Sunday, September 3, 2017

Remains of the day(s)



The title of my post is about the wefts remaining on the bobbins after I recently completed a tapestry that was on the loom for a couple of months.  Those wefts represent the remains of the days I spent weaving that one.



I've been busy with the small tapestry I mentioned in the last post, one that would be using up remaining wefts from bobbins (a few of which are in the above photo) I had wound for the tapestry I'd cut off recently.  As it turns out, I have enough warp and weft remains to do another small tapestry and I'm underway with it now.

I always save weft that's on bobbins after I finish a tapestry.   I unwind the bobbins, make butterflies with the yarn and store them in zip lock bags.  I almost always use several strands wound together as wefts so the colors are mixed.  When I unload the bobbins, I don't separate the strands but put the whole bundle into the bag.  And then I almost never reuse the same color mixture!  Time consuming?  Yep.  But, after all, one's use of time is relative to the importance of the task, isn't it.

Anyway... quite a few of the bobbins from the big tapestry have now been emptied as I wove the first of two small pieces on the new-to-me loom I recently bought.

Here's the first piece after the weaving was completed:


It's woven at 8 epi on a gray wool warp.  The design is based on one of the earth pigment paintings I did while at Hambidge Center last December.

The second piece that's now underway is also based on a painting I made last year, one using black walnut to dye the paper.  At the right side of the tapestry I'm weaving blocks of color from, yes... the remains of the wefts.


This is being woven at the top of the warp.  To do that, I flipped the loom over and started at the opposite end of the completed tapestry.  Sounds more complicated than it is.  I find that doing this on a frame loom allows for the most use of remaining warps.  Sort of like burning a candle at both ends, I guess.


I'm hoping to finish this second small piece later today and cut both off so I can get to the finishing steps asap. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse and more


Yesterday's solar eclipse was a big deal here in the United States as it made its way diagonally across the country.  Hundreds of thousands of people traveled to places they could have a view of it in totality--or nearly so.  Our home in north Georgia had a partial eclipse of about 98% and we stayed here to enjoy what we were given.  We had glasses and I made a viewer using a box and a pinhole camera lens that was from a camera I built when in a photography class in school many years ago.  I also did some quick watercolor sketches of the moon's shadow at different times throughout the event.  And of course, I had to record the eclipse in my tapestry diary!  So here is my homage to the August 21st solar eclipse of 2017 with the sun almost gone when it was at the peak around 2:36 p.m.:


Here are the little quick sketches I did as the eclipse progressed:



These were done on the front and back of a bamboo paper for printmaking, using watercolor with notes in pencil.  They are reminders for me of that wonderful experience and will be slipped into my studio journal later.

As I started to write this post I realized that July 22 was when I wrote the last one.  In it I mentioned I was working on the tapestry that I'd started in early June and that the Time Warp exhibit in Athens was ending in a few days.  Since then, the tapestries from that exhibit have all been returned to their makers safely.  And the tapestry is now finished.

Here's the cutting off on Sunday, August 20:


And here's the tapestry hanging temporarily.  I'll take it to Asheville soon for better photographs by Tim Barnwell but I have lots more finishing to do before then.  It's 62" long and 19.5" wide, woven on a linen warp at 8 epi, using natural dyed wool yarns for weft.  The dyes are all from either black walnut or from henna.  The varying colors come from amount of dyestuff and/or the dye pot used.  The more grayed and the darkest values of the colors were dyed in an iron kettle and the clearer colors in either a stainless steel pot or in a crock pot.


Right now, I've given the piece the title Earth Echoes.  That may change as I think about it more but it seems appropriate since the inspiration for the tapestry was an earth pigment painting I did last fall while at a residency at the Lillian Smith Center. I documented the weaving of the tapestry on my Instagram account at #earthpigmentleaves.

Last Saturday, I returned to the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens for the closing event of  Fold/Unfold.  It was quite wonderful to see each of the many coverlets woven for the exhibit unfolded and shown, then stacked on top of each other, one by one.  There is a beautiful catalog that accompanied the exhibit that shows each coverlet in full and gives a brief bio of the weaver.  Here are a few photos from the unfolding:


This is Bhakti Ziek's coverlet, a panel of which she wove while we were at Penland's Spring Concentration earlier this year.

After all were unfolded and laid out on the pedestals, many of the visitors inspected them.  Quite a few of the weavers were present for the unfolding.  

So now... what's next?  I'm about to start a new tapestry, one that I hope to finish to be included with a few other small ones at the Hambidge Center Gallery for their upcoming fall show and sale.  I have a new-to-me loom I bought when I was at the Folk School that I'm eager to use. The warp is on and half-hitches are done at the bottom and I can begin!  But... the design is not quite ready yet but maybe tomorrow--


Saturday, July 22, 2017

The heat of summer


Time Warp and Weft exhibit in Athens ending soon--July 29 will be the last day!  I'll be going back on the 31st to help with the packing up of the works from everyone who participated and getting them sent along their ways back to Colorado (Kathy Spoering and Rebecca Mezoff), Oklahoma (Janette Meetze) and Rhode Island (Janet Austin).  Geri Forkner, who lives in Tennessee, will be coming to Lyndon House for the unfolding of the coverlets in the Fold/Unfold exhibit on August 19 and will pick up her daily weavings then.  I'll bring mine back to Dahlonega on the 31st--if I can get them in the car along with everyone else's boxes!  I'd made a separate trip to deliver my work back in May but since Geri's boxes will stay in Athens, maybe I can squeeze them all in.

