Follow by Email

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And So it begins again…bits and pieces

S0 without thinking I filled my time with-

Busy work  a term for work or assignments that are time consuming, but not useful. It is typically used to refer to school work which is time consuming for students but not educationally valuable, but can also refer to procedures or 3320863-dice-rollingpaperwork in a bureaucracy which is unnecessary. Work that usually appears productive or of intrinsic value but actually only keeps one occupied(condensed Wikipedia steal)

wall·low; wallowing wallowed

/ˈwɒloʊ/  Show Spelled[wol-oh]  verb (used without object) roll about or lie in water, snow, mud, dust, or the like, as for refreshment. live self-indulgently; luxuriate; revel: to wallow in sentimentality and Crypsis. flounder about; move along or proceed clumsily or with difficulty. surge up or billow forth, as smoke or heat: Waves of black smoke wallowed into the room.

So been there -done that.

  It’s been a long couple of weeks and a little more then a month since I have written in this blog.  In some ways longer and in others a million years longer then long. I  managed to circumnavigate the US-mostly. Albany to Gettysburg, PA to Maryland through Texas back to Albany down to Oakland then too Great Falls Montana and back to Albany in less then 3 weeks. I taught at MAFA(a wonderful experience-don’t get me wrong), visited with Kids and Grandkids, My Mother died and we Digital StillCameraattended a 100th birthday party and finally back to my loom. I can’t even begin to count the nuisance trips to Portland. Love visiting with my Dad, but hate the spur of the moment(nuisance) trips because he’s misplaced his cell for the check in calls and I can’t get hold of his other backups an  hour and a half of wondering is a little too long and an hour and a half home wishing things could be different, but how…. So I am working on(?if there are any acceptable-not Dad’s fault but lack of programs?), friends,  and living relatives) longer term solutions. Sounds dismal, but it did have some really great highs along with the really low  lows.

…Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter - bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
Stephen Crane,
III, Dark Rider and other Lines

It’s been enough that I pulled out my Stephen Crane Dark Riders and Other Lines and reread 111 or 3 to help gain a proper perspective. Once recognized-

once again-It’s time to move on.

One of the things I have been focusing on is my weaving for theDSC_0106 last 2 weeks. I am really excited about is where it is going. I like what I have been doing. It will probably be close to 24 inches tall when I am finished. Amazing what one can weave in two weeks-definitively not busy work-a plus.

          DSC_0104                                                        The piece is 19 inches wide. I am 1/8th of the way done. The warp setting is approx.. 20-22 wpi.  I have redesigned “And he…” and have begun to weave. I have added several more elements a black rose and a Stephen Crane Beastie to reflect what’s been going on in my life. It really is a narrative based on elements of the  past present and future events. I have been working on my little black rider monsters that will be hidden in the piece. It seems like forever since I haveDSC_0105 done any caricatures or cartooning. Actually,  to be truthful, it has been ages. Since my sons were little.  It’s something I always loved doing the little creatures, but somewhere along the way  realism  caught up.  My deadline for finishing is October 28, so that I can enter it into a specific exhibit. If it looks like I w248on’t finish it in time I’ll probably work on a smaller piece-much smaller-in order to finish something for the deadline-perhaps another Chene. I have a photo of him laying on his back that I think I would like to do. This isn’t the one. The one I want to do is of him playing dead dog with his feet and his curls sticking straight up in the air. Of course it was in the other computer that is now being debugged-again.                                                                     

Mirrix Looms

One of the things I am back to and have taken all of the pictures for is a PowerPoint presentation on warping my  mirrix. It’s amazing how many questions there are about warping the Mirrix for tapestry.  I am beginning to put the IMG_0451jpegs in the PowerPoint program and starting to get the labeling correct. It’s very detailed perhaps too detailed. It’s many small steps, but when finished one has a great continuous warp that works really well. It will probably end up being a small booklet. The more I work with my mirrix the more ideas how I have on how to adapt it to make tapestry weaving easier and more practical to the mirrix. I am really excited I am supposed to teach a class at Mirrix Looms the week end After I teach at EGLFC. I hope it fills. If your interested in taking the class contact Elena at Mirrix looms.

Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Conference

I am also really excited about teaching at the Eastern Great Lakes Fiber ConfeDSC_0106rence,Chautauqua, NY. IT’s a class that will be more about design technique and the techniques to make the design happen the way you want them to be.  Much more about designing for tapestry and making the tapestry and tapestry technique come together in a skillfully woven design. I will be teaching how too design for tapestry and incorporating those ideas  needed to design cartoons that are weave able.  The class at last count as 16. It’s a nice sized class for passing around ideas.  Should be a lot of fun. Spencer, Chene and I are driving out. We will be stopping in Montana-Great Falls and Hardin on the way. I am also hoping to see a certain Coptic Enthroned Madonna in Cleveland.


Sometimes I get so lucky. Spencer has an eBay business that specializes in DSC_0090ephemera and other sDSC_0092tuff. Consequently we spend a lot of time at garage sales and flea markets. I go because I am the navigator. A very very important position when you hit between 10 and 30m garage sales in a day.The trick is to get the driver to go the direction he needs to go according to the map. I am convinced it is a guy thing to always go the opposite direction that the navigator dictates.Only  one U-turn and  I really lucked out. We were taking a quick look at the last sale of dismal day   and I found an Afghan war rug and an afghani  Kelim. I began to talk to the proprietor of the sale, who grabbed me as I was leaving and asked if I was interested in more rugs.  I told him yes. He introduced me to his Mother-in-law who is an professor emeritus in textiles at  Oregon State University.. (above is detail of bonnmonstre in the light coloured areas composed of white diamond pulled slits. Pesisan Senneh. Small medallions are crammed weft –blisters.)


She has DSC_0094roomsDSC_0098 full of keDSC_0099lims, Gabbehs, carpets of middle eastern rugs-literally hundreds stacked against walls with piles as tall as I am. I bought DSC_0095several from her and am going back for more.

I was able to purchase 4 soumack kelims and 2 Kelims that contained bonnmonstre and crammed wefts-blisters. I have been spending the last several weeks documenting and studying them.

(next 4 pictures above-Kelim that is composed of plain woven tapestry and soumack.)


Afghan Kelim with long pulled slits and an interesting crenulated border between the pink white and blue vertical stripes. Medallions are crammed weft so that they form a blister or puckering of the surface

DSC_0111Last two pictures- Silk and cotton kelim kneeler-non reversible-front and backDSC_0100. Seems unusual because most of the soumack I have seen, which isn’t much is usually double sided. Does make it easier to study though.


Even more amazing- I have actually been doing a little bit of silversmithing in the form of weaving and studying soumack as it relates to silver. It is an amazingly adaptable technique to silver wire. I have been making cages and beginning to work on.


Love the rainbow- continued for 2 weeks!

Cheers and All,



Rebecca Mezoff said...

Wow Kathe! Who knew you could get so lucky at a garage sale? Sounds like you're having a blast with all the teaching, traveling, and some weaving. I hope so anyway. Sorry about your Dad. I hope you can work out something that doesn't cause you so much worry soon.

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

Thanks Rebecca!
Things are working out. I am reading on the trips- now-helps alleviate the frustration of the drive. I am managing 4-6 hours a day or what may have been a really crazy idea of a good/interesting/to big size for one of my small tapestries. The narrative is really important and maybe to complex. Hey I am going to be at Village Wools teaching about the last of October 1st of November-maybe a cup of tea?