Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My First Beetle in Tapestry

This is the small tapestry I wove at the ATA retreat in Santa Fe. In our workshop we were to focus on a symbol; I chose the Egyptian hieroglyphic of a scarab which is the sacred symbol of sun, renewal and rejuvenation.

Surprise, surprise it turns out the scarab is a dung beetle - one of those beetles that rolls balls of manure across the ground and fills them with
fertilized eggs from which the next generation would hatch. In the process the manure disappears. The dung beetle is the modern day recycler; without them the earth would be piled high with manure. Apparently they successfully imported dung beetles into Australia to remove cow manure- cleaning the fields, reducing disease & disease bearing insects with the added benefit of a reduction in global warming.

In my tapestry, the black ball in the lower corner is the manure which is converted to healthy growing soil represented by the green sun at the top overlooking the Nile. The ever increasing curved triangles represent the continuous renewal and rejuvenation thanks to the dung beetle.

There were two workshops at the retreat, the other instructor gave us a short lecture on making a frame for a small tapestry in order to capture and reserve some precious wall space specifically for it. As any small tapestry knows...it is difficult to compete with all the other things on the wall and in the room.

I liked her idea so I tried it out. This is my stab at what she described. The tapestry is lashed on a board which floats slightly below the top of the frame. Learnings: 1. if you are going to stain the wood - don't use wood that has been sitting around the garage for a long time - who knows what has dropped and soaked into it 2. sanding does not remove all the stuff in number 1 so the stain will never look even and nice.

1 comment:

Diane Horowitz said...

Hi Nicki - I was in Lynne's class at ATA Retreat. I remember seeing your tapestry on the loom and loving it. Also nice to see that you used Lynne's framing method. Your group definitely lucked out with James Koelhler as your instructor.