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!


  1. It's quite a beautiful piece! Deadlines are great - but remember it was self-imposed - you can so what you want with it.

  2. beautiful, Tommye. I am loving following your progress on this tapestry.

    I found Nancy Peacock's book at Amazon and spent a delightful weekend reading it. Now I need to try one of her mysteries.

  3. What wise words from Edwina! The piece looks beautiful. Every time I check back to see progress it's a visual feast...13 more inches you say. I'll be enjoying every single bit as it comes along.
    Penland looks like a wonderful place.

  4. This is going to be a beautiful, restful-to-the-eye piece, Tommye! And your daily one is getting so long! My! Is the year really that much gone? I need to catch up with it!

  5. This tapestry is SOO gorgeous. Does that scare you at all? It can be a little intimidating, I know. And as for your tapestry journal of 2009, what a wonderful illustration of time! Is that what 9 months looks like?

  6. This piece is turning out so beautiful. I love the colors, they are subtly striking.

  7. Thanks, everybody! I'm pushing on--about 5" from the top on the two sides, around 10" at the center now.
    Jan... yep, that's nine months+ of weaving in the tapestry calendar... looks like it may be about 42" finished, if I keep up at this pace.
    Next year I'll have a tapestry diary on a frame loom to haul around with me.

  8. I've only been to Penland once, but it was a fabulous 2 weeks... thanks for bringing back the memories. :) The tapestry is lovely.