Friday, October 30, 2009

and it's off!

Just after the cutting off--

and now, hanging up and out of the way.  The studio is a MAJOR wreck and needs excessive vacuuming--yes, I do mean excessive.

I'm very happy to have this off the loom by my end-of-October self-imposed deadline.  I looked back in a studio journal today and see that I was beginning the weaving on June 3.  Almost five months... but quite a bit of that time was spent not weaving--at least on this tapestry.

I'll be using half-Damascus for the edges, then sewing a velcro strip at the top to be attached to velcro covered wood bar.  Finishing will start tomorrow.

Now... to concentrate on the workshop experience coming up next week!  Four days with Silvia Heyden--how I'm looking forward to it.  The inspiration I gained from spending a short time with her in May, along with other TWS members, is reflected in this tapestry.  Wonder what next week will bring?!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

just a few more passes to go!

but I can't take anymore tonight... after all, tomorrow IS another day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ok, tapestry isn't complete and I'm distracted by...

preparations for a workshop that I'm going to present in early December at ECHO School in Tiger, GA.  Peggy McBride, owner of Globe Gallery in Clayton, has opened a new arts school nearby.  She's been conducting classes at the gallery and the demand for space has grown to the point that she's making a leap into another location in which she'll be offering workshops, short classes and mini-artist residencies.

I'll be one of the first instructors as she launches the venture and I'm very happy about that.  Peggy has been a friend for many years; we've been involved in lots of creative adventures together including exhibits, workshops, informal critique sessions and other exciting things.  Her art work is just amazing--she moves among media with the ease of a shape shifter.   It's a pleasure to just see her once in awhile to vicariously share in her energy.

This is a pile of stuff on my worktable today.  Tomorrow I'll dig out older paper weavings, get them scanned so I can begin manipulating with filters in Photoshop Elements.  Here are a few things I did with that yesterday and today... taking the paper woven piece, scanning and then working with them further.

The workshop that's in the planning stages is for three sessions about paper weaving, held on consecutive days.  My intention is to have a different approach for each day, starting with plain weave and moving on from there.  I've used paper weaving for many years in my teaching after I discovered the book Weaving Without a Loom by Sarita Rainey back in the early 1970s.  My copy is from 1969, in fact.  I did a web search for the book this morning and found that it's in a second edition--hooray!  More folks will find it and become inspired, I hope.

Classes in which I've used paper weaving have been art education, color theory and--of course--weaving.  I've also taught the method to children and have presented it when I've done short design workshops.  I've used paper weaving myself many times and sometimes the resulting images have become the source of tapestry pieces.  I wrote an article for Handwoven magazine in 1986 about paper weaving, in fact.  The tapestry below is called "Tree Fragments" and was based on a section of a paper weaving I did combining two different photographs I'd taken of trees.  Size of the tapestry is about 16" wide x 42" long.

My work with this technique is certainly not unique.  Other artists have created wonderful pieces with paper weaving, Suzanne Pretty for one--check out her images created in the medium in her ATA Web Exhibition curated by Janet Austin at this link.

José Fumero is also known for his elaborately cut and woven images.

And--I really have made quite a bit of progress of the tapestry after all.  Here it is as I begin working on it for an hour or so this afternoon:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Western NC landscape is aflame with beauty!

I arrived late in the afternoon at Noel & Patrick's but had a little bit of time before dark to see the new view of the falls from the top.  They've had vegetation cut back that had grown up near the top of the dam and the falls are so dramatic to be seen from that vantage point; there's been quite a bit of rain this year and that increased water adds to the drama of the falls.

Here's the falls from a level near the top                   .....            and from a point near the bottom.

I only had time for a few photographs on Thursday afternoon before dark--and it was overcast that day.

 On Saturday morning before I left I was able to capture a bit of the intense blue sky of fall since the day dawned bright and clear.

Friday, Noel and I went into Asheville to SAFF where we picked Rita Buchanan up after her class ended for the day.  In spite of the rain we had a good meal at Earth Fare -- here's Noel and I each toasting with Rita and endless cups of coffee... Rita was taking a look at my portfolio as we chatted. 

I got back home on Saturday, wove for a couple of hours and put another couple of hours in yesterday... here's the tapestry as I start with it today.  I've probably got at least 12 more hours before the end, if things continue at this pace.  Fingers are crossed!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Looms for sale -- NOW SOLD

Recently two people have asked if I could help them get out the word that they want to sell their tapestry looms. I usually don't post these kind of requests to my blog but I know both loom types quite well since I own one of each. They're good "work horse" types of looms and excellent tools.

