Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A new tapestry begins (almost)

I'm updating my website with a slide show about warping my large loom. I thought I might post it here on the blog, too, but for right now here's the link to the slide show on my web page about that.

I'm getting ready to weave a large (for me) tapestry again. This is to be based on one of the images I did at the Steve Aimone directed studies workshop last fall. The four large pieces I did there were all abstracted images based on my time spent at Hambidge Center in late October and the many drawings, paintings and photographs I took there.

Here's the working image. I haven't done a mylar tracing of it yet but I know many changes will happen along the way of creating the tapestry based upon this. The tapestry will be the size of the original painting: 54" wide x 48" high.

This tapestry will be put on hold for a short time as the next few days lead to a grand adventure for my friend, Pat Williams and me. We'll be going to the home and studio of tapestry artist, Silvia Heyden, along with several other members of Tapestry Weavers South. We'll have an opportunity to spend time with this remarkable artist, see her work and hear her talk about it. What a treat to be able to visit an artist like her!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Piedmont Craftsmen exhibit--"Inspired Reuse"

My rya piece is being shown currently at the Piedmont Craftsmen website page about the exhibit. Here's the link to that. It's at the lower right--have to scroll down. I think the image will be changing to other works in the exhibit but I found mine there this morning.

I've got more to share about my recent trips to Vermont and to Western North Carolina but that will happen later. A deadline is fast approaching for another exhibit and I'll be working hard at the studio today to finish the last piece. Maybe I'll have time to photograph it for the blog before I wrap and ship... but can't tell yet!

Friday, May 8, 2009

My head is spinning!

I've just arrived home from Vermont after spending the past three days and four nights at the home studio of Bhakti Ziek. I went there to have a tutorial with her with the intent to learn more about what artist/weavers like her are doing with the TC-1 loom, as well as other jacquard looms. And am I ever overwhelmed with information! In these few days I've begun to understand more about the process and complexity of the creation of images through loom controlled means.

For years I've had a curiosity about how involved artist/weavers really are with both the design and excution process when they're using a jacquard loom. And I've made comments in the past that the use of the term "tapestry" by those who are weaving loom controlled fabrics in which images are created is not accurate. But--for an equally long time I've had a suspicion that I've been speaking out of ignorance. I wanted to have a way to learn more about the other side of pictorial fabric weaving, especially through the use of the TC-1 loom.

When I read an article about Bhakti Ziek in a Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot issue a few months back and learned that she offers tutorial sessions at her home studio, including giving students access to her TC-1, I contacted her and asked for details. I've known of her art work for many years and always found it amazing. I felt an opportunity to meet her and have a private introduction to the complex weave approach to imagery couldn't be passed up.

So, over the past three days Bhakti enabled me to take a couple of images from my sketches through the process she and Alice Schlein have described in their book, The Woven Pixel, and prepare those with weave structures to be woven at her TC-1 loom. She is an incredibly patient teacher, taking me step-by-step through the processes. Then, she gave me free rein with her loom to try those images out! Using the loom is amazingly simple and I was sampling away within a few minutes on the first day.

Not only did she spend the days and part of the evenings with instruction, both she and her husband prepared wonderful meals. We spent hours talking about how what we each do is equally valid. We also began to dream about ways that those of us who do tapestry in weft-faced plain weave might begin to have a meaningful dialog with those who create images in fabric through complex means and also call those tapestry. Bhakti has described more about the days I was there at her blog.

Here's Bhakti taking a look at my sample weaving--over 100" long!

So much to think about! BUT now my priority is to think about some shut-eye! We were up at 3:45 this morning at Bhakti's to leave for the Burlington, VT airport by 4:30 a.m. so I could catch my 7 a.m. flight back to Atlanta. Made it all the way home, through various stages... from Randolph to Burlington by car for just over an hour, courtesy of Mark and Bhakti, then through the friendly skies for two and a half hours, via Delta airlines, onto MARTA for the hour-long ride to the end of the line where I jumped in my car waiting in the parking lot, and made the the final hour+ drive on home ... and now I'm about pooped!

This is a quick photo of my final weaving. I'll photograph it again and post after I've had time to cut it off the others and completely finish it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

120 days and counting...

as my tapestry diary for 2009 continues. It's hard to believe that 1/3 of the year has now passed! Last year, it seemed like such a chore to complete a day's section of my month-long tapestry journal. Now, I've completed four months of my year-long one and it seems so easy! Of course, I'm doing much simpler day entries this time around.

It's quite interesting to sit at the loom each day, take a look at what's happened before and select colors and the mode of representation for the day's entry. As the month's days increase, the time I spend contemplating grows also as I figure out how I'll represent the day-date notation. Today it was quite simple... a single horizontal line on a background of yellow. Yesterday the date was challenging... thirty days to mark in someway. Because I was rushed, I chose the simplest thing I could: 30 spots, 6 across X 5 up.

Next week I'll be flying to Vermont for a much anticipated tutorial with Bhakti Ziek. And today I committed myself to purchasing a 16-shaft AVL dobby loom from someone who's selling it. Where in the world will all this lead me? Somewhere combined with my tapestry work, I know. But the path is unmapped for me right now.