Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Penland- The Real Magic Kingdom

Today, I met the other members of Tapestry Weavers South at Penland School of Craft.  We were fortunate enough to visit Tommye Scanlon and Bhakti Ziek's weaving class.  Their lucky students are immersed in an eight week concentration of tapestry and floor loom weaving techniques.

We shared our work with the students.

Genie talks about the inspiration for her glowing people.

One of the students  hard at work.

Meg gets some insight into this student's use of a colorful warp.

A tapestry sample.

Tommye discussing Holly's tapestry.

The class diary, each student is assigned a color and they weave a small bit each day.  They insert a slip of paper for those days they are out of the studio.

The dye studio upstairs.

In case you doubt the magic of Penland, this is the hand tiled bathroom wall.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fighting the Low Lazy

"-You ain't get nothing for staying low, lazy.  The world only tremble at the feet of the few craziest doers ever lived."  Olawale Daniel

When I am faced with self doubt I procrastinate.   I knew I wanted to complete a tapestry for the Tapestry Weavers South show at the Yadkin Valley Fiber Room.  I even posted the cartoon, chose the yarns and warped my 22 inch Mirrix loom.  All set right.  Uh, nope.

I kept putting off starting, clicking down the weeks.  No problem, five weeks is plenty of time...Tapestry is incredibly slow especially for this beginner.  The calendar screamed three weeks and I knew my original plan was too ambitious.

As I procrastinated, I wasn't totally idle.  I thought about the fierce resistance I was experiencing and what was behind it.  I wanted to do a tapestry I could be proud of and was having trouble picturing my weaving  hanging in the same space with my more experienced friends.  What a blessing to be in a group of such talented, amazing weavers but how to avoid comparing my work to others?

I continue to work on that but know the more I weave the better I will get.  I have faith I will find my personal niche as a tapestry weaver and develop the skills so the pictures in my mind can be brought to the loom and executed with skill and grace.

This is Red Rocks, the simplified version.  It will be delivered tomorrow in preparation for the Tapestry show.  It is hard to see but there are three juniper berries woven into the bottom. 
 The Navajo call these ghost beads.  Some say they represent the interdependence of man, animal, plants and earth.
Note the skinny linen on the left and the thick linen on the right.  Both off the same spool of black linen.

If I judge this tapestry by lessons learned it was wildly successful.  I used thick and thin linen from Martha Matthews estate.  I loved the color and the roughness of the linen.  However, thick and thin yarn results in a very eccentric weave.  I like this look but found it difficult to maintain my selvedges.  In addition, I really need to do more preparation before beginning to weave and ideally no deadlines!