First one is a 45" Tissart tapestry loom and is near Greenville, SC. It's been modified with extra treadle set and with a custom-built device to hold the shed open, if desired. Contact Rickie Wesbrooks at for more information about the loom.

Second one is a 21" Hagen tapestry loom with floor stand. It's in Athens, GA. It's also been modified to use string heddles--don't know if the original shedding device is with the loom but it probably is. Contact Karen Hamrick at for price and other information.
I had e-mails from both Rickie and Karen that both these looms sold right away.  Hope they are happy in their new weavers' homes!
Now--about my life and times--after all, what's this whole blog thing about if not that, huh?!!

The big tapestry is just eency inches from the top. I'll be working on it again on Sunday and still plan to have it finished by my self-imposed deadline of the end of October, God willing and the creek don't rise.

It will be Sunday before I'm weaving again because later today I'm leaving for Sapphire, then tomorrow I'll be going with Noel for my second trip to a Southeast Animal Fiber Fair near Asheville, NC. This year, a good friend of hers, Rita Buchanan, is teaching several spinning classes at SAFF, so on Friday afternoon we're going to meet up with her, take her to dinner, and maybe to a few Asheville locations for sight-seeing. Rita is the author of many books and articles about dyeing, spinning, grass cloth, and gardening; in fact, Interweave Press has published a collection of some of these. In the past few years she's been doing incredible pieces in hooking technique--several of her pieces were exhibited at the Tampa Convergence a couple of summers ago. Her expertise in every area in which she works is absolutely impeccable in design and craftsmanship. I'm hoping she has some things with her for her workshops so I can see more of work, first hand!

I'll have my camera with me and will be immersing myself in the woods at Noel & Patrick's place near Sapphire later today. Rain's predicted for tomorrow so I'm hoping for some fall photo ops today.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kate Campbell concert -- and more weaving

We went to a fantastic concert at The Crimson Moon last night--Kate Campbell  played to a small house (traffic was blocked on the square so booths could be set up for this weekend's Gold Rush Days so the normal crowd for a concert wasn't in).  We were right up front this time (not behind the post like at Jonathan Byrd's last time there!).  I'm spending today weaving listening to the six CDs of hers that we bought.  Wonderful voice, evocative lyrics, beautiful  music... give her a listen.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

back to the tapestry again

Last weekend's Southeast Fiber Educators Association meeting at Penland was a great way to begin the fall. Lots of ideas and art works were shared through the two and a half days--what a wonderful network. Penland, of course, was as beautiful as ever.

As I drove onto Conley Ridge I realized that my first visit and class at Penland was 35 years ago. I spent three weeks that summer of 1974 with a room full of eager weavers--all of whom were gently being guided in being different directions by Edwina Bringle, master teacher. Edwina, who is a Penland legend along with her sister, Cynthia, was at this most recent meeting, too. She continues to teach and inspire many--all who she calls her "children"--and now she has "grandchildren" and, most likely, "great-grandchildren" out in the world of weaving--weavers being taught by those who learned from Edwina.  My favorite advice from Edwina I took to heart those many years ago:  "Take what you can use and throw the rest away!"  That gave me permission to pick and choose among the many options of weaving, finding what gave me the most challenge and pleasure -- and not to worry about what else was out there that I'd never have time to explore.

Lily Loom House, where I took that 1974 class with Edwina, is also where I had the eight week tapestry concentration with Archie and Susan in 2001, when I taught a beginning floor loom weaving class in the summer of 2001, and where I'll be teaching a tapestry class in the summer of 2010.  The weaving studio is on the second floor of this wonderful building.  So many weavers and textile artists have spent thousands of hours of creative time here for decades and I'm happy to be able to experience part of that.

Sunday I got back to the reality of a self-imposed end of the month deadline.  I'm weaving several hours each day and am about 13" from the top.  I spent a bit of time this morning picking out a bit I put in last night before leaving the studio.

I'm not trying to replicate the very loosely painted cartoon but the edge of this leaf was just too different than the background both in color and intensity.

I unwove, then rewove and am more please with the result.

I also have gotten further up on the left side, making decisions about the color mixture in the blue leaf there.  Progress!