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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Of flying turtles and snails

Too Little/Too late

Time seems to fly at various times and crawl at others. Perhaps my logo should be a flying turtle.  I wonder how that would look. Decided to procrastinate by doing a web search. Anything to not get on or be on task. (LOL!with a sense of irony)There are even videos of  flying turtles. But this site was even more wonderful l . (http://www.holisticforgeworks.com/company/ then go to flying turtle ).  This flying turtle  illustration is very Da Vinci journal like in itself a fascinating piece of avoidance literature in its self. I did find some images of sea turtles whose scaling on their legs/fins looked very much like feathers gone bad.
OR since I am from Oregon and really feeling the unevenness and the  slowness  of time I could be represented as a flying snail. I refuse to think flying Banana Slug-just to yucky.
Check out the flippers for feathers
Okay enough! I really thought I was thinking an original image that would fit my mood as of lately. Not so there are thousands of images of flying snails and turtles. Even Darwin thought about flying snails according to Nature magazine and scads of blogs. They are a little different then flying turtles  as they are the ultimate hitch hiker. Well, at least one breed and most likely a thousand other snail species is the Balea perversa. They hitch rides on birds. I even like the name perversa. I seems sort of apt to what I am thinking lately.   Talk about cool images and relationships. The idea was written about originally by Darwin and produced prodigious amounts of laughter to most naturalist. Turns out he-Darwin-gets the last laugh as it is true.  It’s an image I can actually maybe see in a tapestry. That is if I ever get into weaving fables ala Aesop. Well perhaps I should just stay with the images of flying clocks.

I am not really this good. These
tables come in kit form.
I am really overdue on this blog by at least a week or more if I posted on the 16th of November-yes-2010-which I seem to have done. It hasn’t been thorough lack of thinking about  the writing. It isn’t that I have been lazily ignoring it. I have been really super busy. I am getting a little bit of weaving done but mostly it’s the switching of the my stuff from the first floor to the second floor and FFP to the first floor. I now have everything up on the second floor for the most part. I have built two table, a small moving drawer thingy for my silver,  and hung the grids from the ceiling. Spencer has been making almost daily trips to goodwill with stuff that is still good, but not of use for the direction that I am heading. This whole digression seems to be very much like warping a loom. The longer you don’t the harder it is to get back to the doing.

I have also reached the stage-about a third done-that the new piece fills like it’s going to work. I am over the need to add one more thing. I think the water looks oily, which is one of the things the piece is about. I was fascinated with the red, black, brown of the gulf oil slick against the pristine beaches. The murky sky comes from a photo I tried to make many years ago when living in of all places Bakersfield and heading to Loma Linda over the grape vine. The slide is gone, but the memory of the smoggy sky has stayed.  The Chinés and hatches are blending the water and oil quite nicely. I have woven my pristine beach with a few trees and now am working on a dirty-muddied sunset.  It felt so good when I managed to get the colours the first time for the beginning or lower portion of the setting sun.

Before time could be between
This piece Too Little-Too Late is part of a series of 3 possibly 4 tapestries that has to with the past, present and future of the world.Nothing  like hitting the whole dazzling spectrum of glittering generalities for subject matter. The piece-Before Time could be between with the Sego Lilies or and the fossilized earthstar are the first, Too Little Too late is the present and the future is yet to be done. The theme of the earth star carries through from the past as a fossil into the present it is a nautilus in the future a broken shell. The earth star has at various times been both a talisman and an amulet.

