Thursday, July 30, 2009

A couple of links...

Lyn Hart recently posted wonderful photos of her class with Silvia Heyden. Here's the link--Lyn's slide show is a must-see!

I also just learned about a wonderful Australian artist, Tim Gresham. I've linked his website at the left in the "places to visit on the web" list. When I visited his site I realized I've seen his work before but am not sure where or when. Just a couple of days ago I noticed a link to his work posted by a friend on Facebook so I took a cyber trip there and was wowed!

That's one of the grand things about the web... the connections possible all over the world. Yes, the web can be time-hungry. But the potential for world-wide sharing of ideas still just astounds me. Of course, tapestry is most exciting when seen in real time--nothing matches the learning and appreciation that happens when standing before a tapestry in person. Yet, seeing such a variety from all over the world so easily through the internet is of tremendous value--to me at least!

Oh... why a picture of our cat, Raymond Purr? Just because!

Monday, July 27, 2009

more progress on the current tapestry

I'm going to roll the tapestry forward shortly. I'm almost to the half way point in some areas. I've been able to weave quite a few hours each day in the past week--things move along much faster that way, don't they!? I began "weaving in earnest" on June 4, I notice as I look back in the blog. This is one of the reasons I like to blog--I can keep track of progress on tapestries pretty easily and it's helpful for me to have images for reference rather than just words in a calendar or journal. I'd really like to have this piece finished by October and a new piece on the loom for the fall and winter work.

Lots and lots and lots of color mixtures happening:

Friday, July 24, 2009

ATA blog tech article

Mary Lane recently asked several tapestry makers who are also bloggers to contribute essays about experiences with our blogs for the American Tapestry Alliance website at the ATA's Educational Article Series. Blog Tech is now online and it includes thoughts by Jan Austin, Elaine Duncan, Lyn Hart, Debbie Heard, and Kathe Todd-Hooker. My replies about my blog are also included. Lyn Hart has also listed a number of good resources for blogging, along with links to those.

Today, I looked back at my own blog beginnings (March of 2007) and see that it's grown in many ways as I continue to learn ways to share through this medium. And I find more and more blogs that I enjoy reading and link many of those here on mine.

Thanks to Jan, Elaine, Lyn, Debbie and Kathe for insight into their blog world!

this and that...

Here's a view of my work table as I prepare my small tapestry to send to the British Tapestry Group exhibit, Weaving Within, to be held in Stirling, Scotland in September. I reframed the piece on a different color of mounting board, then spent several hours getting it ready to mail. Small tapestry but lots of bits and pieces needed to package and ship it--and none of them in the same place at the same time. Oh well, now I have a brand new roll of package wrapping tape and know where my bubble wrap stash is stored!

I recently joined BTG when I learned that membership was open to other areas of the world. I'm now a member of Canadian Tapestry Network, American Tapestry Alliance, Tapestry Weavers West and, of course, Tapestry Weavers South. I'm also a member of Surface Design Association. Am I an organization groupie? Not really. I just want to be informed (all have newsletters or other publications) and to be able to take part in exhibits that might be sponsored by these groups. American Tapestry Alliance website has a good listing of organizations at this link.

Weaving Within is a non-juried show. I know from years of experiences in participating in non-juried exhibits that the works that are shown are often as good as those selected for juried exhibits--and sometimes even more exciting in the grouping that comes together by happen-stance. While it might seem that a non-juried exhibit would turn out to be like that at a county fair--with the good, the bad and the ugly all mixed together--more often than not the works are quite credible in technique and in design.

Now... other things underway. The large tapestry continues, growing by slow inches now. I'll post a photo in a few days before I roll the tapestry around the beam a bit.

The tapestry diary is getting longer by the day... at the highest point on the left side it's at 25 inches.

Here's the beginning end rolling around the cloth beam...

This year-long journey is giving me ideas for the next time-passages piece. Next year, possibly I'll simply weave a small square every day of the year without any marking of date. Maybe seven across instead of the ten across that I decided upon this time. Maybe with different texture of yarn for each day's square, cotton floss one day, soft wool another day. Maybe limit my palette to three or four colors and randomly select those for the day's weaving... put balls of the yarn in a covered box and shake it up every day before I pull one out to weave with. So many possibilities with this simple concept!

Some might say, "How do you keep at this tapestry diary all year long? How do you have the discipline to do it?" Well, I really only have to be disciplined for about 5 minutes each day to do it, don't I?! It's not a masterpiece that's being created--just something to get the weaving fingers moving. Maybe next year I'll put the piece on a frame loom so I can take it with me whenever I'm out of town, like I did the one woven during the month of May last year. So much to think about!

