Tapestry Course, Part One

Final Project, Part One

Final Project, Part One

I’ve completed Part One of Rebecca Mezoff’s Tapestry Course, and couldn’t be more pleased. The course is well-written, and Rebecca is a wonderful teacher. She responds to all questions so quickly, and her answers are very thorough. The video/PDF combo makes all the techniques very clear.

Sampler, Part One

Sampler, Part One

I find weaving so relaxing, even meditative, and designing the final project was great fun! I’m happy with the finished tapestry, despite its mistakes, and ready to warp the loom for Part Two!

Texas and then some

I went to La Grange, TX last week to visit my dad:

My dad is a man who knows how to enjoy a cookie!

(a man who knows how to enjoy a cookie!)

I brought him Rose‘s Chocolate Chip cookies, as he was cheated out of his birthday cookies. Can you see any of the cookie under the ice cream and syrup? No? They were good, and I especially liked her use of  browned butter, a technique I plan to steal for my own chocolate chip cookies!

I had a wonderful visit with my dad, had lunch with one of my favorite people, went to Yarnorama (spoiled thing that I am, wait ’til you see what I was gifted there from my generous father! But that’s another post), and even found some weaving time:

(Have Hokett loom, will travel)

Since my return, there’s been some other baking:

Triple Layer Brownies

Triple Layer Brownies

Rose calls these “the perfect expression of chocolate.” Well, I’m not so sure about that claim, but these dense brownies with nuts (pecans instead of walnuts for mine), topped with white chocolate buttercream and finished with a dark chocolate ganache were very, very good. My apologies for the awful picture.

And for anyone who was concerned about my son having one cold foot:

image

Ravelry link 

 

Jilly Edwards

The ATA (American Tapestry Alliance)  released their biennial publication, CODA recently. This one is available to everyone, not just members, and featured one of my favorite tapestry artists, Jilly Edwards. I first saw her work in issue #246 (Jan/Feb 2014) of Crafts magazine (article here), including some of this series:

Ms. Edwards wrote a fascinating piece about preparing a show for gallery display and how she creates:

My “work has an element of the landscape, whether I am walking to the corner shop, or on the beach, or travelling through unfamiliar countryside, by train. However, it’s not about the landscape, it’s about my feelings, thoughts, memories that the sights, words, and sounds evoke in me.”*

Well worth a read, and a visit to her website for a closer look at her work!

 

*Jilly Edwards from CODA: A Biennial Celebration of Tapestry Art Today 2015. p. 23. Dorothy Clews, editor.

 

One down

The first scarf is off the loom, blocked, fringe trimmed and ready to wear. I’m really very pleased with this one!

image

It has a lovely drape and is incredibly soft.

I love the way the 3-1 twill creates such distinctive sides:

Front and back, post-blocking

Front and back, post blocking

Best compliment, from Son #4, “You could wear this and people would ask where you bought it.” High praise, indeed!

image

Details: on loom- 13 1/4″ x 73″, 9.8 PPI

Off loom- 13 3/4″ x 68″

Post blocking- 13″ x 65″, 12 PPI

Ravelry link

So, on to the rest of the warp, choosing a different weft and perhaps a 2-2 twill this time?

Endings & Beginnings

Wrapped and burned Tulle, found bolts and washers, wire

Wrapped and burned Tulle, found bolts and washers, wire

After over a year spent working on the Foundations: Textiles course from OCA, I’ve realized that it isn’t taking me where I want to go. This is a mixed media art course, rather than a purely textiles course, with minimal teacher/tutor support. While this may be perfect for many students, personally I need a bit more guidance, a more hands-on, textile-based practice. I’m withdrawing from the course, though I plan to finish the last assignments independently, but without the time & expense of submission and the lengthy analytical posts. (What, you’re not sorry to be denied my artistic navel-gazing?!)

IMG_2884

I’ve learned a great deal this past year, been introduced to amazing artists and found some wonderful resources that I will continue to use. Understanding the important role research and sketchbook work can play is probably the most valuable thing I’ll take away from this experience. However, weaving is the area I really want to focus on, and am looking forward to Rebecca Mezoff‘s Tapestry Weaving course, starting in September!

Burnt edges

Burnt edges

Progress

About 36" woven

About 36″ woven

The warp is long enough for two 72″ scarves, so this is about halfway through the first.

image

Very pleased with the 1-3 twill, it makes each side of the fabric very distinctive.

Right side detail

Right side detail

Originally planned for a balanced weave, with warp at 22 EPI, but my weft is more like 13-14 PPI. Feels right, but we’ll see how it is after blocking!

