Saturday, May 31, 2008

Brick 2 & 3

I got out my other camera with the macro feature and took these shots of my bricks.

The first one in emerald green and Havana brown is your basic tapestry weave...the tabby. The painted yarn yields a nice mottled look. It reminds me of something but I just can't put my finger on it at the moment. Perhaps lizard skin.

I painted the yarn with Procion since the yarn is a blend of cotton and silk. I am weaving with two pieces of yarn and the 5 epi warp seems to suck up the weft. I should try out three pieces and see how it works. The cotton warp is a bit sticky so I have to make sure I push the weft in otherwise I have warp showing where it should not be showing. Not much more I can say about this one.

The second one is basket weave...under two warps then over two warps. Basically it is the same as above just wider. And it seems to have a much more unique texture and feel.

I have woven with double yarns - a cotton silk blend dyed with Rit brown. I like the wider columns in that it provides an interesting texture. But it does cause an issue at the top where the exposed warp will start. Due to the under two/over two pattern the warps are not spaced out evenly and will make the exposed warp look odd. Perhaps odd is good. What I did here to alleviate the issue was to simply switch to regular tapestry tabby at the top for one round trip pass. I would like to experiment with alternating colors with this pattern as well as moving from basket weave to regular tabby to create a varying texture. It may result in something interesting.

More later...

PS. I have put things in blue to remind me what I might like to explore on this coming or a future Wednesday.

Friends are Ready to Fly

I like the new frames I made for My Menagerie of Indigo Friends. They are small, light and not imposing. It has been difficult to find the 'right' frames for these pieces.

They are made of palm fronds that I found which walking in the morning plus some waxed linen from Royalwood. I had a board the size of each tapestry to construct the frame around using wet palm fronds. Making the frame did not take long....the rest of the finishing took much longer.

I sewed on some blue material on the back so no weft or warp ends will hang out the sides. I then sewed the tapestry onto the frame with invisible thread. The last thing I did was tie some waxed linen across the back to act as a wire for hanging purposes.

After finishing these four fingers are all sewed out. But these four are ready to be mailed to Florida for their exhibit.

You can see the others on my website... although I am having a problem loading the bear. Perhaps by the time you get there I will have loaded the framed bear. If not, you can see the difference in resolution between my old and new camera.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Framing with Fronds

Over Memorial Day weekend I finally started to make some frames for my four Indigo Friends. I finished these four small tapestries last year I believe and have never figured out how to frame them. They are going to be in the Manatee Gallery in Bradenton Florida, starting June 12 to July 5th so a deadline quickly came upon me.

When I took Don Weeke's gourd decorating class I came up with the idea of making frames out of palm fronds. On a couple of walks, I picked up some palm fronds which had fallen from the trees and they have been sitting in the garage for several months waiting to be made into frames. Well, this weekend was the time.

I wanted a light airy frame which wouldn't stand out too much but would be different than the typical framing for small tapestries.

Here is what they look like.

I think these frames may work. The robin egg waxed linen which I used to tie the palm fronds in place works nicely with the blues in the pieces. My other option was to use an off white which I thought would have too much of a contrast.

I have not yet connected the tapestries to the frames since I have to finish the backs so the strings aren't hanging out all over. Plus I need to put my label and a write-up about the piece. Sure takes me a long time for finishing...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Value Considerations

The weft and warp that I dyed and dried has a nice value contrast which should make the final tapestry pop nicely.

I am hoping for a piece that will draw you in from afar and keep you interested when up close. I know it would work on a big piece. This may, however, be difficult to achieve due to the small format involved but it should be fun to try.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Connections - The Beginning

I had just about given up on the idea of submitting a piece to the ATA's new tapestry exhibition Connections 2009, an international juried small tapestry exhibition. I was not inspired...

Here's what the ATA says about the exhibit - -

ATA invites all tapestry artists to expand their horizons by shrinking dimensions, to connect technique and concept in a body of new and intimate work. As wall sized tapestries command a wall, these pieces, individually and collectively, will catch the eye, invite us in, and connect us as we share the unexpected. Because the goal is not merely to rescale large work, but to explore the boundaries of size, the exhibition will challenge preconceived ideas of tapestry, unfolding the potential of small scale work as it explores the personal and the universal.

It sounded a bit interesting but I thought I would rather work on my planet series on the Big Shannock. And I had a piece already warped and hem woven on my baby Shannock. But I drove a lot this weekend...I probably put on more miles on the car this weekend than over the past six months.

And Friday while driving I had a brillant idea for a small tapestry

By Saturday morning I was on the computer working out the concept. It's technical...

By Sunday, it had morphed into a series of three pieces...and gotten smaller.

On Monday, I removed all the hem from my Baby Shannock and re-spaced the warp to 14 epi. and have started a little sample piece. My, my, I am actually doing a bit of a sample and have learned several things already. I rarely do a sample...if I do it is an entire tapestry. I haven't decided yet how much I will sample...I need to take the Baby Shannock to Convergence in June. So the question is, could I finish one of the pieces by then...if so sampling will stop quite soon.

And just today...I have actually dyed the warp and weft for the pieces. Here are my results. I just noticed the colors are a bit similar to the Behind the Scenes piece that will show at the Manatee Art Center June & July. I haven't posted a final picture of my zebra since I thought I should wait until it was showing in the Gallery first.

I do like that red. It is my current favorite color.

The weft is silk..I have two kinds; each took the colors a bit differently. One has a sheen the other doesn't. The 'better black' pushed blue and came out quite differently on all three pieces. I haven't yet decided whether this will be an issue or not.

The warp is 12/6 cotton. I am quite happy with 2 of the 3 warp colors. I may re-dye the reddish brown to make it a bit more red...but it may be OK. Obviously, if I am worrying about the warp color some of it must show somehow...

yes...but more later.