Sunday, November 30, 2014

November is completed on this year's Tapestry Diary

One more month to go on this year's ongoing daily adventure.   This tapestry is my sixth year of this particular obsession of weaving a small increment each day.  I'm already thinking about next year's!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More about the two tapestries underway--

Here's the drawing I'm working from for the landscape:

Interpreting it in tapestry is an interesting challenge.  The drawing was done with oil pastel onto toned paper made with an acrylic wash of sort of neutral medium green on sheet of Bristol board.

The oak leaves are complete but still on the loom.  I have more warp remaining that I'll use for another small study.

It appears that the John Campbell Folk School class scheduled for February is now almost full!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two tapestries are underway

Both of these are small.  I mentioned the William Morris study I'm doing a few posts back.  The first sample using thoughts from the study is this one, oak leaves drawn and begun while I was at Hambidge in mid October:

Pretty simplified, I know, but that's OK for this study.  Size is 12" high (to be) x 8" wide.

The other tapestry is one I had on a demo loom during the Tapestry Weavers South exhibit at the UNG library during October.  I'm working on both of these now, a bit on one then for an hour or so on the other one.  I'd like to get both of them off the loom before the end of November.

The landscape is going to be about 14" high x 19" wide.

Hambidge is once more in my future--another fill-in is coming up in early December.  I have some serious design work to do while I'm there.  I'll continue to read and make notes in my Morris study but I have another tapestry to develop.  Focus time coming up!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Tapestry Weavers

I had the pleasure over the past several weeks to spend time with the weaving class at the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, and to work with them as they learned about tapestry weaving.  I have special ties to the weaving classes at UNG since I began the program back in the day.  The "day" being in 1972, in fact, the first year I began teaching at what was then North Georgia College, in the second year of a newly created department at the school.

In 1971 Bob Owens, a ceramicist and art educator, was appointed as head of the department that he'd been instrumental in developing NGC.  The new department was called the Fine Arts Department and included music and theatre classes as well as those in visual arts.  For the first years there were only a few of us on the faculty--three in visual arts, three in music, and one in theatre/speech.  There were maybe 8 or 10 students majoring in visual art when we began offering bachelor degrees (B.S. in art education and in a degree we were calling craft design at the time).

Although we were a small department, like the little engine that said, "I think I can, I think I can!" we thought we could make a difference by having the option of an arts education degree for students to choose.   And we did.   Over the next twenty + years, art education majors from North Georgia found jobs throughout the region.  They went on to make wonderful contributions to arts learning for youngsters, many of them being recognized as teachers of excellence in their schools and communities.

In fact, the visual art and music areas of the program grew to the point that they were made into two distinct departments several years ago.  The university now covers four campuses throughout north Georgia and the Visual Arts Department has a combined total of around 28 or so faculty, including full and part-time members.  The Visual Arts program has over 300 students across all campuses now. Here's a link to the Visual Arts Department at the University of North Georgia.

Today I visited the UNG Library and Technology Center to see the latest exhibit of senior art students' work.  Once again I was impressed with the level of the technical abilities in the works created (this exhibit has sculpture, surface design on fabric, weaving,  and digital work on display), as well as the thoughtful artist statements presented by each student.

Bob Owens is no longer with us; he passed on in 2004.  But his legacy is certainly alive and well in the arts at the University of North Georgia.  Congratulations, students, faculty and staff of the Visual Arts Department at UNG!

Now--a few photos from the tapestry sessions:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blue Ridge Fiber Show 2014

I was quite pleased recently to receive a letter informing me that the tapestry, with cartoon designed from my niece's painting, was awarded the First Place in Professional Weaving--Tapestry at the Blue Ridge Fiber Show.

I wrote about the weaving of the piece earlier in the blog in several posts... one here and another one here.  I also wrote about the process of working from Megan's painting in the American Tapestry Alliance online newsletter, Tapestry Topics.  The article was in the Fall 2014 issue.  Unfortunately, the newsletter is for ATA members only so I can't post a link to that. Back issues of Tapestry Topics ARE available for viewing online... here's a link to those.

Here's the piece hanging at the Blue Ridge Fiber Show with a nice, handwoven blue ribbon beside the label:

The title is Probation Violation

During the trip to Asheville to see the exhibit I was also able to make a stop at Tim Barnwell's studio to have him photograph the large stones tapestry--here's Tim getting ready to shoot a detail:

If you visit Tim's website, be sure to click on links to his beautiful books.  His latest one is Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas.  It should be a wonderful read for anyone who loves the Appalachian mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I visited my friends Noel and Patrick when in Western North Carolina--and gave them the towels I was weaving with the hemp yarn that I showed in an earlier post--

and here's one of them in use!

I enjoy weaving functional fabrics for friends.  I only give myself time to do that once or twice a year--but I truly love to see the cloth in use.

Things are calming down a bit and I hope I can soon catch up in the blog more with some of the very busy fall doings around here.  But this is it for now!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

2015 approaches!

Yes, it really will be next year before you know it.  My tapestry diary tells me that as I move along in it, day by day.  So do my journals--yes, plural for journals.  I write a lot and in several notebooks or handmade books.  Then there's my calendar for what's coming up.  The days of paper calendars have gone by the wayside, for the most part.  If I have a cloud failure, I guess I won't know where I'm supposed to be.  Hope I'll still remember who I am.  But, how I did enjoy getting the new Month at a Glance calendar, back in the day.  All those blank days of the new year neatly bound together, just waiting to be filled in with this and that and another thing.