From Wikipedia-"An amulet (from Latin amuletum; earliest extant use in Pliny's Natural History, meaning "an object that protects a person from trouble"), a close cousin of the talisman (Arabic: طلاسم‎ / transliterated: tilasm), consists of any object intended to bring good luck and/or protection to its owner. An amulet (from Latin amuletum; earliest extant use in Pliny's Natural History, meaning "an object that protects a person from trouble"), a close cousin of the talisman (Arabic: طلاسم‎ / transliterated: tilasm), consists of any object intended to bring good luck and/or protection to its owner."
more fog
fog
Turquoise Fog
I have been fascinated with Talisman and amulets since reading an illicit forbidden copies of Scott’s books for this essay the Talisman that were kept in a locked cabinet in the work room of the library at the Academy that I attended when I was  a sophomore. (The Talisman is a novel by Sir Walter Scott . It was published in 1825 as the second of his Tales of the Crusaders. ) The only reason I was allowed to read Scott's novels was that I worked for a young  literature  teacher and his wife as a grader. He wasn’t old enough or indoctrinated enough at the time to realize what he had allowed me to do-break  the no novels rule. Those particular Scott books appealed to me because of his descriptive language, but also the beauty of the old books with the gold art nouveau covers and black and white lithographs illustrating the books, the descriptions of minutiae in the lives of the participants, and the smell of antiquity between the covers.   I can still visualize the scenes in my head and see the textile banners floating in the wind and hear the musical instruments announcing the battle scenes and see the colours, be fascinated with the symbolic language of heraldry.

Later when I took craft history at OSAC Marlene Kerrigan had me study and write a very short paper on the differences of Talismans and Amulets. 


Probably will be late too. Suppose
to bloom before Christmas.
I think they were especially fascinating to me  because they were total taboos AND probably broke the 10 commandments as being related to graven images and their worship. I am still trying to figure out how to include them in my tapestries. 

Just because it winter and I need a shot of colour. An AZ.
flower whose name I can't remember.
I am designing some tapestry bracelets or cuffs.  On the Internet they are calling this kind of thing "karma bracelets".  Doesn't make a lot of sense if  karma is the law of cause and effect. So prevalent that like gravity we don’t notice it unless we fall. Somehow, I am not sure that is what I am going for. If I weave a tapestry I want it to be noticed, therefore I think I’ll stick with weaving talismans and amulets or forget the whole thing and just go with pretty and striking. I am using the cuff’s that I brought from mirrix looms. I have been trying to find a slightly wider cuff so that the design could be be a tad bigger.


total needful book!
Yesterday was interesting in a weird way- It started off rather badly. Really Really heavy rain!We drove to Eugene and discovered we were an hour late to  Verdi’s Don Carlos. It’s a long opera therefore they start earlier. Would have been nice if they had put that little piece of information in the brochure. So now we are faced with going to a makeup in January. Consequently, we turned around and came home. On the way back I spent the hour playing with my very perverse i-phone which would not work. So we stopped at Borders. I purchased the book I-phones for dummies.It really should have come with the I-phone-no manual was included with the purchase. I spent the rest of the day reading and learning to use my i-phone. I am half done with the book. What I would like to know is how on earth the person who sold me the phone could have possibly believed it was so simple to operate that I would intuit the whole thing?!?  Anyway I digress. I spent most of the trip trying to take pictures of layered mountains fog and rain. What I am trying to find is still totally illusive. I can almost see the image I want to weave, but it alludes me every time!




Chene with basket command-accompanied by 2 friends his kitty and a pink duster that he has loved since he was 2 months old.
       Chene  and I started training with an actual trainer this last week.  My goal is to have him so well trained by this summer I can take him anywhere. I have one week left before the next session to teach him the proper hand signals for sit, stay, come and heel, also, extra credit for  stand so he’s easier to groom and fetch, hold and drop. Some of this he already knows. He’s been heeling on a lead since he was two months old-just a bit further back then proper, but always on a lead. He will sit, but again not on hand command and only if he deems it necessary for no longer the 2 seconds. AND,knows,  of course-his favourite basket and get your kitty(a stuffed toy he carries around. get in the basket) Pye and Wry would kick his butt if he treated them like he treats his kitty and duster.  Then there is his personal favourite stay for 5 minutes on a pedestal-if it’s several feet off the ground. So, we have our work cut out for us.