In the meantime, at home in the evenings I'm working on new rag rugs for our kitchen. There will be two of them, each 26" wide x 40" long. I'm using a three-end block weave for the rugs with a different arrangement of the blocks for each rug.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

view from High Knob

I had an incredible experience a couple of days ago when visiting friends in Western North Carolina. They've just purchased a mountain side near the Parkway and we climbed to the highest point where there's a small, rustic cabin. The ascent to 5200 feet from the lower part of the property, about 1200 feet below, was tough for me since I'm not used to that kind of hike. But it was more than worth it to see the glorious view looking to the west into the Smokies. We got there just as a rainstorm swept up the valley and across the smaller mountains.

Beautiful wildflowers, rocks, trees, mosses, mushrooms were all around and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the tapestry keeps growing, day by day...

I'm still so excited about the direction this tapestry is taking me! Several things are falling into place as I work on it--the thoughts shared by Joan Baxter at her workshop during the ATA retreat last summer in Tampa, last October's two week artist residency at Hambidge where I was immersed in the beauty of the early fall colors, followed almost immediately with several days of directed studies under the guidance of Steve Aimone at his studio in Asheville---and finally the catalyst of the visit to Silvia Heyden's studio a couple of months ago.

I'll be leaving the tapestry for a few days while I'm in Western North Carolina to visit friends, go to the Guild fair, then back to Hambidge to do a weaving demo on Saturday during the summer U-Do-Raku festival there. The thoughts of the tapestry will be with me while I'm away. In fact, it's with me constantly now--I even fall asleep thinking about it, my mind's eye seeing what I wove that day and wondering where I'll go on the next part of the journey.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I love this loom!

It's hard to believe I got the loom in the fall of 2007. I wonder how old the loom is. I don't know how long it's been since Crisp looms were made. I wonder just how many of the "Ruthie" looms were built and if they were done on order. I thoroughly enjoy using it even through it doesn't have a brake system that uses a worm gear, as on the Fireside tapestry loom--the one that's based on the original Ruthie concept. I could probably retro-fit the loom with that particular brake but until I really run upon a problem of advancing the warp I'll keep it as it is.

One of the things I really appreciate about the loom is the distance I'm able to weave before having to roll the tapestry around. This gives quite a number of inches that I can see as the tapestry progresses... about 28" up. I also like the three sets of treadles. While I don't always treadle for the shed (sometimes I leave one shed open and then pick the other shed if I'm weaving back and forth in a small area), having the three sets at different spots across the 60" width of the loom is quite nice.

I have a low bench that came with the loom... it's a homemade one without fancy finish. I've got it covered with a couple of Spelsau sheep skins for padding. I'm using Gobelin-style bobbins and the baskets I keep them in (when they aren't spread around me) I usually find at the local thrift store. The basket bin there has all shapes and sizes, .50 each. I bring them home, spray off with the garden hose, let them dry and then have lots of "new" bobbin baskets. I just realized there aren't any of these baskets o'bobbins showing in this shot... but they're there, just out of sight.

OK... time to go home. Studio hours are over today!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"O, what a tangled web we weave..."

... although I'm not trying to deceive... and, not weaving as I'm really just trying to untangle a snarl created in a skein of yarn when I was winding it onto a spool with the electric winder. It leaped off the swift and became a mass of golden curls! I've spent the better part of an hour taming it, a few yards at a time, and winding it into a ball.

Time spent--not time wasted--have to keep repeating that over and over!

Some weaving took place today, though. I measure my time weaving by the number of CDs I listen to and I woven through at least three this afternoon. I'm finished for the day here at the studio. I've got a warp on a small floor loom at home and will be starting kitchen rugs later this afternoon... hobby weaving!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

happy 4th of July

In Dahlonega we celebrated in small town way--activities in town for young and old, including pet fashion show, kettle corn, parade of local dignitaries, among other things--and topped off the evening with fireworks.

My husband drove our county's oldest veteran in the parade; here they are in the black 1976 convertible being captured by Jack Anthony, local photographer who's always around with camera in hand.

The parade was led by a bagpiper and color guard.

The moon was almost full last night and conveniently became part of the fireworks.

No weaving yesterday but I had gotten into the next bit of red on the 3rd:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

color change begins to happen

I've been occupied with a other tasks for a couple of days but today I've had an hour or two to weave and I've started the first leaf-like shape. These several leaf-like shapes will be in red variations. The first introduction of this contrast of color seems stark but I believe it will all work out fine eventually.