Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 begins ...

The new year started windy and cold. I'd hoped to submit three entries to New Fibers 2008, a juried survey of American contemporary fiber art sponsored by the Fiber Arts Network of Michigan -- www.fiberartsnetwork.org

Slides or digital images are acceptable. Of course, I don't have slides OR digital images of the works I'd thought of submitting, all pieces related to the Agent Orange body of work. And the deadline for postmark is tomorrow (yes, I know, I know...why not pay attention to dates and I wouldn't find myself in this situation yet again...but....)

So, I rush around this afternoon--out in the freezing wind, stapling up my gray fabric on the side of the garage, and hurrying back and forth into the house to get pieces, take them out, stick them up, focus and shoot (trying to alternate between having gloves on and then off to adjust the camera and press the shutter release, holding down the edge of the gray fabric that I didn't get to with the stapler so it wouldn't whip up in front of the piece being photographed).

I just downloaded the shots and I may have some acceptable ones. Now, the next issue is that my version of Photoshop (Elements--not the full version) doesn't convert to CMYK color--as required for the entry. OK, I can use the full version at the weaving studio at school, I think...but that's going to have to be tomorrow since it's already after 7:30 p.m. and it's too darn cold to go back outside again! The current plan to rush around in the morning to store the files on a zip drive, take it to school and load into Photoshop, convert to CMYK color and burn a disc to send off, getting it postmarked before the post office closes tomorrow, Jan. 2--the deadline.

In the midst of all the rushing to shoot the AO images, I also photographed a few other pieces that I want to have available to send to other shows. I'm not happy with most and will reshoot but one detail of the last water lily was interesting:

The whole tapestry is about 6" w x 12" long, begun at Noel & Patrick's place and based upon a small, loose watercolor of one of the waterlilies there. It's woven about 10 epi and with two strands of cotton embroidery floss. I used a dark blue cotton warp, a Borgs seine twine I'd gotten in Grand Rapids at Convergence in 2006. This was the first colored warp I've used and I liked it quite a lot. I've since ordered a couple of other darker colors from Laura Shannock and have a small weaving underway on a deep red warp.

For smaller pieces I often use half-Damascus edge for the warp finishing, letting the warp show at each edge of the tapestry. White warp works for some pieces but with darker weft at the edges I haven't been totally happy with that effect. The dark warp worked just great with this piece and the other tiny ones I did on the same warp before cutting it off.


  1. Hi Tommy Your water lilly looks beautiful. I am so glad that I am not the only one who leaves things till the last gasp! Jo Barker from the U.K. weaves on a black mohair warp. This has the most beautiful affect. You can see her tapestry here
    If you click on the more photos button you can see the tapestry on the loom. I under paint all my canvases black before I begin my paintings and I hope to experament with a mohair warp soon.
    All the best for the New Year. Debbie.

  2. Hi Debbie,
    Thanks for your comment! I'll check Jo Barker's work out...I appreciate the alert about her black mohair warp.
    Happy weaving in 2008!