An article in VAV magazine came across in a discussion on the tapestry list. It is called the Enigmatic Overhogdal Tapestries.  It’s a countered soumack-half pass of linen between the soumack rows.  They also called it a snare–weave. With a little research on the net I discovered that the term snare weave mainly is used by people that have read the article in VAV and read the book that is about that particular tapestry.  Because the technique was done on a ground cloth everyone at first thought it was embroidery. Interestingly, they decide it was soumack or snare-weave because  the pattern weft never pierced a warp or a weft.  




Sampler that I use to Teach my
Something Old Something new class.
More fuel for my on going study of soumack and all it's variations.


front
reverse side
Two samples of soumack I have been studying. I think I am going to start a new sampler this week and do more soumack samples. I am especially interested in using soumack as the ground both with and without a counter pass.  I will  probably start by copying this sample of promgranate pod from one of several pictures of a Soumack rug that Pat Dunston sent to me many months ago.




I think one of my favourite uses of soumack is still the pod I made this summer. I am going to be doing more of this type of work as soon as I finish rearranging my studio. Eventually I want to make a series of large pins or fibulae to wear with the ruwannas I love to wear. I have also seen soumack used for making earrings that are in fan shapes. I enjoy it when one technique such as metal work overlaps into my tapestry work-even though soumack is only tapestry in the loosest meaning of the word.




I did do a tad bit on this one too!
The next month is going to be rather busy. I am writing a couple of articles on colour and tapestry. Still arranging my studio to the way I want it. Hopefully the computers will be moved in the near future from the 2nd floor to the first floor. Trying to finish two pieces for the next series of shows.  I am involved in a show that will happen in May or June . It should be an interesting show. It's a group of Oregon weaving teachers and their students. I need to start looking for some of my students work to hang with my work in the show. Spencer and I are making plans to go to San Francisco before the 14th of January. I want to see the impressionist show at the Legion of honor.  There is a Seurat that I really want to see. It’s all about the optical blending he and his followers used. Pointillism is so related to colour blending in tapestry.  is so related to chene and mélanges in tapestry.  We need to do this before tax season hits. 


I think I have written enough on my blog that I can stop feeling guilty. Will just need to try harder to do the next one on time.




END!!











Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maybe's and other wonderful things!

I had such a wonderful amazing  time in Arizona.  Autumn came while I was gone. The trip back was all about amazing colour, light, and speed. I saw so many wonderful things-amazing things, curious things. Best of all I taught some amazing people. I hope they all enjoyed the classes as much as I did teaching the classes. 

 Everything is now about maybe's. Sometimes reality just plain sucks.

TUSCON



Only safe scorpions
They scurry really fast


Barrel  Cactus- 2 feet across

It’s still impossible for me to believe that some the cactus in Tuscon were real and not plastic decorator stuff that one see’s in offices in Oregon. Not so fond of the scorpions I kept running into if I stepped off some of the paths I was on trying to take pictures. I learned real fast to watch where I placed my hands and feet and what I leaned a against to steady myself.  So many new ideas-Thank you so much. If any one gets a chance they should go see Lynn’s pieces at Tholo Chula. Her night sky tapestry is incredible.  It took People’s Choice award at the conference in Durango a year or so ago. It’s well worth seeing along with her Cactus piece.   And one of my favourite things a small “sculpture” of an “older full figured women” that I love.  She reminds me of a modern Villendorf Venus, but with clothes.
Few from the top Lemon
Mountain
Hoodoo's low on Mt. Lemon
One of my favourite places was Lemon Mountain.  It’s almost as tall as Mt Hood and takes in almost every climate from Mexico to Canada in a 3 hour drive.  For me it was kinda of interesting because I am vertigo challenged.  When we were in Moab all of the Hodoo’s and rock formations are pretty much vertical-close to 90 decrees so I didn’t have any problems with my balance. On Mt Lemon it took me a while to realize why I kept running into things and having trouble with my balance all the  rock formations look vertical, but are actually at 85 to 80 decree tilt because of geological deformation. SO visually my sighting was a little off. Still have a nasty bruise on my arm where I ran into a tree.   It wasn’t until we were at the top resort area that I realized what was going on. It was like being at Government camp-lush cold, ferns and springs and evergreens, stuff that looked like bear grass.
One of My favourite places in Tuscon!
Another wonderful discovery was an artist named Alexander Arshansky.(Arshansky.com) His paintings completely blew me away. I want one  of his paintings all for myself.  Couldn’t decide which one so I am going to buy it off the net.  The use of pattern to create images that were outlined left me thinking about so many possibilities that I am missing out on and really need to pursue.  Looking at his work made me realize that I wasn’t the only person working in what I call a controlled chaos style.