Weavers

While researching images for this part of my course, I discovered so many interesting, talented textile artists. As weaving is my main textile-related interest, I found these three inspiring:

Machiko Agano, born in Kobe, Japan, started out in textiles as a weaver. She studied at Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan in the 1970’s, and is a professor at Kyoto Seiko University. Her large scale installations are designed specifically for the space in which they will be shown. Agano uses a broad selection of materials, ranging from fishing line and wire to fabric and bamboo to inkjet printing and mirrors. Agano’s work has been shown throughout Japan and the UK. In 2001, she participated in Transition & Influence‘s Textural Space project, with her well-reviewed installation at Fabrica, and again in 2003’s Through The Surface. The Fabrica piece, a large scale installation composed of nylon filament, silk thread and handmade Japanese paper, is a beautiful example of her work, with an organic, almost ethereal feel, and a strong sense of movement. This piece certainly achieves her goal of wanting the “viewer to feel enveloped by the mysteries of nature when they see my work.”

Jo McDonald is a Scottish tapestry weaver. Her work is visually almost the opposite of Agano’s, more solid and earthy. She uses old books and other found papers, layered and rolled, woven or held together with monofilament, to form installations that create a new purpose for theses items. McDonald considers herself the “editor in the recycling of this material.” With an MFA in Tapestry from the Edinburgh College of Art, McDonald’s work has been shown throughout Europe, as well as Australia and the United States.

Amie Adelman, an Associate Professor and Fibers Coordinator in the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, has taken her weaving knowledge to create large-scale line installations. Her work makes me think of Spirograph, in 3D form. Though her work feels mathematically based, Adelman says she “didn’t set out to be a mathematician. I became more interested in math as my artwork developed.” [FiberArtNow, Winter 2014/15] The layering of the thread combined with her use of color create dazzling, energetic pieces. Even though only seen in pictures (unfortunately), the installations seem to glow and shimmer. Deflection, 2014 conveys the energy of the sun’s rays through the use of color in high contrasts and more subtle shifts, as well as the increasing/decreasing sett of the threads.

I hope someday I can view some (all!) of these works in person. It would be interesting to compare my impressions then with now.

Chestertown River Arts

I recently went to Chestertown River Arts, a small, community arts center on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore (I may be prejudiced…) that hosts a monthly rotating art exhibit in their gallery. August features two fiber related exhibits, Fiber Finesse and Fabrications 2014.

Fiber Finesse, in the main gallery, featured mainly handmade items for wear and home, such as knitted sweaters, shawls and blankets, needlepoint and cross-stitch hangings and quilts.

Shibori Scarf, by Lesley Campana

Shibori Scarf, by Lesley Campana

 

This scarf, was handwoven of Tencel, then hand-dyed (type of dye was not listed). The Shibori dyeing technique Ms. Campana used resulted in beautiful, softened geometric shapes. I also liked the shift of color prominence, anchored by the matching fringe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplemental Warp Scarf, by Lesley Campana

Supplemental Warp Scarf, by Lesley Campana

The Supplemental Warp Scarf was handwoven using rayon, nylon and mohair. This is a weaving technique I’m very interested trying, and I think she uses it for a lovely effect here.

 

 

 

 

 

I found Fabrications 2014 a fascinating exhibit. There were offerings in pottery, wood & mirror, and kiln-formed glass & steel. My favorite artist there was Joyce Murrin, whose works of fabric used color and contrasting prints to create evocative nature pictures.

Moving Water, by Joyce Murrin

Moving Water, by Joyce Murrin

by Joyce Murrin

Winter Coming On, by Joyce Murrin

Deep Forest, by Joyce Murrin

Deep Forest, by Joyce Murrin

 

 

In Moving Water, her use of not only curved pieces of fabric, but the tonal shades gives the piece fluidity. Winter Coming On uses cotton print, paint and pen, and tucking of the fabric for the Birch trees . Deep Forest also utilized machine stitching, and unexpected flashes of color throughout the bottom half of the work.

 

 

 

In Fabric Interpretations of Photos, Ms. Murrin gives us a side-by-side view of the original photo and her fiber version. While it’s very impressive how accurately a photo can be reproduced with fabric, I find the more abstract interpretations to have a greater impact.

Fabric Interpretations of Photos, by Joyce Murrin

Fabric Interpretations of Photos, by Joyce Murrin

Fabric Interpretations, by Joyce Murrin (detail)

Fabric Interpretations, by Joyce Murrin (detail)

 

 

(Lesley Campana, of The Celtic Knot Studio, can be reached at lcampana99@verizon.net)