Monday, June 14, 2010

Survived the frantic weekend--and had a great time doing it!

The studio tour weekend is now over and my studio is almost back in order so that I can work.  I'm using the Resistance of Avoidance by making this blog post about the past weekend... but if I don't do it now I probably won't have time before my next big adventure begins.  That's a three week retreat at the Lillian E. Smith Center for the Creative Arts near Clayton, GA.   I have two specific tasks to accomplish while I'm there so the retreat time is already filled with work to be done.  That will be a bit different than when I can go to a retreat with nothing planned and respond to whatever occurs--as I did at Hambidge Center a couple of years ago.

First, a few photos from the arts tour weekend. Joining me at my studio were Hailey Fowler, Harry Shubert, Megan Smith, Cat Washell, and Jean Scanlin Wright. Although the number of visitors was pretty slim those who came by seemed to enjoy what we were doing.  And even a few sales were made!  Since this was the first year our county has been included in the tour we didn't know what to expect.  Things will pick up, I'm sure, if/when it takes place again.

On the front porch, Harry set up with his work...

... and Jean painted on the other side of the porch.

Cat was inside with her spinning wheel...

... as Hailey worked on the 24-shaft AVL compu-dobby loom...

...and Megan did surgery on one of her Frankencritters (this one is Lamar, the zombie)...

... and I wove the tapestry diary for the day before beginning with other weaving.

Here go a couple of happy buyers walking away with their purchases!

On Saturday, Pat Williams and I drove over to Coumbia, SC to the Columbia Museum of Art to do a tapestry demonstration during the weekend events surrounding the exhibit, Imperial Splendor: Renaissance Tapestries from Vienna.  The exhibit is the first time these tapestries, on loan from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria,  have traveled to the U.S.   There are eight large tapestries on display which once belonged to the former royal family.   The theme of the tapestries is of the legendary founding of ancient Rome by Romulus and Remus.  The tapestries are astounding in technique; Pat and I were especially taken with the massive use of gold and silver thread throughout the pieces.  I was given permission to photograph selected details without using a flash.

Pat and I also met Dirk Holger who was there to be part of the the weekend's events.  Holger was instrumental in having the tapestries brought to the U.S. for exhibition through his work with International Arts & Artists and also translated the catalog, Habsburg Treasures: Renaissance Tapestries from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, by Dr. Katja Schmitz-von Ledebur.

Dirk spoke with a group before taking them into the gallery to see the tapestries.

Our tapestry demo area was set up near-by.  Pat and I joined the group in the gallery talk, then did more demonstrations following the talk.

Pat and Dirk are discussing one of her tapestry examples...

... and then Dirk came over to my loom to have a look.

In the gallery, Dirk pointed to an area where the tapestry had been enlarged by an addition of a lower strip.  It seemed that all of the tapestries had had additions made, some more successfully than others since in some instances the images made a fairly smooth transition while in others the shapes were disjointed from one edge to the other.

I was particularly interested in getting photo reminders of the incredible way the designers of these tapestries used dark/light contrasts in such an effective way... light tree trunks on dark field; dark trunks over light field...

... then dark and light so wonderfully varied in smaller detail areas...

... light against dark; dark against light.

I also wanted to see if I could capture some of the details of the hatching used in these tapestries.  Since my own work is nature oriented, I spent most of the time staring at details of foliage rather than the figures.

Although several of the areas of the border of one of the pieces held these details of creatures that are, I'm sure, meaningful in the legends although I don't know the significance.

Moth to the flame??

The garments were absolutely unbelievable... and this is a simple one!  The yellowish color is mostly gold thread.

The exhibit will be on display at the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC until September 19... if you have a chance to see it, you should!  It will be in Sarasota, FL later, I believe.


  1. Beautiful tapestries! If you have the tour again next year, let us know early, and we can arrange a road trip!

  2. Thank you for including the pictures of the large tapestries. They are truly amazing. Please do let us know when the tour will happen next year!!!!