Mexican Tin Roses

Mexican  Repoussee
 PHOENIX  I even got some silver work study in. I watched Zuni, Hopi and Navajo silversmith’s working  at Dodge Chief in Phoenix. I was told that there are those who create and those who repair-each requires different skills then the other-usually a silversmith does one or the other.  Picked up a rose cross and a repouse cross at a Mexican furniture/pottery place.  I really want to try and make flowers after taking the class I took  in Tacoma that included repousse copper leaves. The two processes of the leaves and the roses look remarkably alike. Petals really aren’t that different from leaves.

Pop  up sheep by Emma Yanda
Cactus is bound weave embroidery floss
Sun City West Class-minus-the bicyclist.
Larry and wife
Bound weave by Emma Yanda
I met a women  one of a couple of dozen in my two  class-Emma Yanna that is incredibly interesting.  She weaves the most incredible little pictures in embroidery floss. At one time she designed cards for Hallmark. Best of all she also collects Sabuda cut paper pop up books.  http://www.robertsabuda.com/popmakesimple.asp . Something of which I have a whole shelf of and enjoy immensely. I would have loved to have spent more time with her. There are others that I also have by several different artist, but he is by far my favourite. She reminded of Marge and my Grandmother  in some/many ways. I could easily visualize her with white cloves and tea and a wonderful creative sensibility and extreme intellect.  I hope that when I am her/there age I will have the complex intellectual curiosity and genteel  manners they-Marge, Emma and my Grandmother (until her Alzheimer's took over) had/have.   I had a lovely time with Phyll, Bob  Wolf,  Diane Wolf, Larry and his wife and so many others in Phoenix.
Another Namless beautiful flower,
but wasn't quick enough to catch the
hummingbirds feeding from it!
 Diane Wolf and I made this wonderful old connection! My Dad thinks he at one time knew the person she worked for in the airports when he was teaching flying at Evergreen. Dad was also wondering and thinking he might have met Diane  when he was flying through those airports. He said he kinda remembered this good looking young girl  gassing up the planes at one of the airports the man in question owned. I still want to her  elephant finished- Broken Rose path, soumack and tapestry a great combination!



Annonomous tree blossom in a
rest area.

fascinating rock near Old Tuscon
 Spencer who goes out and has fun while I teach found several  pueblo Kaschina’s , Koshares  and Kokashin’s(Japanese bobble dolls) for me.  My new Kachina’s looks more like an Apache ga-an dancer, but I am going to quibble. Spencer  went to Tombstone and all sorts of cowboy stuff and I got to see what I was interested in botany silver and ethnography. Thank you all for your suggestions, directions and help.  Spencer  hit close to every museum  and second hand shop/flea market plus garage sales in Tucson and Phoenix while I was teaching. So many thanks to Joyce and Peter for helping in the search for the  perfect Sonoran hot dogs and the introduction to green corn tamales. One of the other great discoveries  was two more people that read as voraciously as Spencer and I. Thanks Diane and Peter for the book suggestions. AND, of Course Cleo who reminded so much of a Gigantic Chene complete with carry around kitty.  When I got home and watched Chene I realized he is using his kitty in the same way as Cleo- Like a purse when we leave, puts it to bed when he wants to go to bed and drops it on his towel when he wants to be dried. Must be a dog language of some sort.  

