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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Soltice and tax season

Yesterday was the winter solstice. Merry Christmas family and friends. It's 4:30 and the sun is almost down. Night for the most part equals day. The sky is all soft pinks, lavenders and grey blue clouds I love this time of year. Chene', Spencer and I walked down by the river today. It was a nice winter walk. Chene' kept getting lost in the grass that was taller then he is. At least it's better weather then Shane's and the grandkids 3 feet of snow in Maryland. Asa and Kathy get home to Maryland from their tour of the Mediterranean on Christmas eve. They have pictures of tapestries and weavers for me. I like the solitude of my studio this time of the year. Pat is in Washington visiting family for Christmas. I can work with my music full blast without disturbing anyone or I can have absolute quiet and peace for my thoughts and weaving. We did have a little snow up on Marys Peak a few weeks ago. I don't know who was more excited about the snow Spencer or Chene".

My cartoons are now sewn to the looms. Chene' kept inspecting the cartoon every time I laid it out flat so I could see it before I sewed it on-big help. My selvedges are finished. I redid the cartoon for the black leaves in the small Kona piece and I am ready to begin weaving the big piece. The selvedge is done. Colour is next. This is the biggest piece have woven in a while. It is 58 inches by 48 inches- 20 square feet. The big Shannock will be getting a work out. I'll see how long before I crave working smaller on a major piece. I am not so sure this piece might not have made me happier weaving it at 20 epi rather then 10 epi. It would have been almost 24 inches tall if I had and 15 inches wide-really big for a small format/small scale piece. Hopefully the wool piece will feel right and I won't end up reweaving it in sewing thread which has happened before. I started the Kona orange over because I lost the colour in my head and I wanted to start over with the colour in stead of trying to make the colour conform to an old palette that I created in my head to weave the piece. I am glad I did.
Pat will be out of the studio for about a month. She is having foot surgery and 2 weeks later wrist surgery. A big major event that will happen in this time period is a good house cleaning, organizing, clutter removing, and reorganizing the yarns and threads around my looms. I am so tired of the chaos in the studio. I will also be pulling ivy down because we are getting new windows in the up stairs studio in January. The new windows will be nice, energy efficient and will be heavily UV protected to spare the textiles. I have an east and west window that allow a tremendous amount of light into the studio. All while weaving as many hours a day as I can.

Pat and I spent several days photographing warping procedures-bouts, figure 8, circular warping. Warped a small Turkish Old Believers belt loom with a tapestry warp, which we also photographed for the book. I had almost forgotten how to do the heddles. I had forgotten picking the cross of all things. The So Warped book is moving right along. I think the layout and photo stuff is 33% finished. While Pat is laid up she will be working on another major junk of the photo's and layout. We are going to have a working copy of the book by the time i go to Las Vegas to teach. They Will be the first people to read it. Hopefully by CNCH it will to the printers. Pat is convinced it takes 9 months to do a book once you start it. Much like having a baby-Sometimes almost as painful.

Chene' is being a quiet comfortable presence as he sleeps behind me on my chair waiting for me to move to the loom so he can sleep and gnaw on his black pillow to the side of the treadles. There is no peace in the house Rya has seen to that this year. I have chosen not to put ornaments on the tree, but have a tree for the smell. Rya is too untamed and Chene' feels the need to steal everything before Rya can tear it up. The training squirt bottle is working overtime on both of them. Rya has a kitten's energy and we are all his toy from dawn tell the middle of the night. So we hide in the studio silently doing our thing.

Then their is Christmas vacation race to see and do everything before tax season starts and Spencer has to work 12-13 hour days doing taxes. Of course, this all so produces good things in a great hurry. We went to opera on Saturday to see Tales of Hoffman. Loved it. I really liked the muse and the thoughts about doing art-the rebirth of art. etc. Today we saw Avatar. It was incredible. The Naby were so Lakota like and in a way reminiscent of half a dozen movies about plains Indians and a healthy dose of Joesph Campbell mono myth. Wes Studi played the father. AND then you see the credits and realized the movie was made in New Zealand. Talk about universals-or not. -I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had taken my other path as a cartoonist and animator when I was 20.

Christmas we will see Sherlock Holmes and then spend a couple of days at the coast. Then with the new year I will work long days because Spencer will be working long days and often 6-7 days a week. I do have a couple of students coming to the studio for instruction to break up the long days of waiting for the tax season to end.

I have been spending my spare time trying to get a handle on my soumack and brocade stuff-handouts. I have decided I am going to put them into the form of a monograph that I can sale. I have so many people asking for more information on the lines and soumack that I do. I am including some pictures of what I have been studying lately. I want to do diagrams and pictures. It just seems like at times so much information to get ready for the handouts. Way too much for people to take notes on in a workshop, but not so much to take home and look at another day once having been introduced to the techniques . All this should be ready by the time i teach at at the Northern California weavers conference. Turkish brocade

Brocade Afghani bag and more patterned soumack

Line Soumack-vertical

Brocade or inlay

Guess that's all for now. The last sunset was taken about 10 minutes after the first sunset picture at Yaquina Bay on a perfect Winter day.

Celebrate the solstice!


Theresa said...

Beautiful pictures! Chene looks like he's doing just fine without the booties, so far, but it looks like a cold winter coming to OR if not a terribly snowy one.
Those furry low riders do tend to pick up a lot of everything from outside. I have often wished for under belly guards, but with the outdoor plumbing with the boys, it is a hard design. I can only imagine the time it takes to keep him so well groomed.
I love what I can see of the cartoons. Time flying is in there isn't it? Maybe Chene feels that he should be somewhere in those pieces? I have been struggling with a design for the warp I have on, bogged down in holiday stuff right now, but the picture of the inlay has been so helpful. It's certainly a technique I want and need to know more about, along with everything else! ;-)
Yes, I am lurking on the yahoo tapestry list.
A wonderful holiday to you and yours.

K Spoering said...

This WILL be a big piece for you! And I am set to weave a small one. Do you think some tapestry muse got mixed up?

Have a wonderful holiday!

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

Hi Teresa- He's only a low rider because of the fur. He has reall long legs. He's smaller then most cats-5lbs. We are lucky he squats and doesn't know how to raise his leg. He was neutered really young. We call hm the hairy sponge, because of the way he absorbs and maintains water in his fur.
Yes there is the image of time flying and time in a bottle. I am so glad the holidays are over. I can get down to weaving and writing without so many lovely interruptions.
I am fascinated with the techniques of brocades, in lays and soumack. SOum,ack is the one I use the most.
God luck with your cartoon. You live in Ashland, OR. Your not so far away. I live in Albany, OR.

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

Hi Kathy. NOt so much the tapestry muse as the experimental, business, teaching muse. I have some new ideas about weaving featehrs I want to try. Pat's been after me to make use of the yarns we sale and I ahve a wall full of yarn I need to use up. I have worked much larger in the past. The largest tapestry I ever worked on is 13.5 feet by 5.5 feet. I just prefer sometimes/ most of the time to work smaller. My actual training was for big pieces thanks to Lurcat. Hence, the reason I have a 7.5 foot Shannock to work on. All of the books I have written so far deal with weaving at 10 epi.