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 . ( 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
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.

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.