Thursday, January 29, 2009


The black tapestry came off the loom yesterday and rested horizontally overnight. I really like it...I just kept staring at it. It looks like nothing I have ever done before. And I wanted to immediately start the finishing process. Fortunately I had a meeting last night yesterday otherwise it would have been near impossible not to start tweaking it. And it would have never rested.

This morning I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish in finishing. I started by pulling some warps to flatten out some bulges. Then the tapestry went vertical with weights.

This will help remove some of the drape in the tapestry. I want to retain a bit of the rolling motion in the tapestry since this is a depiction of outer space. To me space is not uniform and exact it has a more organic quality to it. A few rolls in the tapestry will be nice. Not my normal style but it fits the design.

Once the warp, weft and I have stopped our negotiation and the warp and weft is where they want to be as well as where I want them to be... I can move on to sewing some holes where light peeks through. Using such different sizes and types of weft made some of the joins problematic. I will have a black backing so these joins should not be too visible. But I still want them fixed.

What I really want to work on is the crescent of Uranus in blue. But it needs to wait until everything is in its place. I am going to do something special there. Hope it works!

More later.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Progress on Uranus

The thing about big that they are big.

Here's a progress shot from the back of my tapestry. It should be 32 inches wide and about six feet long when complete. I have been focusing on this black tapestry for the last month or so. At this point, there is no more peeking at the front. You can see the cartoon in yellow behind the warp.

You can judge how far I am by looking at the entire cartoon - - in this earlier post. I figure I have finished about 60% of the entire piece with about 40% to go. From a difficulty standpoint, I think I have about 85% finished with only 15% to go. I figure I should be done weaving quite soon.

I have finished the planet, more than a dozen moons as well as some intricate portions on the nautilus shell.I find that there is always that one 'special' part of every tapestry that I weave. That's the part that seems to take forever to finish. I am always wishing it would hurry up and get over with. It's always complex. It's always messy. And there are never any short cuts. I just have to focus, not procrastinate and plow through it.

I had this 'brilliant' idea of using some of the shapes that I saw in a watercolor by Maria Sibylla Merian. She did a botanical watercolor of a black iris, also known as the black widow. The portrait had the most magnificent vein structure. I decided I just had to have some of those shapes in this black tapestry. Black tapestry - black iris - black space. - black veins ... you get the idea. What had started as a fairly simple idea became quite complex. It turned into that 'special' part of the tapestry I dread.

I celebrated today when I completed that 'special' part.

The thing about big tapestries is that they are big. The 'special' parts are big too.