 I did go to the Heard Museum  and quite a few others in the Phoenix area.  I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to see or find out any information on the Glory Ross Centre for Tapestries and or a collection of tapestries when I went to the museum in Tuscon.  Evidently it is by appt only and one of several calls to find out about it were not returned. To bad, but o, well. 


Woven by Louise yazzie
coal miners edge 1.5 in x 1.5 in 
 I finally was able to find an affordable sample of coal miners edge. When I was at Chief Dodge the lovely Hopi/Pueblo women clerk found a very small piece about an inch weaving by Louise Yazzie, which I promptly purchased along with several beautiful Silver amber and malachite pieces. Actually Chene purchased the earrings for Pat for babysitting him while we were gone.  Chief Dodge is cool because one is purchasing directly from Indian Artisans rather than non-Indian middle men.  A little gem of 4 sided weaving with twined edge and coal miner with edge.

 Thanks to Larry I now know that the coal miner does not refer to an area but the pick and pick. I also discovered thanks to the aforementioned weaver what crystals are. It is where the pick and pick or demi duites reverse and the colours shift.
Purple and lavender Prickly pear
with  Cochineal Lac encrusted
They had the most wonderful  sacred clown/contraries.  I would have loved to purchase the one with a sucker and the one with TV’s hanging off the contrary’s arms and necks, but they were completely out of  my price range around 800 a piece about half the price of purchasing one at the Heard Museum. But they did speak about my own and many others contraries.  There is something really wonderful about Contraries.  I own one sacred clown  a figure with a guitar and a spatula for a microphone that I bought many years ago when my youngest son was involved in CSG- Catholic school girls. Mine was carved by a Navajo women in a Pueblo style- a contrary itself. Pueblo Clowns (sometimes called sacred clowns) is a generic term for jester or trickster in the Kachina religion practiced by the Pueblo Indians of the southwestern USA.  Each figure performs a set role within the religious ceremonies; often their behavior is comic, lewd, scatological, eccentric and alarming.  Each figure performs a set role within the religious ceremonies; often their behavior is comic, lewd, scatological, eccentric and alarming.” Wikipedia
Something I had almost forgotten from long ago stories. I remember fire and ice for every positive there is a negative for every serious thought there is an opposite.  “In Lakota tradition the Heyókȟa functions both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, thereby forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. Heyókȟas also have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from the experience of shame—they sing of shameful events in their lives, beg for food, and live as clowns. They provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are.” wikepedia
      I am thinking about doing or at least designing some several  contrary tapestries. I wonder what my contraries will be. It’s so interesting sometimes to be a between.

I traded Larry a  tapestry for a tapestry shoulder bag that should fit one of my two traveling mirrixes.  I did this after seeing the beautiful bag that Diane Wolf has for lugging things around. It has a wide strap that makes carrying things much easier.  If it works I am going to have a second one made with colours that are opposite from the first one. I love the butterfly designs in traditional SW weaving. 

Thanks to the two groups. We are now creating a very small bobbin for very small hands after a conversation I had with another weaver about small hands and small bodies and a tool that doesn’t have a name yet.  Roxane  in my Tuscon gave me a metal tool that looks like a bent letter opener with a whole in one end.  It is so good for old hands. My older ladies in Phoenix loved it. It made it so much easier for them to pick the sheds and pull the yarn through. I gave the tool to Mr. Witt who makes our bobbins. My business partner, Pat Spark suggested that we try and make a wood proto type and a metal prototype. It seems some people don’t like to use metal weaving tools because they don’t like the smell of the metal on their hands.  So Mr. Witt is going to try making some out of layered veneer. I didn’t know that about some weavers. I just assumed people preferred wood because it felt more natural and beautiful.


