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Monday, September 28, 2009

This and that and always more!

One more week gone-or a little more. I am pretty sure I'll be done or very close to done by the end of the weekend. The most difficult thing to weave was the playing card. It has such a limited colour range-blue, red, yellow, tan for skin, and black. I am so used to having huge amounts of colour and technique to choose from. The second playing card is going much faster. It's only a jack, but having done the one this jack is going quicker. Bringing this in under 15 inches is going to be difficult. It feels like I am going to need another half inch. Hope not. Don't want it to be to big for Small Expressions entry in a year.
I am beginning to list all the ways I use soumack in my tapestries. I am also trying to collect all the various soumack techniques from every source I can fine. I have an Afghan rug and a Turkish rug to draw some techniques from. I am still trying to find a sample of a rug done wholly in soumack. I have seen this technique in museums but you can't touch and turn in a museum. Marla Mallett's book-Woven Structures is a great help, but not nearly enough. Her web site is also very good. Soumack needs to be thought of in two different ways-1. Structurally and the other as a design element. There are some soumacks that become the cloth body and others that are used as lines and dots to create the design. So the list would began week.

I am hoping to have a rough draft of my class handouts ready in another month so that i can weave the sampler for my class I am teaching in San Jose. The notes are becoming so thick I am thing about writing a monograph on soumack as an addendum to my Lines in Tapestry.
Kathy S. got me to thinking about parks this is a photo of waterlilies at MT. Hebo an old CCC lake in Oregon that is a park that I love to watch the eagles learn to fish in. The last time I was there this baby eagle kept plopping way to low. It sounded like an explosian everytime he belly flopped into the lake.

Wednesday class at the assisted care home has now moved to Friday afternoons. Marge is doing a tapestry of sand dunes and a sunset for the ATA small format show. Evelyn has finished hers. Edith piece will be too big, but her work is always large. Her sail boat is a little further along then the picture of the piece in my blog. I fully expect it to take first prize in the county fair like her last one did of the barn that had been her family for a hundred or so years.
Evelyn's piece for the small format show is from a picture that she took from her backyard of Mt Hood in a fog bank at sunset. It's only 7 inches by 4.5 inches in wool and 10 epi. She did a nice job with the soumack branches and using the tiny hatches as landscape elements. She's very excited that there is a catalogue with the show and that it is a non juried show.

Dee and her fancy glasses slumped and weaving. She's now switching to a low warp loom. Should be fun to teach I sa seldom use la warp looms for tapestry. It's actually been about 10 or 15 years since I wove a tapestry on a low warp loom. Guess it was a good thing Rebecca was in my class this summer.

Everyone in this class is 90 years old or more. They are an amazing group to teach. I am so glad to have them back. I learn so much from teaching them. Edith has been having problems with her forgetfulness and Evie is recuperating from a fractured hip, but now they are all back.

Tommye's attempting to use krogbard in a tapestry brought back a lot of ideas that I have shelved for years. Things I want to try. I really want to use brocading in a tapestry to create designs in the background of a tapestry. I experimented with overshot and double weave-turning 10 epi into 5 epi. While I was back east I bought an overshot pillow and a rose overshot from coverlets. Xenakis many years ago wrote an article in the Prairie Home Companion on using overshot as tapestry. One removes the shots between the floats. Of course on a two harness loom this would be a whole lot of picking, but suppose one only did small areas of the overshot patterns. One needs to build the pattern higher to square it up because of the loss of the passes between the floating threads. The other thing I have been studying is a very old Norwegian weaving that was given to Marge when She married which is 75 years old or there abouts. Then I have an Oaxaca weaving with a float pattern that is really pick and pick and doubled up wefts. Perhaps, when I finish the next two pieces I will begin to experiment with them again. Like I said I am really interested in doing smallish areas of brocading. I have always thought it would be interesting to weave frames for tapestries.
Several weeks ago I took a a class in peyote beading which lead me to revisit loom beading something my grandmother used to do. The idea that lead me to this was again frames for my tapestries. I am also thinking about doing peyote stitch around the felt and twill tape surrounds of my Small format tapestries. Will be interesting to see where this leads. I think I can bead weave and do tapestry at the same time on the same warp so that there will be no sewing.
Time to end the blog. I think I may have gotten a little cared away, but I had fun writing and trying to add the pictures. The last shot is another sunset that I took in Durango from the college IWC was held.


Tommye McClure Scanlin said...

Hi Kathe!
Great update to your blog. I always look forward to it. Maybe you and I (and others interested) should start a study group to combine other patterning methods with tapestry... game for it?!

K Spoering said...

Kathe, do you have Jean Wilson's Soumak Workbook? It is a great resource. I did an entire tapestry (about 22"x22") in soumak once. Once was enough! I do like it for contrast, though.