Friday, March 31, 2017

Third week at Penland

It's been an amazing week.  Here's what we did (the schedule just shows the group meeting things... it in no way accounts for the many hours the individuals spent at their looms until the wee hours of the morning!)

After the first two weeks, Bhakti and I scheduled, separately, private meeting with every student during the first days of week three to hear their goals for moving forward.  We wanted talk to them about what they want/hope to accomplish during the eight weeks, knowing they'd maybe have a more realistic view of that since they've now had a couple of weeks here.

Penland Concentration times are intense experiences in many way.  First, the location is rural.  The closest town is about a fifteen minute drive away -- and it's the small town of Spruce Pine, North Carolina.  Asheville is over an hour's drive from here.  So there's no quick and easy after-hours distractions of movies, restaurants, bars, etc.  Secondly, the community is of all like-minded individuals: all creative makers who want to share about what and how they do it with each other.  That's invigorating and yet can be intimidating, too.  Add to all of this, the fact that there is so much time to spend in the studio, or visiting other studios, or going to Tues. and Thurs. night slide shows--and then there are the special events that pop up... that's just the quick version of the Penland experience.

We hear over and over that spending time at Penland can be a life-changing experience.  Yes, it can be.  In the exceptional and extraordinary instance, it is that for an individual.  Yet, it is always an experience, that's for sure.

Photos of this exceptional experience so far from the week three (and no words) follow:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Second week at Penland

Wow... I cannot believe the energy that's in the air here.  There's so much going on.  Floor looms have been dressed and warps woven and cut off; visitors have been here and shared so generously; we've had one field trip and more are planned.  The floor loom exploration has taken over this week as several who haven't woven on those looms before concentrated on that.  Tapestry is proceeding slowly... but that's tapestry making, isn't it?  Bhakti's and my hope is that both kinds of looms and techniques on those will inform the approach to image making on each.  We know that some will probably want to focus in one direction or the other for the majority of our time here.  But we're throwing lots at them from both directions for the first couple of weeks--soon, they'll find their path and take it to amazing places, I'm quite sure.

Some photos of the process--few words to describe:

Jessica Green, our visitor on the right, is talking to student, Caroline.
Allie is spinning and Sarah is enjoying the first warm day here with her.
Bhakti is showing about dressing a floor loom.
Rebecca is working on the class tapestry diary.
Krysten is doing a beautifully complex color arrangement as her first floor loom weaving.
Sarah Rose is tucking in an end as a weft ends.
Catharine Ellis, the woven shibori expert, visited us this week with amazing fabrics!
Milissia and Alan Dewey also visited and Milissa showed about the wood turning they do, as well as spinning.
Alice and Bruce Schlein visited today.  Alice talked first about her work with TC-1 and dobby looms, then showed about spindle spinning to several students (including Bhakti and me) after lunch.
Class presentations by each student when they showed their past work has been an important part of the week.  Here's Nina, our wonderful studio assistant, during her presentation time.
Nina (left) and Sarah Rose (right) sport the scarves they've woven here this week!
Much more to come!

Monday, March 20, 2017

So glad to be at Penland!

It's been amazing week at Penland with 12 wonderful students and a cohort, Bhakti Ziek, who I can't say enough in praise about!  I'll post more to my blog soon about the adventure.  

This photo of me laughing to tears was taken by Debra Carbanes, one of the students... I was so tickled I was crying about "losing" my gloves... then finding them inside my cap (after wearing the damn cap three times with the gloves inside it). I didn't realize the gloves were there until I saw my refection in the window glass as I entered the Lily Loom House for class this morning... and noticed that the cap was taller than usual.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Phoenix and more

Earlier in the week I made a trip to Asheville to have the newest tapestry, Phoenix, photographed at Tim Barnwell's studio.

Here's the result:

Like I'd mentioned in an earlier post, I did make-shift finishing using masking tape to hold back warp ends.  I'll use the tapestry during the Penland session as a teaching aid for finishing and preparing a piece for hanging with velcro.

This is the last week of preparations before the Penland class begins!  So much to do and so little time remaining--no panic yet (or not much) but my anxiety level is increasing about what I'll really be able to finish before next Saturday.

Yesterday I put together yet another copper pipe loom to add to my stock.  I wanted to be sure each of us has a loom that we can use for sampling so I'm taking fourteen along with me as loaners.  We'll have both tapestry looms and floor looms going through the next eight weeks.

A couple of other things I want to note here.  First, is a new exhibit posted at TEx@ATA.  This is American Tapestry Alliance's online gallery showcasing curated exhibitions of contemporary tapestry artists from around the world.  I have a small tapestry included in Elements: earth, air, fire, water – an international non-juried exhibition initiated by Jane Freear-Wyld (UK).  Here's a link for that.

ATA has also posted a video recently in which I have a tapestry included.  The video is found at this link. 

Now, back to the Penland Prep!