying no attention to the many cars that were pulling over, spilling out folks to gawk!  And the elk didn't seem disturbed by the yapping dogs in one of the cars, either.  They've probably seen it all by now, tourists being what we are.

At the studio, I'm finally working on the next "real" tapestry, one that I've been designing off and on since December.  I weave every day on the tapestry diary and also I usually have one or two demo pieces on small looms that I use when teaching.  However, to design and weave something that I hope will be a new piece in my body of work is what I consider the real tapestry work.  Here's the state of it yesterday:

It's 24" wide and will be just about square.  I'm weaving it turned 90˚ to the hanging direction because there are many nearly vertical lines in the design, as in of the stems of the plants and the petals of the flowers.  I'm using 12/6 cotton seine twine for warp, sett at 12 epi.  The weft is a blend of four of the worsted wool from Kathe Todd-Hooker's business.  Slower going for me than my usual size warp/weft (I typically work at either 8 epi or 6 epi, with larger wool combinations).  But I'll get there eventually.  I'm about to start filling in a leaf edge today.  Soon as I finish this post and get over to the studio to begin!

1 comment:

  1. Tommye I enjoyed the pictures of Clingmans Dome. Mack and I drove up there as we were coming back from the Joan Baxter workshop last October and by the time we arrived at the parking lot it was so ft hick with fog and mist that we literally couldn't see the other cars on the road and in the lot so we had to carefully make our way back down without exploring the area. Maybe next time. It looks like April is a much better time to go from your photos.
    The tapestries look amazing as usual!