Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse and more


Yesterday's solar eclipse was a big deal here in the United States as it made its way diagonally across the country.  Hundreds of thousands of people traveled to places they could have a view of it in totality--or nearly so.  Our home in north Georgia had a partial eclipse of about 98% and we stayed here to enjoy what we were given.  We had glasses and I made a viewer using a box and a pinhole camera lens that was from a camera I built when in a photography class in school many years ago.  I also did some quick watercolor sketches of the moon's shadow at different times throughout the event.  And of course, I had to record the eclipse in my tapestry diary!  So here is my homage to the August 21st solar eclipse of 2017 with the sun almost gone when it was at the peak around 2:36 p.m.:


Here are the little quick sketches I did as the eclipse progressed:



These were done on the front and back of a bamboo paper for printmaking, using watercolor with notes in pencil.  They are reminders for me of that wonderful experience and will be slipped into my studio journal later.

As I started to write this post I realized that July 22 was when I wrote the last one.  In it I mentioned I was working on the tapestry that I'd started in early June and that the Time Warp exhibit in Athens was ending in a few days.  Since then, the tapestries from that exhibit have all been returned to their makers safely.  And the tapestry is now finished.

Here's the cutting off on Sunday, August 20:


And here's the tapestry hanging temporarily.  I'll take it to Asheville soon for better photographs by Tim Barnwell but I have lots more finishing to do before then.  It's 62" long and 19.5" wide, woven on a linen warp at 8 epi, using natural dyed wool yarns for weft.  The dyes are all from either black walnut or from henna.  The varying colors come from amount of dyestuff and/or the dye pot used.  The more grayed and the darkest values of the colors were dyed in an iron kettle and the clearer colors in either a stainless steel pot or in a crock pot.


Right now, I've given the piece the title Earth Echoes.  That may change as I think about it more but it seems appropriate since the inspiration for the tapestry was an earth pigment painting I did last fall while at a residency at the Lillian Smith Center. I documented the weaving of the tapestry on my Instagram account at #earthpigmentleaves.

Last Saturday, I returned to the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens for the closing event of  Fold/Unfold.  It was quite wonderful to see each of the many coverlets woven for the exhibit unfolded and shown, then stacked on top of each other, one by one.  There is a beautiful catalog that accompanied the exhibit that shows each coverlet in full and gives a brief bio of the weaver.  Here are a few photos from the unfolding:


This is Bhakti Ziek's coverlet, a panel of which she wove while we were at Penland's Spring Concentration earlier this year.

After all were unfolded and laid out on the pedestals, many of the visitors inspected them.  Quite a few of the weavers were present for the unfolding.  

So now... what's next?  I'm about to start a new tapestry, one that I hope to finish to be included with a few other small ones at the Hambidge Center Gallery for their upcoming fall show and sale.  I have a new-to-me loom I bought when I was at the Folk School that I'm eager to use. The warp is on and half-hitches are done at the bottom and I can begin!  But... the design is not quite ready yet but maybe tomorrow--


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