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Friday, January 23, 2009

another week gone

Learned a new lesson this week. When I take snaps I should make sure the camera is square to the piece I am photographing. Each of these pieces is 2 inches by 6 inches. The dice our pretty much self explanatory.

The second piece of the two is within a gold and silver crenellated border. The red woven beads refer to Mother, Crone and Virgin. The spider is related to the spider tat on my wrist and all it implies. These pieces reference the hand surgery I had a year ago and the hand surgery I'll have in the next couple of months to release frozen finger joints. The two tapestries will be mounted in a silver fretted bejeweled box with dice as the feet and handle.

Last week was busy, but not so much about tapestry for the most part. I spent several days learning new silversmithing skills. I am finally ready to start the fret work, bezels, etc. for the box that these two small pieces are going to be contained within. Historically, it seems a good time to explore the locks and boxes I have used in the past to house my tapestries. I am making the switch to silver because it seems cheesy to use aluminum and copper to but around my tapestry pieces. Silver is so much richer and loaded with tradition. It's a little more difficult and time consuming for embossing and embellishing, but feels richer, most substantive and more precious.
I made two rather ornate neck pieces and a ring with bezels, jade and flourishes in four 15 hour days. I have 3 small pieces of malachite that I have started to do the bezels and mounting for another small box that will hold one of the small tapestries I am designing. I think the piece that was the most fun to do was the silver pendant piece with a pottery shard as the stone. I finally did something with the dish I broke from my good china set. I can tell my husband I am going along with his rabid recycling.

BUT, still this all leads back to tapestry. This week I am going to be working on finishing these two small tapestries called miracles and a third purple sky colour study as of yet unnamed. It is 3.75 inches by 5.75 inches. The image is from a pencil drawing I did of a windy autumn night several years ago. I am also working on designing another piece that I have waited several years to attempt. It is called So Many Chances". My designs seem to becoming ever more complex.

We made a new edition to the studio tools-a time clock. A simple effective tool for discovering how many hours are in a given piece. Should help with the paperwork. Should be interesting to see where I will be in a week time wise. I am almost scared to find out how little time I actually get to weave in a week and how much goes into the paper work that surrounds FFP.

Our-FFP- studio assistant-Jen- will be working on sample exercises that I will be using when I teach shaped tapestry in Riverside in March. I am doing the seem samples, but am trying to decide how much information and how much actual weaving can be covered in a 2.5 day workshop by someone who is a little more then a beginner.

Cheers until next week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

side by side

Hope this helps-Barbara. This is probably going to look pretty terrible. I placed the 2 tapestries side by side. The only way I could do this was to print a copy of each and then scan them together and then create a jpeg. I am hoping this will give you an idea of size and approximate size difference and away design difference in the two pieces. One is woven at 20 epi and the other at 10epi.The border on the smaller one has a lighter purple border. Some of the bottom is also cut off in the photo. I have no idea why it kept cutting it off.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I finished and Photographed So Between too- yesterday. I am ready to begin thinging about my new piece So many chances!

I now have time to start working and exploring my blog layout again. It always surprises me the amount of paper work, pictures, and finishing it takes when a piece is finally done.

I finally feel that this piece is out of my system and done correctly. I can now lay the design to rest. In some ways it is really different, but yet it feels like what I should have done the first time.

Joyce H. suggested on the list that I call it another one in the series. I tried that, but it still feels like an edited re-weave. Which for me is a good thing, its over with.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One of the things that I like about this piece So Between 2 is weaving Waterdog. Waterdog has a way of pointing out the between and its causal effects without trying. So here's Waterdogs story. If you don't know what a Waterdog is your probably not from Oregon. My husband not being from Oregon calls it a Salamander and or a Newt. I'd rather not know. To me Waterdog is Waterdog-no need for fancy speculation or name. He just is.

Waterdogs Beginning Story

There is no such clan as waterdog except in my head. There is no warrior or Indian named waterdog that I know of. There probably is, but they are a stranger to me. The whole concept is based on the blending of 2 cultures in which the borders were never quite clear unless I was with my other Non-Indian Grandmother. Waterdogs are little creatures in Oregon that don't look quite real. My husband says they are salamanders, but I don't know and really don't want to know. I don't want to lose the magic of not knowing. Joseph Campbell implies that we make up rituals for things we don't understand and endow them with magic because we don't know and fear the unknown. I think he’s right and who I am to question Joseph a man I met many years ago before his death. I love and prefer that innocence of not knowing. Waterdogs live in mud puddles and fugitive streams and puddles that are created with all the rain we get in the backwoods in the mountains of Oregon. As a child we played with them and kept them as pets when I visited my Grandmother. To adults they were real problems because they got into anything that had water and often swam up water pipes and died. But to kids playing in the woods they were magical friends. They always seemed attracted to children. Anyway, when I was a child my Grandmother and relatives would tell terrible stories of massacres and torture-reformation (Christian) and ethnic- and running to hide in the hills-some real-- some imagined. They would tell us not to listen, but of course we did. We were really far out in the sticks. We could hear the cougars screaming at night. And then the urge would come to go find the wood for the fire, more kerosene for the lamps, or water, or the outhouse, and we would be told to go by ourselves. We would plead that we were too scared and couldn't possibly go by ourselves. Grandma would look amazed and tell us we weren't alone because waterdog would protect us and be with us. It worked. I look back now and wonder how I could possibly have been so gullible to see and believe that waterdog could have protected us from cougars and other night terrors. But then again we also believed that waterdogs could shape shift and become Dragons and whatever. Water was one of the 4 elements of nature and we could control waterdog because he was our friend. My cousins and I had great philosophical and very rational discussions on just which powers and protections Waterdog offered. Looking back they make all most as much sense as our beliefs in the protections of the modern world.