Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Reflection

Remember the old saying -

there is a novel in everyone
waiting to be written.

I believe there is a corollary - whether a painting, tapestry, sculpture or some other creation,

there is a composition in black, in every artist
waiting to be created.

I have started both...may I finish both in my lifetime.


Two different yarns...two different blacks...two different epis...two different values...more to come...

What fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Section 1 - Observations

I just finished what I have labelled section 1 on my Study in Black tapestry. Here is a photo of the back. The light is better in the back when it comes to viewing photos of this piece.

Observation 1: It sure seems to have taken a long time to finish such a seemingly small area with such a seemingly easy technique with seemingly few yarn changes.

This part represents the 'empty' part of space in my piece. It is about 150 square inches - a bit larger than a square foot. I feel like I have been weaving for months. I find this a bit frustrating...I understand why complex situations take a long time to weave...but this does not quite fit under the umbrella of 'complex'. Ok...there is some complexity, there is interlocking along the frame, multiple strands in the weft and the chenille issue. But still, there are only two different wefts and a multiple expanse of one color...

Observation 2: The 6 epi sett seems to suck in the warp.

The frame is doubled yarn while the space is triple chenille. I have already used a couple of balls of yarn on the frame and about 2/3rds of a cone of chenille. I figure if I can finish the empty space on the bottom with one cone of chenille, I will reserve the other cone for the top and all will work out well. I've got lots of the yarn for the frame...

Observation 3: Chenille does indeed have a 'side' or a nap.

Earlier this year, Deborah Jarchow gave a lecture on chenille to one of the Guilds I belong to. She mentioned that this type of yarn has a definite side and one must be extremely careful when weaving with it to ensure you don't end up with two very different looks in the resulting yardage. I noted this in the back of my mind and thought that if were also true on tapestry weaving it might be useful in this piece I am now working on.

I am now convinced. It does matter which way the yarn is woven and/or which way it is rolled of the cone. And it is not apparent you have done it wrong unless you have woven an inch or so. At one point, I had to re-wind my entire bobbin in order for the look to remain the same. I had initially thought since I was taking three strands of chenille and weaving with them together this issue would not occur. Not true. It happens. It makes a big difference.

Thank goodness I was using the chenille in an area where I did not have to use lots of bobbins of would have been a nightmare to ensure everything was going the right way in order to have a uniform look.

Now that I know it happens I can consider using it in section 3 to provide a distinction between the two empty spaces.

Observation 4: Black weft and dark warp? Not a problem.

People always say it is hard to weave on dark warp. But so far I have not found it difficult to weave black yarn on my dark blue warp. I must admit, I only weave on this piece in the morning when the sun is out. It might be an issue if I wove when it was darker since the light is bad in the north studio. But is would be an issue on white warp too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Many Values of Black

I have started to weave my Study in Black. I am hoping to convey the emptiness of space through the use of the color black as well as its beauty and wonder through the recurrence of universal shapes and forms.

This photo illustrates the different values of black. Value is perhaps not exactly the right word...perhaps notes of black or scales of black would be more appropriate. I am still creating my palette of blacks for this piece. I have all the yarns purchased, balled and organized. Now I am working them into a scale of blacks by their appearance under a bright light.

The yarns were chosen for their absence of color - for their 'darkness'. I have avoided black yarns which pushed to purple, red or green. So no dyeing by me for this project. The resulting yarns vary most by content, texture and sheen. In the end the yarns will be lined up from the lightest to the darkest - in 'value' order. Thus, I will be weaving as normal picking up the right amount of contrast from the yarns to yield the right look.

I have chosen the lighter black for the frame to provide a feeling of stability as well as comfort to those viewers, and potential purchasers who feel art should be framed if on the wall. My husband also is happy since he will not need to create a frame for this piece... although he did just buy this really cool Mitre saw along with a ten inch 80 point blade.

I am reserving a variety of the darker blacks to convey the darkness and mystery of space. And somehow the feeling of potential and possibilities of space needs to come across through the selection of blacks.

From a weaving standpoint, I must admit this is the boring part. Just straight across with no yarn changes. The only issue is whether the tapestry is level. Things will get much more interesting once I hit the curves. You can see some of them where I dotted the dark warp with white paint.

More later...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Designing Weavers Side Show

The Designing Weavers SideShow Exhibit at ArtCenter Manatee in Bradenton Florida was quite nice. It's always a surprise to see how a collection of pieces of different artists in different mediums will be put together and hung. I think the Center did a fabulous job. The overall theme was the circus since John Ringling had his home nearby which had been converted into an art and circus museum.

I submitted two pieces, one was my Behind the Scenes tapestry of a lonely zebra grazing at the circus. The other submission was my fiber slap bracelets.

Here are some photos of the exhibit.