Now... about 2015.  I have three teaching trips planned and links to those are at the left side of the blog.  The first one for the year will be at John C. Campbell Folk School, February 22-27.  Next will be a three day workshop at Florida Tropical Weavers Guild Conference, March 20-22.  And the last class that's now on the schedule is at Arrowmont School of Crafts, June 38-July 11.  The Arrowmont class will be a two week session and it's always nice to have an extended time for a tapestry class.  Right now the link at the Arrowmont site is for a sneak-peek listing only; registration for the 2015 classes there will begin on November 17.

I hope I'll see you at one (or more) of those classes next year--or should I say, in a few months?!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Catching up--at last

Welcome to November!  Time has fallen back and the temperatures have fallen with it, it seems!  Here in Dahlonega we didn't have any of the early snow fall that happened over much of the southern Appalachian region a couple of days ago but we surely had colder weather.

What a month October was!  I'll see if I can catch up a bit with this post and maybe stay more current with the blog.  So here goes...

September ended with final details of installation for "Woven Together"--the exhibit by Tapestry Weavers South members that was held in the Library and Technology Center at the University of North Georgia from Oct. 1-31.  Pat Williams and I were co-chairpeople for the exhibit and the Joan Baxter workshop scheduled for Oct. 7-10.  First, Here are a few views from the exhibit:

The exhibit was held on all three levels of the library with the long hallways being the primary display area.  On the third floor there were two walls on opposite sides of the large reading room, in addition to the hallway that were used for exhibit.  On one wall, tapestries were displayed.

On the other side of the room were items related to design process. We invited participants to send design work in any shape, form or fashion.  Because the exhibit was being held in an educational setting it seemed appropriate to share with students (and other visitors) a bit about the background work that goes into the creation of a tapestry.  Comments made about the design wall have all been good.

A detail of the center section of the design wall display.
I had a demo loom set up at the library and was able to spend several afternoons there throughout the month, weaving and talking to anyone who was interested.

But the first of the month was also busy with travel... in fact, at the end of September, my husband and I left for few day's trip to Baltimore.

We drove up to visit friends and to attend several events during the opening days of an exhibit at American Visionary Art Museum, "The Visionary Experience: St. Francis to Finster"

Before leaving Baltimore on October 3rd, we made a quick visit to the Baltimore Museum of Art, always one of our favorite stops when we're there.

Soon after our return,  Joan Baxter arrived for the workshop that she was going to be teaching for Tapestry Weavers South.  I mentioned a bit about her workshop in the last blog post but here are a few more photos.

Joan's samples were just beautiful and she invited us to handle and to photograph them.  What a treat.

A reception for the exhibit was held on October 8 and followed by a talk by Joan Baxter.  Here's Joan talking to Terri Bryson and Joan Griffin, workshop participants, and Jon Eric Riis, one of the invited artists for the exhibit.

Jon Riis and Silvia Heyden were invited to participate along with the TWS members.  They were given the distinction of becoming our first honorary life members of the organization, as well.  Jon Eric Riis and Silvia Heyden have done so much to promote the art of tapestry in the world during the past decades.  They both live in the Southeast region of the U.S. and it seemed very fitting to present them with the honor.

Following the reception and talk, the workshop participants and several others were invited to our house to have soup and salad... all delicious... from Picnic Cafe in town.  

Picnic Cafe also provided our lunches during the workshop.  Here's Janette Meetze's lovely sketch of the front of the building.  Janette was in the workshop and not only did many sketches during her stay, but made an wonderful tapestry during the workshop.  Check out her blog post to read more about her experiences in Dahlonega.

Courtesy of Janette Meetze

The workshop ended on the 10th but Joan Baxter's return flight to Scotland wasn't until the 12th.  She stayed on in Dahlonega and she was able to wind down a bit from her hectic month of teaching all across the U.S.  Out to dinner-- Joan and my husband having quite lively chats about assorted things.  

I was winding down myself following the workshop, the exhibit, and the Baltimore trip when an opportunity to have a week's residency at Hambidge Center came up.  I jumped on it and was off to Hambidge on October 16 for a brief stay.   Even though I was only there for a few days, I was able to get quite a bit of research underway for an upcoming class I'll be teaching at John C. Campbell Folk School in February.  The class is called "William Morris, Tapestry, and You!" and in preparation for that, I'm reading about Morris, looking closely at his designs, and hoping inspirations from his incredible work might be developed into ideas for small tapestry images.

A couple of the sketches done while at Hambidge:

Some photos of beautiful Hambidge Center:

Cove Studio 

During the Hambidge week, I came home overnight to help my husband with reception at Paradise Garden in Summerville, Georgia.  He curated an exhibit of work by Ed Gillam and the opening was on the 23rd of October.  Howard Finster's Paradise Garden, is looking so good with all of the work being done by the Foundation to restore and renovate the environment.  

Selfie in the mirror house... incredible reflections....

Add a few other things to the month... a pumpkin carving party--

... setting up the floor loom for a bit of weaving from 1800's weaving drafts found at the local library...

...visiting Lillian E. Smith Center to give a brief presentation to the board of advisors for the Center about how valuable I've found my times in residence there...

... and teaching in the UNG weaving class for a few days -- tapestry weaving, of course!

And that's about it for my October.

Now... on to November adventures!