Finally I am at the end. It has taken forever to find the time to write so little about so much.  I'll write the next installment in a week instead of the usual 2 weeks as I try to get back on schedule.
One of the exhibits I saw at the heard Museum was an incredible mural by Stephen Joe Yazzie on Fear of a Red Planet: Relocation and Removal. It was such a moving montage of images and symbolism. It's made me want to stop and do a few hundred hours of journaling about family and past.  It wasn't tapestry, but it was extremely thought provoking about the stories we tell in tapestry, why we tell those stories and how we tell our stories. 
Cheers,
kathe 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Waiting, Waiting and More Waiting

ASIDE-I have decided that creating posts is a grand adventure into the unknown and ever changeable.  My formatting never  stays where it belongs, never does what it should. Buttons take over-such as the underlining button or the colour button. There is no stabilizing the format so every time one opens my blog page the layout is ever different ever shifting-much like life. So instead of fighting the whole thing and becoming frustrated. I have decided to accept what ever it gives me as an ever-changing piece of random performance art that 
changes with each performance. 
"And He.." Last for the Shannock in my studio-finished 9inches by 24 inches
maybe 11 inches if I decide to not turn under bottom Selve


Fog and layers of ridges
Great study for
 transparencies
transparencies
Today and most of the week everything is or has been about waiting. Waiting to get stitches or at least the bandage off. Waiting for the loom to go.Waiting to buy tables and furniture for new looms and equipment. Waiting to warp two looms-again the bandages Waiting to leave for Arizona where I am teaching in Tuscon and Sun City. Waiting for packages. Waiting to finish handouts-still can’t type and I am definitely not going to do them on my i-phone. The screens way too small and the spelling variations can't be seen-at least by me.  Waiting to start my new piece, because those other things I am waiting on might show up and interrupt.   Waiting to take pictures of fog. I can’t reach the push buttons on the camera button on either camera.  The slipping in and out of images into fog this morning was/is incredible. A real reason perhaps excuse for  working with transparencies not that I need one. Sometimes reasons and logic help me to commit and get around to doing what I really want to do put have performance anxiety about whatever...  I really want to design  a landscape with ridges and trees and fog as a colour and technique study.  I wish I could remember who wove a piece of trees in fog with silk and wool, fog and the softness and silence of fog. It was in a show I was in at least 10 years ago.  It was such an incredible piece. Someone said it was stolen-so very bad. Been there done that.

 My typing and mouse usage leaves way too much to chance.


(This is just great.  I have managed to hit another magic button that  wants to save all of my typos and corrections.  And I can't find it to turn it off. How embarrassing!  Where is the sanctity of second chances without shame that the corrections one is able to do on the computer generally promote.)

Fortunately Most of the waiting is finite, just frustrating. Each minute seems a thousand minutes;lined up and disappearing into the future.
Waiting, waiting,waiting, more waiting.

Frustration, definition via the Internet;     Part of Speech- Noun; synonyms: annoyance, bitter pill, blocking, bummer, circumvention, contravention, curbing, defeat, disgruntlement, dissatisfaction, downer, drag, failure, fizzle, foiling, grievance, hindrance, impediment, irritation, let down, non fulfillment, non success, obstruction, old one two, resentment, setback, unfullfilment, vexation.   I really think it should have included the word waiting.

Surprise!!
Well, that venting feels better most of the  synonyms don’t fit my situation anyhow.

I need to create a hierarchy of waiting.  Perhaps, I can organize what I am waiting for by the amount of time I need to wait for the waiting to end. waiting like  Dante’’s levels of hell.  I really need to reread the Inferno again just for the descriptions of hell. I am sure there must be something about hell, procrastination and waiting. Or, perhaps, surely,  levels of limbo. 

 Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the "edge" of Hell) is a speculative idea.
Obviously written by  someone who doesn’t mind waiting. 

Enough Diva-ness  and word play for today.


WOW! What a difference a day can make!