Beth Sale, who's the Exhibitions Curator for the Lyndon House Arts Center, has been a pleasure to work with as this show came together.  I've been involved with many aspects of the exhibit from the outset, beginning early last year.  Lots of emails back and forth to Beth and especially among the others who participated as we planned the details.  I also approached the editor of Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot to see if she'd be interested in an article about the exhibit.  She was, and it was published in the summer edition of SS&D.

So, being involved in many ways with Time Warp and Weft over the past year and a half has given me a new appreciation of all of the work that goes into the preparation for and mounting of an exhibit.  Thank you, Beth Sale, for everything you've done to make this a wonderful exhibit experience for the six of us--and for the visitors to the Lyndon House Arts Center!

Now... other things.  I've been working consistently (at last) on the new tapestry that I'd started in early June.  It's based on an earth pigment painting I made while at the Lillian Smith Center last year.  I'd designed the cartoon last fall by cropping a vertical section from the small painting and having it enlarged at the university print shop.  Since the inspiration for the tapestry was earth pigment, I decided I wanted to weave the piece with natural dyes.  What better way to used up the remaining black walnut dyed yarns from last year's 2016 tapestry diary, I thought.  When I got back from Penland this spring, I dyed with black walnut and also with henna (the henna has given me a variety of orange and red-oranges that I wanted to add to the browns and grays of the black walnut).  I've continued to dye a few skeins as I've been working on the tapestry.

I have a goal of finishing this by mid-August.  I reached just over the 1/2 way point yesterday (33" of the 60" of the design).  Will I do it?  Maybe!  Time, and a bunch of weaving, will tell the tale.

Here's where it is now... first shot, a view of the loom with the weaving underway.  Second photo is a closeup of the piece.




I'm working on the 2017 tapestry diary daily; the flower for July is an Althea or Rose of Sharon.  There's one growing right outside the window of my studio here at the house and the flowers have been a constant presence throughout the month.  Here's where it stands today--lots to do to finish it off before the 31st.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Time Warp...and Weft, Lyndon House Arts Center


Last Thursday, June 15th, was the opening for the Time Warp...and Weft exhibit in Athens, Georgia at Lyndon House Arts Center.  The exhibit is in the South Gallery on the second floor.  My tapestry diary works are in the exhibit along with work by Janet Austin, Geri Forkner, Janette Meetze, Rebecca Mezoff,  and Kathy Spoering.

On Friday, Janet and Geri and I joined a couple of people from the Atlanta tapestry contingent to weave for the day in the gallery.  Although we didn't have many visitors to talk to we had a grand time with each other.

I gave a gallery talk last night and although there was an absolute downpour outside during the time, several people came to see the exhibit and my presentation.

Here are a few photos from the opening.

An overview of the gallery.  A couple of my tapestries are seen at the left.  In the center and the right wall, is Geri Forkener's work.  On the back wall hangs Janet Austin's work.  Rebecca Mezoff's small tapestries are on the end of the wall that hold's Geri's long pieces, just around the corner from Janet's work.
Geri Folkner (l) and Terri Bryson (r) chatting at the opening.
Geri's works... I love the way the long strips look in the exhibit.
Janet Austin (l), talks to a visitor.
Janette Meetze's tapestries.
Kathy Spoering's twelve months are at the left. 
Rebecca Mezoff's tiny daily tapestries done during her Petrified Forest National Park artist residency last year.  She has a beautiful little book that describes her inspirations included in the exhibit.  Check her website to find out more about her book as well as her experiences with the residency.


There were several copies of the Summer 2017 issue of SS&D with the article about the Time Warp exhibit available in the gallery.
My husband takes a look at my 2015 and 2016 tapestry diaries. 
Thomas continues to scrutinize my years of tapestry diaries!  Not that he hasn't seen them before but they look quite different in a gallery context.  Of course, the only ones hanging at home are the framed 2015 and 2016 ones--the rest live in storage most of the time.
Guests are looking closely at the 2016 year with the black walnut used as subject through the months of the year.

Rebecca Mezoff also wrote a blog post about the exhibit--link here

My thanks to everyone who's worked hard to bring this exhibit about.  First, of course, to my fellow "Time Travelers"--Janet Austin, Geri Forkner, Janette Meetze, Rebecca Mezoff and Kathy Spoering.  The concept of weaving to consider the passage of time isn't unique to us although some of us have been doing it for many years now (Geri's daily weavings began in 2005).  I'm well into the ninth year of doing tapestry diary now and I don't see any end to the directions the process may lead for the future. 

Many thanks to Beth Sale and Lyndon House Arts Center for offering the gallery for the show.  Beth's behind the scenes work has been great as she's coordinated the details for around a year in preparation for the exhibit.  Major installation tasks began when I delivered the pieces at the end of May.  She helped with unpacking everything and then her big job of designing the gallery with the varied works from six artists, then hanging it all began.  Next Beth and others of the Lyndon House staff put together a beautiful reception for all four summer exhibits on the 15th of June, set up for our gallery social weaving day on the 16th, and then organized my gallery talk on June 20.  All in all, this has been a wonderful experience to be part of the exhibition.  I'm always happy to see my tapestries exhibited and when they are in the company of other weavings it's wonderful.

Editing to add a link to Molly Elkind's nice comments about the exhibit at her blog, Talking Textiles.  Thanks, Molly! 

Second editing to add a link to Janet Austin's blog post about the exhibit.  It's here at her blog, Tangled Web.  Thank you, Janet, for being part of the exhibit and especially for flying in from Rhode Island to the opening!  It's always nice to see you even though it's only every couple of years or so.