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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bits and pieces

Sample And He 24 inches by 9(?maybe a bit larger)

Well, the Shannock is sold and soon to be gone sometime after the 12th it will be picked up and moved. Not an easy undertaking. It was part of the deal that the purchaser would take it apart and move the loom without my help. ME and my close friends who helped me put it up in my second story studio almost 10 years ago are opting out because of age, ailing body parts, good sense, a flight of steps etc.  etc. etc.  And knowing what I know now I would never ask of them.  It’s going to a good home!! The loom has a good History. It first belonged to Sharon Marcus, then me and now to Peter Rocci.
Shannock leaving 
I didn’t want it to leave the studio with an unfinished cut off warp-seemed like bad karma for the next weaver.  So I have weaving a portion of the cartoon into a finished piece.  

Bones and more bones
Coneflowers love sprirling Centers
That should be done in the next day or two so this is the best possible timing to finish.  I am having more hand surgery on the 7th.  I will have two more trigger fingers unlocked, scar tissue and a ganglion cyst removed.  It always feels so good to have it done. The surgery is a minor inconvenience. (small aside have you ever noticed that every time  one corrects the spelling of anything close to inconvenience it comes up incontinent.) (Unable to contain or retain (usually fol. by of) Somehow it almost seems like I should just use that word. In some ways its meaning is close to what one is really trying to Last time I was weaving within 12 hours. My Doctors and I are convinced that the weaving is absolutely the best therapy for keeping my hands in good shape. 

textual green
 I am leaving about the 18th to teach in Arizona at Sun City and Tucson. The classes I think are pretty much full, but as always could probably fit in one or two more.  Spencer and  I are trying to decide if we want to go by way of Los Angles and then over to Reno. It seems to  be a shorter route by 200 miles. I am thinking perhaps a trip to the Getty and several other places along those lines at least one way.

The reality is this week I need to focus on finishing my handouts for Small Format/ Small scale weaving and finishing the piece on the Shannock.

Manic Attack-
wool and floss
I am not quite sure what to call this piece. Is it a sample or a fully fledged piece on its own?  The wing and the flower are embroidery floss. I am combining a lot of embroidery floss with the wool.  I wanted to gain more experience working with embroidery floss at 10 epi. I am finding that there are a lot of people that prefer to use embroidery flosses to wool at any warp set. Not bad thing just different then wool.  The embroidery floss makes for an interesting hand and at 10 epi.  Using two stands that is 12 different threads you can change in your shading. It makes for some incredibly obscure and very delicate shedding possibilities.  Not as bad as it sounds. I am working with 2 flosses that are composed of 6 smaller strands.  I am finding that the rayon embroidery floss is more difficult to deal with at 10 epi. I have to but an overhand knot in the end after I do a pigtail. The small ends in the bundle are more freedom seeking and don’t stay together as well as the cotton embroidery floss. I am also finding that 6 of the rayon in a strand do not equal 6 of the cotton in a strand. I need to subtract about a quarter of the strands of rayon or two strands per length of rayon.  I am used to working quite small and the optical blending occurring closer to the piece. I have to remind myself that optimum blending occurs 8-10 feet a way from the piece-not so close that I can see the optimal blending when setting directly in front of it as I can with 20 epi. .  SO I step back from the work to see if the blends are working.

Hellborus-perhaps pick and pick dots
 I have ordered 3 looms from Mirrix. Which will give a total of  3  big sisters and a Zeus. I ordered the texsolv heddles for all. A bit of a luxury, but important to my sanity and well being. No matter how hard I try I cannot consistently tie a square knot or a granny.  Let alone 370, which is what the Zeus needs and 360 for both of the big sisters.  I learned that the hard way as untied heddles rained down on me although my first pieces. Those sneaky knots.   Two of the looms will be used strictly for teaching and always have either a 10epi or a 20-22 epi warp.  The Zeus  which is 38 inches wide will be  for larger pieces at either format and scale. I even bought an extra treadle mechanism to experiment with twills as in twill tapestry and such.  Something I have been saying I wanted to do for years.  In the process of all this I(FFP) has decided to become a Mirrix dealer.  FFP will still be selling the loom we have built, but it is very different then the Mirrix.  They are like comparing Apples and oranges.

