Follow by Email

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Slow dog days of summer

I wish someone would tell me why there are days and weeks when things feel so slow. I feel like I am watching rocks grow. Perhaps, it was because the earth star was slow to weave. It is one of the most difficult images that I have woven. The perspective and depth were difficult to achieve.
I am finally learning the difference between architectonics and shading in tapestry technique. I much prefer the realism of the shading to using technique architectronically such as Lurcat promulgated that tapestry should be!(Yes, I know I left out the silly tailed c symbol that I can't find in this particular program. So get over it.) The style that is used by so many tapestry weavers who taught in the 40's-80' feels dated and not appropriate to what I weave today. I am now half done with so many chances. It's right on schedule.
It all looks very yellow because I didn't turn off the studio lights before I photographed the piece with my flash. I am not sure what I have done, but I can't seem to move the photos around. SO, she said in a huff." guess they will all be dead center."Not quite what i had envisioned, but I am probably the only one who knows they are not where I wanted them to be. Aww-well. Decided it was going to really nag at me so I deleted and started over. Deleting things that didn't work quite right is so satisfying.
I have been several hours trying to build a web page, because I am finally tired of waiting for the other one to be fixed. It's a needful thing!
It is summer and all that implies. The photo of the hoodoos is a picture I took on the way home from Durango. It seems to symbolize exactly how i feel about the last week of weaving. I love the way the hoodoo women seem to be waiting eternally for something to happen. On the other hand maybe they are just doing what I am doing procrastinating hoping the day will end before...

One of the questions I am asked about constantly is what do I weave on. I am a firm a believer that if you weave on a bad loom or one that doesn't tension well you have lost the battle or are very close to loosing the battle of producing a good tapestry. These are my two favourite looms-both Shannock's. They have lasted me so far since I purchased them around 1996. Before that It seemed like a constant battle with the looms I used. A good loom doesn't need to be exspensive or a Shannock. I am now to the point that I really like my copper looms much better because of the painters easel I use to hold them. I have noticed the comfort level of my students that use the easels is also much better. I think there is a lot of agreement that the easel is really a good thing. I have taken 4-5 of the easels to each class for use in the classes i have taught this summer and sold everyone of them. I keep running out of the easels and have to get more for the next class. FFP is definitely going to be selling them. I just received my bulk shipment yesterday. I am also becoming a firm believer that no one should start a beginning student on a loom that doesn't have a tensioning device. I am so sick of hearing newbie weavers tell me that good tension isn't important. That they like having screwed up tapestries, because they don't know what good technique is.They have to fight the loom constantly instead of concentrating on developing good technique.

We took Chene' to the coast yesterday and put him on a 23 foot leash. He loved it. He was completely covered with sand. He could not figure out which was the most fun to haul around seaweed or drift wood. The wind kept bowling him over. He chased kites and seagulls. The seagulls were not impressed with him and attacked. Chene' like a good tactician retreated to behind me. He's so tiny around 5 lbs. Pye out weighs him by 7 lbs. He loves the freedom of roaming in the sand and sliding down the dunes. He can also dig in it, which he can't do at home without completely upsetting Pyewycket. Pye has taught him how to fight with his feet. It is the starangest thing to see a dog attach and slap like a cat.
It rained this morning. Chene' wasn't happy to go walking. Less happy when he had to sit on the wet ground while I attached his leash. Even less happy when he got wet from walking a mile and a half. He absorbs rain like a sponge. I swore I would never be one of those people who dresses up their cute little dog, b-u-t I am thinking that Chene' may need a rain slicker. No boots, though. When we got home he ran into the bathroom and pulled a bath towel onto the floor and would not move from the towel. It took me forever to coax him outdoors and over to the studio. It's amazing how long a Pom. can stay in a snit. He wasn't even happy with his Starbucks cup. He did pull his Oliver gig and demand tuna fish-seconds.(see accompanying photo) He's now sleeping the day away while I procrastinate from doing my weaving.
Have you ever tried to write every weaving trick you know about a subject down? It's amazing how much we just do and don't even thing about it. i have been keeping a weaving journal to try and catch all of those little tricks so that I can write about them. The weaving technique after 30 years has become an extension of my body. I don't even think about it. I remember one of my easatern religion Tao instructors telling me that would happen back in the early 70's. I have told my students that it would happen. That the technique would become so internalized that you don't need to think about. i have finally figured it out that the old master in the Zen of Archery was right. It finally just happens. One weaves with the eyes closed in the minds eye. Still doesn't help with getting it down in writing though! I think this blog may be making feeling a little narcisstic and definitely older.


K Spoering said...

I know what you mean about blogging sometimes feeling quite narcissistic! It looks like we're both at the halfway mark. Want to race to the top?
Ha! I know you are doing MUCH more complex and fine work than I am, but I do have a puppy in the house, so maybe that would even the odds! 8-)

Kathy S

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

Sure-I have a puppy too. A hyperactive pom that I am trying to train. Racing might not be fair. I leave for Mayland in a week for week. On the other hand your tapestry is so much bigger then mine.

What is your estimated time to finish. I am trying for the middle to last part of September. So maybe we should race. I was disappointed not to see at IWC. Some people talked to me about doing a tour of CO guilds. Perhaps i'll see you then.


K Spoering said...

I'm shooting for mid-September, too, so we can at least cheer each other on! I had hoped to be t IWC, but had to work that weekend, so it didn't work out.

T Scanlin said...

And, hey... I'll be racing you both for completion soon! Well, maybe not... it will be mid-Sept. before I can really weave again on my big tapestry.
Kathe, your piece looks just mind-blowing! I can't wait to see it in person somewhere soon.