Tuesday, March 22, 2022

New tapestry update



A short post today with a couple of photos of the current tapestry I'm working on. This is the sweetshrub that I wrote about in the last post.

I've been able to spend a few hours almost every day with it since beginning the weaving in early March. Possibly, if I really push, I can finish it by the end of the month! At least that's the plan right now.

I have an online class for John C. Campbell Folk School coming up this weekend and I'll be working on prep for that in the next days. But a little bit of weaving time each day will go into this sweetshrub. Maybe.


Thursday, March 3, 2022

A blog post about a blog post! And a few other things.


Is this meta or what?

I want to link to a blog post that I recently wrote for Gist Yarn here.  It was fun to explore the new tapestry yarn that Gist Yarn began offering last year. Having an opportunity to write the post for them gave me a chance to use the yarns as weft and also to try the cotton seine twine the company carries. If you read the blog post you'll see that I liked both the wool and the cotton seine twine quite a lot.

In the past year I've written and submitted several articles to fiber magazines, some that have been published and others to be in upcoming issues, and a blog post for another organization that's soon to released. Although each of these writing projects were challenging, especially the ones for which I'm also weaving examples to illustrate the articles, I've enjoyed it all.

My in-person teaching career has (mostly) wound down. But I still feel that I have a lot to share about what I've learned from wonderful teachers and mentors through the years. Finding ways to do that through writing, occasional zoom and webinar presentations, and even a couple of online classes keeps me connected to the teacher side of my life.

The artist part of me is ready, though, to get back to weaving a larger tapestry. I've gotten the warp ready, made the cartoon, and by this time tomorrow I hope to be putting in the first passes of weft! A trip up the warp for several months is ahead of me.

The next tapestry will be one with sweetshrub as the subject. I've been fascinated with this plant for some years. Last May when I was in residence at Lillian E. Smith Center, the sweetshrubs were in full bloom and I made lots of photos, drawings, and prints based on them.  I did several with loose watercolors on the paper before printing and I'm using one of those as the cartoon for the tapestry.

Recently, a podcast interview on the In Defense of Plants podcast was with a botanist, Katie Horton, who's research is about sweetshrub! Her thoughts give me more to put in the stew of sweetshrub ideas while I'm immersed in this tapestry.

So... here are some photos of Sweetshrub from the north Georgia mountains and my versions. Or Calycanthus floridus, common names: Bubby Bush, Carolina Allspice; Common Sweetshrub; Spicebush; Sweet Betsy; Sweet Bubby Bush; Sweetshrub; Sweet Shrub.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The new year is well underway now!


I've had quite a few things going on so I haven't taken time to post to this blog. I'll be doing a longer post soon but wanted to quickly show the latest tapestry.

It's going to be hanging in an exhibit in a few days so I won't see it again until late March. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year! May it be better than the last two


I finished weaving my 2021 tapestry diary yesterday and cut it from the loom in late afternoon. It was a labor of love and I'm grateful that I was able to continue weaving on it following the surgery in August and many days of recovery once I got home.

I decided to show some of those missed days of weaving by adding alternating squares of gray and white across the width of the tapestry. In early September I wove the 18 days I'd missed. Those began when I was taken to the emergency room on August 12, and continued with the week's stay at the hospital, followed by days of recovery at home before I was able to weave again for several minutes at a time.

If you notice, there are only eleven sections woven as a monthly entries... that's because I didn't feel like designing and weaving a leaf in August. And the leaf for September was sort of small; recovery was a bit slow.

But in the last couple of months of 2021 I've felt mostly fine. I felt a sense of accomplishment with the ending of the weaving yesterday. I have my new warp for on the loom and have started by weaving one square for the first day of the first month of the new year! Now to select a theme for the monthly parts of the diary and get the January one underway in a few days.

Here's to a healthy and happy and better 2022 for one and all!