Thursday, January 3, 2008

A new semester at my school

Monday will be the first night of the spring semester at NGCSU . This term I'll have all upper level students, those who've had either the first level in the past fall or those who are in their second or third class beyond the beginning level. Weaving is one of the studio options for art majors; occasionally there are also students from other areas who take the course. And ever so often, a retired someone will audit the class.

In the fall semester I decided to focus the study on plain weave and a few of the many, many variations that might be done with the simple over and under interlacement. We began with warp faced, using inkle looms. Next, the students were introduced to the floor looms, threaded straight draw for 4 shafts, with the intent to do balanced weave. There were a number of variations for methods explored with that long warp, including inlay, supplemental warp and weft, clasped weft, and warp painting. Basket weave was added and near the end of the warp one or two students asked what would happen if they used shafts other than 1-3, 2-4 for plain weave or 1-2, 3-4 for basket weave. So, although my plan was for plain weave to be the focus the beginning notions of twill began to surface.

The last study was weft faced, with a long warp planned to both study several methods and to create a hanging. For design consideration they were to choose color and texture inspirations from one of three sources: another art work, from nature, or from something in popular culture. They were also asked to set up a narrow warp on a copper pipe loom and shown a few basic tapestry techniques.

In the last two weeks of the semester they were asked to design and weave two projects based upon their choice of methods experienced throughout the semester. While the time was short for those there were several pieces that were outstanding. All the students grew so much in their abilities with weaving in the 16 weeks of class and I was happy with their progress. I'm looking forward to seeing at least half of the class returning for this upcoming semester!

This slide show includes work from all, if only detail shots. Most of my photos taken on the final night were too blurry to use--another lesson learned: take my tripod!

AND, to follow up the frantic rush to get my work submitted to the New Fiber exhibit--I got it in the mail around 2:30 p.m. yesterday! Fingers crossed to see if the work will be accepted.
I haven't submitted for juried exhibits very much in the past couple of years since I've had work in a number of invitational shows. However, this year one of my goals is to push myself to enter more juried exhibits. I feel tapestry is immensely under represented in exhibitions and all of us who do tapestry have somewhat an obligation to put our work out for viewing. I know I'll be accepted sometimes and rejected other times--but that's the way it goes.

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