Monday, November 19, 2012

Lots of loose ends...

I've been away from my blog for awhile.  Several things were going on including a couple of teaching responsibilities in late October and early November.  Now that I'm home I've immersed myself into studio routine but I'll see how much I can catch up with this post.  Here goes.

I was happy to see Kathe Todd-Hooker in late October at the end of the class she taught for Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild in Atlanta.  Kathe and I had emailed back and forth earlier in the year to see if we could coordinate a visit for her here in north Georgia either before or after her workshop.  Turns out that a couple of days after her workshop were good so I picked her up on the last day.  I got there early so that I could see what was up with the students (and see some old friends among the group).  I was able to sit in on a last discussion as Kathe moved around the room to see what ideas were being generated by the participants for future tapestry cartoons and give them feedback.

Kathe stayed overnight with us in Dahlonega, and she and I spent some time in my studio.  She gave me very valuable comments about the large feather tapestry cartoon that I've been working on.  One of the suggestions she had was to consider using soumak for the linear work in the background; that hadn't occurred to me, in fact I was trying to decide whether any of the marks would even be included in the tapestry.  I've taken her suggestion to heart... the tapestry is well underway with soumak being used for marks throughout the background.  I'll show a couple of photos of that at the end of the post.  Thanks, Kathe!

The next day was full of adventures.  First, we stopped to visit with John and Joy Moss, the wonderful folks who make bobbins.  John turned a small bobbin while we were there.  What a treat that was to see.  Kathe took lots of photos and will be sharing more about John's process in the future, I'm sure.

Next, we drove on a few more miles to stop and chat with Pat Williams.  Pat and Kathe were talking about one of Pat's cartoons in the photo above.  Then we drove to the Episcopal church in Clarkesville to see the wonderful tapestry kneelers that Pat did a couple of years ago.  Kathe was quite taken with the imagery that Pat used in the pieces.  Read more about Kathe's Georgia visit at her last blog post.

Then we headed on up the road about twenty five more miles to Hambidge Center; I wanted Kathe to have a look at the place so that she will have an idea about the inspirational setting the Center provides to artists.  After Hambidge, we zipped back over the mountains and into North Carolina to stop by John C. Campbell Folk School.  We got there just around 5 p.m. and were able to get into the weaving studio--but we missed getting to say hello to Linda Weghorst who was teaching there that week.

On the way back to Dahlonega we drove by Track Rock Gap and stopped so Kathe could see the petroglyphs there.  Here's Kathe photographing one of the plaques that give information about the carvings in the stones.  

Very full day!  Kathe stayed overnight with us again, then we got up quite early to drive to the Northsprings MARTA station for the hour ride into the Atlanta airport.  I rode along to help Kathe corral her three suitcases and we had more tapestry-talk time.  What a treat to have her visit!

About the teaching experiences... both were amazing.  The first class was one that I co-taught with Pat Williams at Sutherland Handweaving Studio in Asheville.  It was called "Weave It Your Way" and our focus was on designing for tapestry.  There were five students (although one had to leave after the first day, trying her best to get back to MA before Sandy) and everyone worked hard, shared ideas and information, and (I hope) went away with new tools to use when designing tapestry.  Here's a slide show from the Asheville class:

The second class was one I taught in Norris, TN at the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center.  There were also five in that class and it was beginning level tapestry.  We worked on 6" wide, 6 epi warp with 3" used for sampling and the other 3" for a small tapestry they designed.  Everyone got both sampling and small piece done in the three days of the class.  PHEW!  Quite a task, made somewhat easier by the apples and chocolates my husband sent along for the class.  The slide show below is from the Norris class.

Then, finally... what's happening in the studio now.  I'm continuing to work on the smaller feather tapestry I included in the last post but most of my work for the past week has been getting the large piece underway.  Kathe's suggestions of using soumak for the marks in the background resonated with me as soon as she said it.

OK, that's pretty much it for now!  Back to weaving feathers.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Report from the Norris, Tennessee class

... from Maggie's blog:

Maggie was one of the participants in the recent class I taught at the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center in Norris, Tennessee.  She posted about our adventures on the three days.

I'm hoping to get my own post about both the Asheville class Pat Williams & I taught recently as well as the Norris class, done soon.  Then there are photos from Kathe Todd-Hooker's visit to Georgia... and our trip to see John & Joy Moss (bobbin maker)... and Pat's studio... and ... more about all of that soon!


Later today... although this newest tapestry is growing s-l-o-w-l-y because of all the other things going on, I did finish the first of the four feathers on this 24" wide piece.  Only three of the feathers are showing in the cartoon, by the way.  The fourth is hanging over the cartoon holder bar and is at the back.

The warp is 10/3 linen and sett at 7.5 epi.  Weft is 5 strands of 20/2 worsted wool from Norway (Kathe Todd-Hooker sells this through her business, Fine Fiber Press).  The linen warp is from Noel Thurner at Norsk Fjord Fiber.

The tiny circles on the piece are the magnets holding the cartoon in place behind the tapestry.  I'm also stitching in place.

I'm using soumak in places for details.