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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

May has flown--June is half-way over!


Wow!  It's now over a month since Penland Spring Concentration ended.  Already it seems like the whole experience was a dream.  Yet I know it wasn't.  I know that I now have wonderful connections in many parts of the country that will remain firm for years to come.  I haven't heard from everyone from the class but have from many and they're immersed into their "real" lives and settling in for creative adventures where ever they are--or preparing for changes that may take them in new directions.  I wish them all well.  I know that I'll be hearing and reading about many of these creative makers in the future.  I want to write more about the experience and will do so in a future blog post.

My view from Big Lear, my home away from home, on the last morning as I was leaving Penland.
For the months of May and early June, here's a bit of what's going on--

The day after the end of the two months concentration I drove from Penland to Yadkinville, NC where I was to be the keynote speaker at the opening of Filaments, the Tapestry Weavers South exhibit that's on display for the spring/summer at the Welborn Gallery of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center.  The show looks great and there were several TWS members there at the reception.  My talk was videotaped by Michiele Elliott's husband and he's posted it to YouTube.  Michiele mentioned the link at her blog, Weaving Song at this post.

Phoenix, the tapestry I finished weaving in February, hangs at the entrance to the exhibit.
Dorina Scalia and her husband came to the reception, a side trip on their way home from Penland.  Dorina was one of the students at the spring concentration.
After an ovenight stay in Yadkinville, I made the 6+ hour drive home with my car loaded to bursting with all of the stuff I'd taken to Penland.  Once back in Dahlonega I dropped off the studio things--just opened the front door to pile in the stuff until I got the car empty except for my suitcase and laundry bag.  I took those home, unloaded and put myself flat on the sofa for an hour or so.  But the buzz from the intense two months at Penland kept me going for the next week and beyond.

Through the week I slowly unpacked studio things and began to put them away.  Slowly is the operative word here because it seemed like I could work on the reorganizing for an hour then I was off in a new direction.  Naps became my afternoon occupation, in fact.  Long ones, short ones.  Didn't matter; just lying down to rest my back and close my eyes for a few minutes was delicious.

The following weekend I went back to North Carolina to stay overnight with friends and then to go to Hendersonville as the program presented for the monthly meeting of the Western NC Fiber Guild.

The next week, my husband and I spent several days on a journey through NC, with a stop overnight in Bethania with friends--and then on to Roanoak to visit another friend, and finally to Richmond to stay a few nights with friends there.

While in Richmond we went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to see a couple of exhibits.

Yves Saint Laurent exhibit was at VMFA.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts... Dale Chiluly piece, Red Reeds, in the pond.
We also had a visit to Hollywood Cemetery, the resting place of many Civil War veterans as well as two U.S. Presidents (Tyler and Taylor), and Jefferson Davis, who was President of the Confederacy.  The cemetery is a beautiful spot with hundreds of fascinating monuments.  In fact, according to a book about the cemetery, there are over 18,000 Confederate soldiers from the Civil War buried there.


A cast iron dog guards the grave of a little girl who died in the 1860s.
Jefferson Davis's gravesite--and his statue looks toward 21st century Richmond, Virginia.
After we returned, I took works from my co-exhibitors to the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, Georgia for an exhibit that will be up from June 10-July 29.  The exhibit is the second version of "Time Warp--and Weft" of the daily weavings by Janet Austin, Geri Forkner, Janette Meetze, and myself.  Kathy Spoering's twelve tapestry calendars also are in the exhibit, as well as the daily 2" x 2" tapestries made by Rebecca Mezoff during her 2016 Petrified Forest National Park artist residency.

Here's a panorama view of the time warp pieces being assembled for the exhibit in the South Gallery.
There's an opening reception for the summer exhibitions at Lyndon House on June 15 from 6-8 p.m.  I'll be doing a presentation on June 20, 6-8, as well.

I've written an article about the exhibit and the concept of daily weaving that's just been published in the most recent issue of Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot.

In late May I was off to St. Simons Island, on the coast of Georgia, for the 20th Anniversary Retreat of Tapestry Weavers South.  We had two days and three nights of beautiful weather at Epworth by the Sea.  There were about twenty TWS members there, as well as several spouses.  Jon Eric Riis, who's a Lifetime Member of TWS, was our guest and keynote speaker.  He also gave critiques of tapestries to those who'd brought ones for his review.

Beautiful blue sky and bright clouds traveled with me as I drove the 6+ hours to St. Simons from north Georgia.
Our morning view from the balcony of the hotel.
Beautiful sunsets every evening while we were at St. Simons.
Genie Greenlaw and MJ Lord discuss MJ's wedge weave.
Chatting after lunch and before critique time.
Connie Lippert's wedge weave underway on Hockett loom.
Joann Wilson--"Why not?"

So enjoyable to bring looms and work on whatever you wished--and talk to old and new friends while you were at it!
Jon Riis takes a look at Pat Williams's tapestries during his critique session.
I did a small four selvedge weaving from a watercolor sketch I made of the view of the river the first morning I was there.
What would a 20th Anniversary/birthday be without cake!
Since then I've been gradually getting back into the studio for productive work.  I've started a tapestry that I'd designed last fall, based on one of the several earth pigment paintings I did at a Lillian Smith Center residency last year.  I've been dyeing yarn to use in the tapestry, mainly using henna and a bit of black walnut to add to the black walnut dyed yarns I had left from last year's adventures with dyeing.

I also have new teaching opportunities arising for next year.  I'll be posting those once details are available.  This year holds two more teaching experiences, one in late July at John Campbell Folk School and the other in late September in Durham for the Triangle Weavers Guild.  Both of those are weekend workshops.

Maybe some of you might make it to the reception for the Time Warp exhibit on Thursday (tomorrow!).  I'll be there and also back to Lyndon House on Friday to spend the day in the gallery (10-3) weaving along with Janet Austin and anyone else who wants to come join us.




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Endings and Beginnings





Penland Spring Concentration 2017 is now history.  The thoughts of working together and "weaving a dialogue" that Bhakti Ziek and I began imagining over a year ago and intensely planning for through the early winter of this year have materialized over the course of the past amazing eight weeks.

We met twelve incredible people who made a leap of faith to take the journey with us.  Each of us was challenged in many ways throughout the two months... sometimes with weaving in technical or design challenges, sometimes with health issues.  But everyone persevered and became part of a class that won't easily (or ever) forgotten.

Endings are hard.  Hugs have been given; tears have been shed; gifts and notes exchanged; promises made to keep in touch.  Now, all of us, except for Sarah Rose, a Penland core student who's just begun two years there, have headed off the mountain.  I think maybe all of us hope to return again to Penland and Lily Loom House in the future.

Thank you, Penland.  Thank you, Bhakti.  Thank you, Allie, Anastastia, Caroline, Cyndi, Debra, Dorina, Krysten, Nancy, Nina, Sarah, Sarah Rose, Rebecca. Thank you, Edwina, for being so much a part of our class.  I'll see you all again someday.

Thank you to all of the wonderful guests we've had.  Thanks you to those who made our field trips possible by inviting us to visit--Valdese Weavers; Oriole Mill; Amy Putansu at Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber Program.

Photos of the last two weeks will be coming soon once I get home and have time to do an update.  We've had an ongoing Instagram feed since the first days.  You can find us @weaving.a.dialogue to see more right away, if you haven't followed us before.

 Now... onward to beginnings of lots of good things for one and all!