Now I need to do things like find a thin long wooden table that will hold 3 looms. I am thinking a trip to Saint Vinnie’s or a trip to discount lumber and doing my own thing.  I dislike the plastic rough surfaces of the one I am using now. It collects dust and fuzz and never feels clean and sweats when my skin touches it when I am working.   AND,  Find more IKEA goose neck lights that don’t have halogen bulbs. Halogen burns too hot and the lamps get to close to my body and I am afraid of accidently getting a burn. I did manage to melt  some plastic on one of my looms when the halogen lamp got to close one of my looms. I only noticed when it began to smell-not a good thing when in the zone.  AND, Trays or drawers to keep tools and bobbins from intermixing and creating chaos.  My life lately seems to be focused on doing away with chaos.  And, there are other changes I want to make about my work setup to change the focus of the space.  These are changes that have been a long time coming, but changes that I need so that I can focus on my work better and keep all of my different hats straight and easier to wear.  One of the things I learned from being a long time journaler is if something bugs you it hinders the process of wanting to do it.   Creating an ongoing tension that isn’t always pleasant and definitely not conducive to working. 
Loon lake fog remembered and hoped for

It’s been really quiet around here for the last week or so.  No major projects, trips etc.  Spencer is gradually feeling better and better after his surgery. The door has been painted. Wednesday I pick up the screen door.  He tires easily, but we have been on several hunting gathering trips for his eBay sales. Perhaps that sounds better then garage sale junketing or perhaps it’s just obsessive behavior with pay. We sometimes hit 25 to 30 on Friday and Saturday mornings during garage sale season, which should be ending as the rainy season should be starting in the next week or so. But the weather has been so screwy that who knows.

Now if I could just get use to my new glasses.  In the last year I developed astigmatism in one eye. I am doing this at the age of 61-not fair! I think my body just got bored and needed something new and exciting to do-fun.  The new glasses make everything looked bent, not a good thing with my vertigo.  My question is if I hadn’t noticed it why does it need to be corrected?  “They” say El Greco may have had astigmatism-that being the reason for all of his tall skin oddly coloured paintings. “They” being one or many of the numerous art history teachers I have had in the past. I am now wondering if they had corrected his astigmatism would his figures all have been squat and fat with ideal colouring. Go figure! Or perhaps he found anorexic figures sexy or something else. He was a Spaniard in the late 15th and early 16th century-anyway.

He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting.” Wikepedia

Just think of all those expressionist, cubist and for poets and writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis.He wouldn’t have been able to influence, if his vision had been corrected. .
Peonies that are already gone!
My silver smithing has been on hold. I find it difficult and dangerous to do torch work when I can’t control the opening and closing of two fingers in a smooth action of my torch hand, doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it. I am just waiting until after my hand surgery.
MT Hebo Water Lilies, Oregon
I have become fascinated with the idea of weaving a bracelet on a metal band.  I ordered a bunch of the brass cuffs that Claudia of Mirrix looms sales in various sizes.  She also teaches classes in the doing the bracelets. Her cuffs are fairly narrow and come in 3 sizes. Claudia has created some lovely bracelets.  I am going to design a few of the smaller ones using my small format tapestries. I am thinking that I might want to add silver work and work perhaps 2 or more inches wide. The biggest problem is how to design an image on a curved shape. Where does one focus the design etc and why the focus is where it is?  There’s something almost as fascinating about the history and myth of bracelets as there is in the history and myths of masks. In myth bracelets are often used as restraints and imprisonment something with the idea of withholding a becoming or a restraining of something as opposed to a mask which signals a becoming of something else. Which all comes back to those things locked and hidden away? I have always wanted to design a spider bracelet a talisman/amulet for weavers.
Chene's Summer time job!
I am trying something new. I am going to teach on Weavolution.  Not whole groups like some, but one on one instruction.  I am learning about using webcams and other things. I like the idea of being able to just teach one person at a time. I like the idea that I can structure that time of teaching to what the student wants to learn.   There is now a small format tapestry group on Weavolution. We have 15 members at this time-very silent member. I wish I knew how to start a dialogue with them about their experiences with small format tapestry.
Time to go. I need to weave to meet my deadlines.



Rob Knits said...

Kathe, I just visited the Small Formet Tapestry weavers forum on Weavolution and was very sorry to see it was so quiet. I would love to participate in a group lesson or discussion. I don't find Weavolution very user friendly -- could not figure out how to join Small Format Tapestry, for example -- and I spend my work day on all kinds of virtual work sites!

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

I am not sure if its weaver friendly. I am still feeling my way around the site. So far now that I am on i haven't run into any major snags. Did you join the small format group? I posted a couple things on it today with the hope of getting people to respond. There are 27-28 people on it and so far no real interaction. I can hope though!

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

I am not sure if its weaver friendly. I am still feeling my way around the site. So far now that I am on i haven't run into any major snags. Did you join the small format group? I posted a couple things on it today with the hope of getting people to respond. There are 27-28 people on it and so far no real interaction. I can hope though!