Saturday, March 05, 2016

Tapestry Graffiti

Finally my tapestry diary is hanging... 

It's a wall of tapestry graffiti memoralizing the four quarters of 2015; my local weather, world & celestial events plus the 3.0+ earthquakes in my area. 

Still some finishing to do but it's quite a feeling of accomplishment to see the pieces on the wall.  I enjoy just sitting and looking at the tapestries. I designed them to be contemplative so no real focal point.  The eye can explore, linger or hurry along. I certainly will never forget 2015; quite amazing that this represents one entire year of weaving. 

Each panel is 23" by 51" and each square is one day of 2015. I must say they look so much better than the photo. I'll post better images when this storm passes and the sun comes out. 

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Developing a Cohesive Palette for a Group Tapestry Project

 Our tapestry group always creates a group submission for the ATA's unjuried show.  In the past we have not been entirely satisfied with our previous submissions to this exhibit so each time we try something different to improve our results.  This year we decided to use common yarns dyed in specific colors. We hoped that by limiting the yarns to the same palette for everyone our tapestries would look more cohesive and "sing" with one voice - or at least in harmony!  Many folks, myself included, are still weaving so we won't know whether we succeeded or not until we get together in early March and unveil our creations.

The yarn for our group tapestry project was dyed last year in March.   We dyed our chosen silk and soy fibers in three colors each at four saturation levels for everyone to use.  That yielded 26 choices including natural colors for each of us to create the palette for our individual tapestries.  The yarns were quite thin so we could combine yarns and create even more combinations of colors than were originally dyed.  For me, at my sett, there would be over 2,100 potential permutations of color!  Clearly this is not as limiting a factor as it appears at first glance. 

So clearly there are a plethora of choices.  Often with so many choices, the analytical side of my brain kicks into high gear and indecision reigns.  There is always one more subset of colors which might yield a better result than the one selected.  And one more after that... Surprisingly, this did not occur.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do, the minute we decided to limit our palette. I decided I would weave my tapestry based on value and not stress on color. That idea flashed into my brain and I never changed my mind over the many months since then.

Here are my 20 yarn samples all organized by color and value.  

So ten months after the yarn was dyed, with the deadline quickly approaching, I found some free time and finally began creating my actual palette consisting of five different values.  

To be continued...

Monday, February 01, 2016

Completing a Tapestry: Step 2

It is important to be self-aware when it comes to weaving a tapestry...actually this is true for completing anything important.  One needs to know how one works and how to set up the environment to make the mind, the hands, the tools and the yarns flow seamlessly among themselves.  It is the only way to effectively move that image burning in the mind onto the loom so everyone can see it.

I cannot start a tapestry unless I dedicate a specific workspace for the project.  Everything must be neat, organized with everything in its proper place.   I will admit it does not always stay that way once the weaving is in process but I must start with everything in its place otherwise I just putz (spelling?) around and accomplish little.  

Here's a photo of how my back studio looked after several days of weaving...yes, it still looks neat and tidy.  It was not a few minutes ago... Once I finish a major section (here the blue background on the lower left),  I usually clean up the work area again to start a fresh with the next new section. 

My back studio up and running...
focused entirely on an 8 by 8 inch tapestry of a seashell in silk and soy.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Never too late

I sent in my entry form for ATA's unjuried small tapestry show a couple of weeks ago.   That put me in a unique state - having committed to an exhibit while not having a loom even warped for a piece.  Not my normal state - I am not a procrastinator by nature but 2015 seemed to get the better of me. On the positive side I have an empty paper clip Shannock loom ready to be dressed for this project. 

The Seaside Tapestry group always does a group entry for this show.  We developed the parameters and dyed the yarn last year...back in March I believe. I was assigned an 8 x 8 inch piece- we all have different sizes. Our theme of seashells was suggested by the matriarch of our group and we all developed and discussed our cartoons with each other. 

So that was as far as I got as of a couple of weeks ago...cartoon complete and yarn samples available for inspiration.  Need to have it completed for photos on March 3rd.  Could be a busy February!

Step one: dress the loom...sett = 14 epi

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Happy New Year!

Here is a very happy Nicki cutting off the fourth quarter of her tapestry diary chronicling the events of 2015.  "Whew! Glad that's over...never again."