Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From the Front or the Back

I am having a tough time weaving the face of my mother in this latest tapestry. A face is a difficult thing to weave since each part individually looks odd...but together they form something quite nice. You have to trust your cartoon when weaving the individual shadings of the face. They look odd but in the end they should turn out fine.

The other issue is color. I am weaving a face which is essentially a line drawing portrait on a sea foam colored paper. Let me tell you, there is nothing like seeing your mother staring back at you all in green!

I also could have simply used one shade of sea foam through out - just like a colored piece of paper. But no...I wanted to have the gradations in the color similar to the back ground in the Van Gogh painting that is the inspiration for this piece.

The real issues began to emerge with the neck. I wove the neck four or five times. It is now acceptable. It took awhile to get the right shades of sea foam to use in the various spots. I finally decided on four shades of sea foam for the various shadings in the neck and face. And created a shading cartoon to remind me what to use where.

The next issue was the lips. I couldn't get the lips right weaving from the back. I tried several times and wogged it out [the weaving rendition of frogging] each time. I finally decided I would have to do it from the front so I could actually see the lips being formed. After a couple of wogs the lips were acceptable with the caveat I would add some teeth detail with a needle later when I could see the complete face.

Next I moved up the face with the cheeks and nose. I was weaving from the front and realized I was not doing the shading correctly since I was looking a my shading cartoon but it was in reverse to the face from the front. So, I then had to re-create the cartoon, making a mirror image of it. That took a bit of time but once completed I was off again.

I did notice the weaving from the front was not as 'nice' as the weaving from the back. And it is near impossible to do a good dot without turning the loom around and doing it from the back. So now, when I can I am weaving from the back...and when I have to get the design absolutely right and I can't do it from the back - I do it from the front. This means I have a cartoon attached to both sides of the tapestry and raise it up to see the detail before inserting the weft.

Check out the photo -

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Van Goghing Along

As you can see, I have made some progress on my Van Gogh inspired piece. However, this side of my studio has gotten quite messy and I hate to work in a I worked on this instead for a couple of weeks and got that project off the loom. These are my two 'tough' projects...quite exacting pieces where each dot must be in the right place or it is obviously wrong to even the most inexperienced eye.

I just spent some time cleaning my baby shannock corner so I think I can start weaving again on my Van Gogh piece. I am on about ' row 30' and there are 72 rows total plus a hem. So, let's see...that's about 40% done. I still have about a month to finish weaving it. I figure, it will take me a couple weeks to finish and figure out how to frame it. I did already buy a lovely antique gold frame for's coming in the mail. Sounds like I am on track for the October 8th unveiling.

I will post a photo of the front when I get the neck figured out. I am considering removing what I've got since it looks a bit bulky and replace it with some finer weaving at 2 vs. 3 wefts per pass.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Friend

A hippo has joined my other indigo friends...

Now that I have done some sampling, I am going to do a larger piece. My four friends have been 4 by 6 inches. Now I am going to work on one that is 14 by 18. I liked the concept so well I already ordered a frame for it even though I haven't even warped the loom! Dick Blick was having a sale on frames and I just couldn't resist.

You will undoubtedly chuckle when you see it!