Friday, August 12, 2011

Not Weaving

I am not weaving any tapestry at the moment...finishing several, designing one and racking my brains out on another.  It's an odd place to be.  I spent some time working on a plan as to what I should be working on when in order to accomplish the things I want to accomplish by when.  And I am where I should be.

Our tapestry group is working on a group project consisting of a dozen and a half small tapestries which tell a story.  I finished page 1 and am now designing page 7.  I am scheduled to weave/finish it in September.  Our group projects have lots of rules and regs to follow and this group project is no exception.  There are specified yarns which must be used in at least half of the piece, a red and a blue which must be used in all pieces and sizes to the overall piece as well as the frame.    Such limitations are said to provide greater unity to the combined pieces as well as spur one's creativity.  All true.

The page of the story I am illustrating is an underwater scene at the sandy bottom of the Santa Monica Bay with a menacing surf perch...  I'd like to achieve that impressionistic look with the colors blurry up close but clearing as one steps back.  The size is 9 by 12 inches with a sett of around 6-8.

My first drawing, done on tracing paper and in crayon is on the left along with some of the stipulated palette.    On my next revision, I hope to have a more menacing fish plus show more realistically the variances in light reflections under water.  I think I'll try watercolors instead of wax crayons to achieve a better idea as to what the finished tapestry might look like.

View from my loom 
It's not a rush...I have it laying out on a table in my studio so the yarns and the design can speak to me.  On another table I have my waxed crayons as well as my soluble crayons waiting for their daily spin. And in the corner, my buddy watches.

Monday, August 01, 2011

My Tapestry Spiral in Eureka

Here is a photo of My Tapestry Spiral which is being exhibited at the Morris Graves Museum in Eureka California.  It is always fun to see how the curator will exhibit this piece.   Each time is different.  This time it was the best.  A great deal of care and thought went into this presentation. 

My Spiral Tapestry was woven as a tapestry, thirteen yards long and four inches wide with 182 darts of negative space.  Once completed the negative space was removed by pulling the warp and closing the spaces.  On one end, the original warp was braided and retained. Using this method a wonderful spiral was formed similar to tricolor fusilli pasta or a colorful spiral staircase.  Technically, the shape is a helicoid; a remarkable form which packs great densities into small spaces.  For shipping, My Spiral Tapestry flattens to a cylinder shape less than nine inches wide and only three inches high. Once opened however, the many yards of tapestry take on an organic and lively appearance as they fall from a helicoidal spiral into a droopy yet energetic shape uniquely its own.