       Yesterdays attitude seems almost funny today. Well-today it’s humorous-Yesterday not so. Waiting is over and now I feel a since of urgency. I can use my hand again. Finally discovered the complexity of my hand surgery. I have 4 incisions that are healing just fine- 4 in the palm and one at the base of my thumb.  Stings something fierce with the stitches out.

What Spider Women
could have told Ikotomi
and Icarus.
       Poor Dr. Yao-my hand surgeon- I don’t think he understand my obsession with tapestry weaving. He doesn't know whether to be amused or…? about my weaving and my schedule, or worried about my unsterotypical ideas and work.  At my age- and I don’t think that I am that old-I think he thinks a women at my age should be retiring and easing up. He always has this nonplussed look on his face when I discuss my tapestry weaving and how it affects my hands.  If I don’t weave my hands stiffen up. O well, if I were in my 30’s I might feel  the same way.exhibit
      Last week was even better
I won Best of Show at the Blue Ridge Hand weavers Exhibit. Every time I have entered-my second time- I have been amazed at the quality of the work in the show. The pictures they mount on their website are lovely and intriguing. To top it all off Tommye Scanlin had donated one of her Kudzu pieces to a fund raising raffle they were holding. I never win anything. I feel buying raffle tickets is  a donation-nothing more. I was so surprised when I won.

Tommye Scanlin.
size 20inches by 22inches. Image stolen from
Blue Ridge Hand weavers  exhibit web site. My thanks for its use
     Had a nice surprise today. My Handwoven Magazine  arrived and it actually has a  good deal of tapestry in it. It also contains a picture of So Many Chances and the colour is fairly accurate.  There is a very interesting article by Sara Swett on weaving lists. Sort of reminds me of the time I wove the scratch paper from my drafting table/ work table. See photo's somewhere below and out of place. They keep shifting.

Broken feather/ Broken promise
       I     with drew So Sought after from Small Expressions.  So all the prize winners moved up 1 level.  I am still a little angry at HGA, but not for the reason one would think. Prizes, getting into shows and awards have never meant that much to me. After the last 3 decades of entering shows I view it like a game of chance. I don’t stake how I feel about my work or myself on games of chance. They are more of a puzzlement to be figured out and be amused about the results.  I am angry because on January 4th I called the HGA office to ask  for clarification of the rules- the rule about a piece having never been published. I wanted to know if they meant published anywhere or just in HGA publications. On their advice and reassurance that it just meant HGA publications I entered the piece. I would not have entered that piece into the exhibit if I had been given accurate information. I am not so dumb to think someone wouldn’t have noticed let alone the ethics of entering a piece knowing it broke the rules-so not me. Cheating destroys the game aspect of entering shows.   The year before they took away my third prize because my framing was messed up in shipping.  I use the letter in my classes when we discuss mounting, shipping, and entering exhibits. Good workmanship is important to the whole experience of a tapestry. They hung the piece, but hung it upside down. I just can’t seem to win with HGA. I admit that the frame problem was mine, but still they should have hung it right side up.  I have been in Small Expressions 13 or 14 times since 1988- 20 or so years. O, well-asi es la vida de los esclavos-gr! Lol! It’s taken them until about yesterday to remove it from their web page! So now I get to answer 4 months of questions about what happened. Enuff!

 On to better more important  stuff.

  I did finish the piece on the Shannock.    I finished the sample, scrap,  portion of "And he..." I am just not sure how to define this piece at this particular point in time or if I'll ever attempt to show it or sale it-after all it is only a portion of the whole.    The piece itself is 9 inches by 24 inches. I still haven't decided how to finish it. Leave my name or turn it under. I love the over dyed indigo colour. Pat dyed the ton of the ugly yellow stuff I had purchased because it was cheap and i could afford it into a beautiful Indigo colour.Other then cheapness i have no idea what I thought I could do with all of that ugly yellow.   I, also,  need to decide how I am going to handle the two feet of selvedge on each side. The only thing I seemed to be able to do  last week was weave with my hand all wrapped up.   Now that I woven the sample no matter what the reason I wove the scrap, but  mostly because I couldn't  let go of the loom with an unfinished piece on it. (Interesting the spell-check brings up love when I click on wove. ) I can hardly wait to start the small format/ small scale version of the design.  It will be half the size this “and he…”  was intended to be.I have fallen in love with the colours.

