Monday, January 30, 2017

A new website in the new year

So far this has been a difficult year.  Every day comes and new challenges arise.  One step at a time.  This too shall pass.  All those platitudes to make oneself feel better.

On a positive note, I've been spending time with long phone conversations with Bhakti Ziek, who is my co-conspirator teacher for our upcoming Spring Concentration at Penland School of Crafts.  We have a nearly full class, as there may be only one spot remaining.  We are both looking forward to a challenging and rewarding eight weeks of intense involvement with all things woven.

My tapestry diary for 2017 is underway and I need to be at the studio working on my month's image of camellia blossom right now instead of doing this post.

And my latest large tapestry is drawing close to the end.  I'm hoping to get it off the loom within a couple of weeks.

But I started writing this post to mention my new website.  It's definitely a work in progress, just like my blog and my life, I guess.  I'm doing it through Squarespace--after all the ads I hear for Squarespace on the podcasts I listen to, I thought I'd give it a try.

If you want to take a look at how it stands now, here's the link.  I'll probably be changing it along the way but this is as good as it gets right at this point.

And here's the finished and framed 2016 tapestry diary being photographed by the amazing Tim Barnwell:


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Two weeks into the new year... fifty more to go....

My 2017 tapestry diary is moving right along.  I've decided to use a flower theme this year, selecting images from flowering plants at each month throughout the year.  I'm starting off with a camellia blossom from one of our bushes in the yard.  These plants are one that bloom in late fall and into the spring.  We have six camellia plants in different spots, all of different types/colors.  The freezing temperatures last weekend caused the blossoms to brown but I'd taken a few photos earlier in the month and that's what I'm working from for the monthly image.

This month, I'm working directly from my photo, printed in black and white and manipulated with Photoshop to remove background.  I'd hoped to make a painting of a blossom after bringing one inside to lay it on white paper to have shadow shapes become part of the composition... but because of not doing that before mean old Mr. Cold Weather got to them, I'm working with what I have.  Also because I'm getting started on this month's image late in the month, I thought using the photo would be the most direct way to begin.

Here's a detail of the first leaf.  The white background is made up on one strand of 2-ply wool and three strands of small linen.  The linen is from Silvia Heyden's estate--and I've incorporated some of the yarns from Silvia in all of my tapestries since I received the yarn after her passing.  I like to feel that she's with me always as I weave.

Those round metal dots are magnets, by the way.  They're holding the cartoon in place behind the warp.

I'm thinking ahead for February's image and I know that the daffodils will be blooming then, if they stay true to form and the weather doesn't get exceptionally screwy.  Here were little peeks of what's to come that I saw yesterday in the garden:

As I mentioned in a previous post, my 2016 tapestry diary is at the frame shop for mounting and for framing.  I've been so fortunate to have the skilled hands of Mary Mattimoe doing the stitching on of a number of tapestries in the last two years.  Here's Mary at work at Caroline Budd's Frame Shop in Atlanta, attaching 2016 to the mounting fabric that's already stretched.  Once that's in place, the piece will be framed in a float frame.

Mary is an artist who does beautiful quilt works... check out her website here.

The large tapestry I've been working on since November is now above the half-way point.  I reached that milestone (recorded in inches) yesterday afternoon before I left the studio.  The transition to gray/ash and blackish/charcoal colors has begun and by the time I get to the top, it will be all grays and blacks.  The tapestry will be turned 90˚ to the direction I'm weaving it when it's hanging and will be about 60" h x 28" w:

Yesterday I had good news in my email.  I found out one of my tapestries has been accepted for the American Tapestry Alliance Small Tapestry International 5 exhibit, to be held in two venues this summer.  More about the ATA STI5 is here.  This is the piece that was accepted--"Hambidge Kiln Bricks"--and I wove it while at Hambidge in December of 2015.  I wrote about that residency then and here's a post that described the weaving in progress.

January is just about half-way over now... and like I said in my post title... fifty more weeks remain in 2017.  And it's just nine weeks until the great Penland adventure with Bhakti Ziek begins!  Our class is now full and Bhakti and I are so looking forward to spending eight weeks together with the twelve people who've decided to go on the adventure with us.  Penland Concentrations are just that... concentrated, intense, inspiring, moving... and more... often a life-changing kind of more.  I've experienced Concentration as a student and now I'm grateful to have an opportunity to experience it as an instructor who will be collaborating with the fabulous artist and teacher, Bhakti Ziek.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 tapestry diary

Here's a photo of the finished tapestry diary from last year.  I took it myself, standing on a chair in the kitchen and shooting downward... hence the not-too-great view!  It's 50" long x 11.5" wide, 8 epi of 10/3 linen for warp.

It's at the frame shop now and once I have it back I'll schedule a session with Tim Barnwell in Asheville for a better photo--and maybe by then I'll have one or two more small ones to take to have photographed, as well.

2015 was the first time I decided to weave imagery within the tapestry diary... here's the link to a post about that one that I made once I'd cut it off.  During 2015 I wove separate parts for each week of the months throughout the year. 

For 2016, I changed to having an image for each month and using what I found relating to the black walnut tree each month.

Although I'm getting a later start today, I'm off to the studio to "weave my day" on my 2017 tapestry diary. I'm still not sure what direction the new one will take other than a noting of days as they come with a separate small entry.  But I do like the challenge of designing something representational and incorporating the larger image into the daily parts.