ATA ( American Tapestry Alliance) had an interesting event last week. A Blog Tour! Over a period of days we were invited to visit a selection of artist blogs (and one Instagram video) where posts were posted for the event. It was very fun, informative and inspirational! If you left a comment, posted an image and/or entered their small tapestry exhibition you were eligible to win a prize.
I commented, posted and entered and won a prize!!! A goodie bag from Halycon Yarn in Maine. I have purchased yarn from them in the past and visited them this summer with Holly. Can’t wait to see what’s in it. Not only that, my post (an image of my sketchbook with designs for my “She Howled at the Moon” tapestry) was used in the final days to promote the event. I’m taking both of these events as signs from the universe that I may be on a right tract…. Always looking for signs—don’t know if that good or bad but I do it! So, I’m currently a happy camper.
With all this said, now I have to get my act together and design and weave a small tapestry. Would like to use my 6 dent Hokett at 12 epi, but waiting for warp, so… I might use my 8epi or… and here’s the big OR… Years ago (years and years) Bob made me a beautiful tapestry loom and I have never even warped it as my life took different twists and turns. It’s time for it to stop being Decorative.
So, I’m researching how to warp this loom, checking my warps, and thinking how much I can accomplish before March. Might also warp up the 8 epi Hokett just in case! Then working on my designs.
At the same time I’ve had some thoughts on combining my stitching with my poetry, but that’s a post for another day!
Haven’t posted in a while – holidays take their toll on my own work. Did get our cards designed and sent and tried to work on the little holiday project Rebecca suggested… but didn’t get started until after New Years so I decided to use a winter theme instead of a Christmas one. I got out my pen and made sketches of a simple moon lit scene, found yarns among my stash and warped my 6 dent Hokett loom at 12 epi.
I was excited as I liked my design and was eager to work on curves with eccentric wefts. BUT… in my excitement I worked on the new skills and seem to have forgotten my old ones – as a result my weaving pulls in and I’m not a happy camper!
This was to be titled “She dances by the light of the moon” but has been changed to “She howls at the moon”!
Finally finished my second tapestry from the Rebecca Mezoff Colorado Workshop. We were working inspiration from our mountain experiences and I had fallen at (I later discovered) “Old Gulch Overlook” taking a picture of mountains – teach me to not pay attention to where I was going… and made a one point landing on my cheek. Not pretty! I wore dark glasses most of the time but one can’t weave with dark glasses on…My fellow workshop weavers had the brunt of the fall as they had to look at the dreadful bruise that over took half my face – I didn’t feel it until I would pass a mirror and then…. So this weaving is a thank you to them for making me feel comfortable.
It was a wonderful workshop! Beautiful location, terrific new friends, and I learned so much! Thank you Rebecca!
All this work with tapestry got me thinking of some of the great tapestries I’ve seen.
The Unicorn Tapestries (1500’s) at the Cloisters in NY
The Apocalypse Tapestry from the 1300’s in Angers, France
The Lady and the Unicorn (1500’s) at the Cluny in Paris. Found a wonderful video here.
My first experience with the Unicorn Tapestries in NY was one hot summer day many years ago back when I knew nothing about tapestries. A friend said he had a surprise and we got on the NY Subway in mid town and headed north. I had no idea where we were going and the train was hot and miserable. We traveled what seemed like forever and then got off and had to take an elevator up and up and up.I thought we must have reached hell it’s self but when we arrived we were outside the Cloisters – it was breezy and delightful! Trees and flowers – then we went into the museum and I was blown away!
The other two were on a trip to France to meet my son who was studying in Strausbourg. We got there a week early and went on a bit of a tapestry tour. By now I had studied textile history with Sigred Wetlge who made the subject magical and I was a weaver. We first saw the non tapestry Bayeux Tapestry. Nothing prepared me for the length of this work – it’s condition and wonderful graphic stitchery!
Pages from a very old sketchbook!
The Apocalypse Tapestry is known as a Tapestry with no back – the back is as clean as the front! Images of destruction and mayhem – interspersed with little bunnies that run into holes in one tapestry and climb out several tapestries later. And, the fact that records show when it was commissioned 1373, and by whom amazes me!
And the Lady and the Unicorn is pure poetry!
Been away at “Tapestry Camp”, a retreat with Rebecca Mezoff at Colorado State’s Mountain Campus. Can’t think of a more beautiful place to weave! It’s about 1.5-2 hours from Fort Collins up very twisty dirt roads at roughly 9000 feet!
I hiked, sketched, met wonderful new friends, and wove!
Hike in the mountains
Bob and I flew to Denver and visited with Mary and Estes, then I left for camp and Bob stayed with them, saw a Rockie’s game, and continued his summer of trains by visiting train sites. We both had much fun. I managed to fall on my face and spent most of time in dark glasses, a story for another day, but didn’t let it stop me.
Quick sketch before class
The gist of our retreat was to be influenced by our surroundings and develop a weaving from our experience. Right up my alley – PROCESS! – I also wanted to work on making smoother curves etc. I love the aspen leaves and decided to use them – to concentrate on their rounded forms. So I began by photographing and sketching, then exploring colors.
Designing my project
Six dent Hokett looms were part of the retreat and Rebecca supplied wonderful yarns to use including these oh, so wonderful Weavers Bazaar yarns. The weaving in my last blog post was done on an eight dent Hokett with much thicker yarn. Now I used the six dent loom warped double creating a twelve epi design with much finer yarns.
tools and fibers
Rebecca introduced me to eccentric outline weaving which allows the curves to become smoother esp if using colors from each of the adjoining blocks of color. That and the 12 epi with finer yarns did the trick.
Off the loom – still needs finishing.
I still have a way to go with this new skill but I’m much happier with the results than with my last project of bison horns. But…not so happy I had to discover more expensive yarns which are not available in the US and have to be imported… Champagne taste and a beer budget…
I am heading to Colorado for a little loom tapestry workshop and thought I should review what I had learned earlier this year…Well…It’s a good thing!
I decided to work with the sweet little horns I saw on the bison at Fermi Labs, so I made lots of sketches, cropped my photos and narrowed it down to a simple design derived from the slight curve on a wooly background with just a bit of reflection. I know I need practice with curves so keeping it simple seemed like a good idea.
I was happy with my design and warped the loom. Lots of redos and I still need a lot of work on curves. And I did my soumak rows backwards. and I messed up with my meet and separate – try as I might… gots lots of work ahead of me.
Off the loom and still has to be finished but THIS WILL BE REDONE!
Rebecca has her work cut out!