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
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.

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
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.

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.