Scroodle scrap paper from Maze Craze
1990
I love the colours in the  wing, but I did learn that it would have been much better to have woven the design the other direction. I wouldn’t have had to work so hard getting rid of the stair steps on the feathers.

 Learned not to use crosheen on the lace bits. It worms against the wool and even worse against the embroidery flosses.

Maze Craze late 1990
 I learned that I didn’t need bobbins. All I needed was to be able to hook the wefts with my fingers and pull. Valuable information  for those weaving with problem hands that i teach.  It does make one work harder to keep the weft loopies from forming in the half passes. There really is a very good reason for using bobbins as opposed to loose wefts hanging and butterflies. The bobbin helps control the tension of the weft threads as they are woven and come off the bobbin.  The bobbins also allow the weaver to control the twist and the closeness of the colour as it is laid in a pass. This then allows you to twist the weft bundle and change the density of the colour in mélanges and chenes.  I need to do some samples of this colour density thing  happening.

       Another lesson that I learned is that different rayon embroidery flosses weave differently. DMC rayon weaves thicker and has an almost nappy feel.  The ratio  is also different.  DMC needs  4  strands  instead of the 6 that Coates and Clark’s need at 20 epi.  At 10 epi it needs to be double that. Coats and Clark's rayon-especially in the black gets a flake or peel of something light grey when you weave at 20 epi. It’s a little like dandruff or dry skin. The same reason I don’t use quilting thread as warp, but buttonhole twist or  dual craft thread for warp at 20 epi.

Remembering spring as fall happens
      I really had fun with the gold in the scroll. I learned that filigree and loops need to be larger in scale  in order to allow the detail to be seen at 5-10 feet where the best optical blending occurs in the colour when weaving with wool at  10 epi.  On the other hand at 20 epi the scroll work can be much more delicate and should be much more delicate in scale, because people stand so close to the small work. They actually have a tendency to stand closer than necessary to get the optical blending.   One would think that if the optimum at 10 epi is 10 feet then it should be 5 feet for 20 epi. BUT, people don’t do that  with small format/small scale work, People stand a foot or two from the work.

 SO for my designs the colour blending needs to be finer with more bobbin blendings that are more closely related  to get the maximum effect of the optical blending.

 I ended up doing a lot of single wraps while working on the inner turns of the scroll. Next time I think I’ll make the scroll twice as big so I have two warp threads instead of one  warp thread. Live and learn. This gave me a lot of practice of sharing warp turns and shared warps. It’s fairly easy to hide the interlocks and weft turns if one remembers to watch the direction of the turn around loop  or the direction it goes around the  warp.  The turns and wraps need to extra dense so that they can pack down and help hide the sharing and the turns. The direction of the loops isn’t always consistent in which colour looks right in the sharing. It depends on if you are working with a hill or a valley thread. Turns and loop backs done on valley threads are easier to hide because the next turn or wrap drops down into the valley and covers the previous turning thread.  Doing almost anything in a valley is easier to cover because the next half pass is a hill thread drops down and covers.  In vertical soumack it works  in the same way. Drop the turning thread onto a valley warp and the next pass of weft will cover the turn-unless your working the weft with too tight or a warp tension too loose and that’s a whole other problem.

Chene's car seat
The other study that I am doing with the top of the selvedge is experimenting with soumack  and twined edges which I will then braid when I cut off the piece, which should be tomorrow. The loom is ready to go with good karma!!!

(This is just great.  I have managed to hit a magic button that  wants to save all of my typos and corrections. How embarrassing!  Where is the sanctity of second chances without shame that the corrections one is able to do on the computer generally promote.)  

Well as I began. It's all a great adventure...
cheers for now.