Monday, June 30, 2008

Shaped Tapestry

I took a one day seminar with Susan Iverson on shaped tapestry in Tampa. It was quite interesting. Something light, amusing and a bit intriguing. Susan had a tapestry at the Leaders Exhibit of a portrait with three shapes coming oddly out of his forehead - she achieved this with a technique she called shaped tapestry.

My sample is in the photo. I achieved the curved effect by weaving a straight piece with five triangular spacers on one side. Once I took the piece off the loom, I pulled the warp ends so the negative space from the spacers disappeared making the piece curve. The pink 'nose' and two green eyes were achieved with rectangular spacers.

The weaving is easy. The pulling of the warp is clearly the most fun part of the entire workshop. Susan had slides which she should both her own and the work of her students using this technique.

I have no idea what I would use this technique for, but I am glad I took the workshop. It provides a useful tool for my weaving toolbox.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wedge Weave Bricks

Here is a photo of the bricks from last week and today's Brick Wednesday. This is a nice project since I know I only have to weave one brick on each Wednesday...or I can do more. Last week I didn't feel like weaving. Today I was quite busy packing.

These bricks are my first attempts at an intentional wedge weave. You can see the edges bulging out already and the tension is still reasonably tight. I just noticed on the photo that I have some warp peeking out in places...this must have happened after I finished weaving since I can't believe I would have allowed warp to show as I wove. Perhaps, I will need to beat the yarn in harder so it doesn't shift exposing the warp.

Next Wednesday I will try some virtual brick weaving...I'll be travelling and my counterbalance floor loom doesn't travel well.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Now What to Do?

I have that post completion let down. You know, that feeling you have when you work super hard to get stuff done for a deadline and then you are abruptly done with what seems like nothing to do. Once complete there is a certain eerie calmness; like floating around in the ocean with nowhere to go.

I have sixteen pieces being shown in a variety of exhibits and galleries in Florida around the time of Convergence. Getting everything finished and out the door to the right place by the right time took what seemed like months. I also had to get a CD made for the National Fiber Arts Exhibit in Escondido. That went into the mail today. I also had a special small secret project to finish...and it's done too.

Now what to's not Wednesday so I can't weave a brick. But someone commented that she works with wedge weave on her tapestries and that got me thinking...perhaps I should weave a brick or two in wedge weave. I have never done wedge weave intentionally before so it would be fun to try it.

Early in my weaving life I wanted to weave a perfectly square tapestry...actually three squares inside each other...I was really inspired and 'into' Albers' squares . Since I really didn't like to sew slits I thought it would be a good idea to weave the three squares on a diagonal to avoid the slits. Looked absolutely beautiful on the loom. But once I took it off however, the tapestry came to life, twisted around and ended up in a pyramid shape.

I couldn't believe what happened so I wove the same thing two or three more times...each time weaving it tighter and beating harder. But it always came out the same. It didn't matter, once I took the piece off the loom it went from a 2-D square to a 3-D pyramid.

In the end I stuffed and sewed them. Here's a photo of them resting next to a carved wooden platypus from Australia. I get a kick out of these pieces every time I see them.

So weaving an intentional wedge weave brick is on the queue for Wednesday. But what to do now?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Future Project

Check out the third illustration here...I wonder if that effect can be achieved in tapestry...or fine threads...something to put on the queue.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Nothing like weaving a brick

The second brick Wednesday came and went and another row of bricks have been layered into my wall. This row is all me the opportunity to easily visualize what happens when you use two alternating colors.

I started on the left with a half of brick in a solid twill with pink yarn. The twill goes in reverse to the one immediately below. Half way through weaving this half a brick, I had one of those 'duh' moments...those special moments when you realize the obvious. It's not that I didn't know it, it just never came to the top of my consciousness.

Anyway, what I noticed was the variance in the shadows created by the two twills going in opposite directions. Even though the two bricks where different colors, the shadows on the two bricks were quite different - particular when I moved my lamp around to shine the light on it.

I realized this would be a wonderful way to achieve a different look in my Tapestry Study in Black that I am about ready to weave. The tapestry will be entirely in black yarns and depict Uranus and it 23 moons. Since all the yarns will be black, value will not be an issue nor will hue selection. The key will be to achieve the successful depiction of subject and creation of visual variety & interest entirely through the sheen of different yarns. Now I realize the warp pattern I use will be another tool in my tool box.

Nothing beats weaving a brick.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Brick 1 & 4

Tomorrow is Wednesday...Brick Wednesday...the one day of the week when I get to weave on my old counterbalance loom. It has been extremely difficult to not weave on that loom during the week...all I could do is walk by and touch it...and think about what I would like to weave next.

I never got the pictures of the two twills I did. The first is the simple twill in a hand painted mottled yarn. It's feel is fabulous...a nice repetitive bumpiness and texture. I do want to explore using twill more. It will be interesting to see how hatching will look as what I could do with dots. The pattern would be great to provide texture in a tree or landscape.

The second is a zigzag pattern where I changed the direction of the twill each third round trip. Between the mottled blue yarn and the zigzag pattern, it says 'chaos' to me. Looks like it would be wonderful to use in an scene with big waves breaking on the beach or the churning of the water underneath the wave.