Sunday, 27 February 2011

Dimensions Tapestry at 1/2 and 3/4 completion

Hello Jellos!

I fell behind on my updates, meaning to leave on posted a bout 4 days ago, but things got hectic and I didn't wind up pulling out my laptop until this afternoon.

I am super excited about the progress I've made. As of Tuesday it will have been 1 month since I dragged the loom up from the basement and began designing my cartoon, and I hope to be FINISHED by then.

I'm really glad I didn't let myself get discouraged in the first few days of weaving. It took a lot of faith to get this far. I had to tell myself that it would become something deceptively simple, elegant, and ethereal. Besides, I adore negative space. I remember on a car trip once, my husband tried to point out something in a field we were passing, but all I could focus on was fragments of sunset sky suspended between the bare autumn branches of a lone tree. Anyway, I really reveled in weaving the background colour, trying to remain as true to the shapes in the cartoon as possible. I have learned SO much about technique, about how fluid a concept can be I just give it freedom to breathe. We've embarked on a journey together, and we're still traveling, but the glow of our new home has become visible on the horizon.

However, you can bet your bottom dollar that my next tapestry will more than make up for all this neutral business.

Without further ado:

My next update will be removing this from the loom and some of the finishing, plus thoughts on display and title. :) My intent to enter form is due on March 9!

Have a great week everybody!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Day 7

I've reached 1/3 of the way! I'm imagining my very own team of arts and crafts cheerleaders in knit halter tops and short shorts with knee high rainbow stripe as you go socks waving yarn pompoms. RAH RAH RAH! This is normal. I get anywhere near the halfway mark on a tapestry and my brain explodes. BUT YAY!

And here's a few details left, right and center:

I'm finding all kinds of keywords as I weave all the intuitive details. Insect legs, bone, tendons, sinew, lace, relic, artifact, dancing figures, genitalia, ovaries- the list goes on and on. My mind and fingertips discover this tenuous balance between control and intuition. I meticulously place each strand of silk in coils around built up areas of cotton, but there isn't a plan; I am learning a strange new dance with no steps.

And in other crafting news I have a hairpin lace project in the works and I wanted to share a couple pics of that with you too:

These were my first two bits of hairpin lace ever. I hope I made them long enough, but I intend to stretch the lace out between three separate inkles (seen below). I hope the end result will be a dressy loopy scarf. :) If it works I plan to bust off a bunch and use up a lot of my old stash of wacky synthetic fibers. I think they would make some really unique novelty scarves!

And in other other news I dyed some alpaca fleece with food coloring (and I made some batts but no pics of those yet)

I picked up the rest of the wool that I've had on layaway since before Christmas! Thank You again M! I CAN'T WAIT to play!

And I have one progress picture of that elevator rug. Remember that? :P I have it back out and got into the color above the horizon line. I'm more excited about it now! I won't have it ready in time for the rug show but that's okay!

Can anyone else sense my manic panic? Hooray for February. I think the overabundance of exclamation points probably gave it away. :P

later gaters!


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Progress Update and a Few Fun Side Projects

Greetings Jellybeans!

Here's my Dimensions 2011 Tapestry update:

The cartoon was created by Rorschach technique using cream colored craft paint straight from the bottle. I then outlined the shapes in pencil.

This first photos is from day two, day one being the dragging up of loom and re-threading it etc. I spent a lot of time deciding on how-and with what-I was going to weave the project. I find tapestry to be highly pre-meditative, considering that once you commit to a colour scheme it is very difficult to change it later. So after much sitting and thinking and winding butterflies of yarn and comparing them side by side I discarded all the coloured yarns, opting for a dark oatmeal wool yarn (still greasy) for the background and some cream colored Clea crochet thread and white silk thrums for the Rorschach pattern.

I decided I would put all my energy into incorporating elaborate textures and patterns with the shiny silk. The effect is somewhat lacy and fossil-like. I like the bone reference A LOT.

I'm not going to share all the details of where I am taking this. I think it will be fun to share it with you as it progresses. Besides the work has already taken on a life of it's own; It's evolving into something completely different from what I had originally intended. here are a few more detail shots of the end of day 3.

And in other news I participated in a wonderful wet felting workshop with my fellow guild members last weekend. We made slippers and mine are sized to hopefully fit my little boy sometime next year. I can always felt them down to fit a bit better later. Here they are!

I spun a bunch of yarn just after Christmas. The green is a light and fluffy merino that's had a stretching process to make the fibres really silky. I spun that on my drop spindle (2 ply) and the navy is to go with it. 225 grams done on my wheel in more of a worsted method(also 2 ply).

Okay that was a lot of photos again! Hope you enjoyed them.
I hope to be back again soon with another progress update and some inkle bracelets with antique buttons.

Later gaters!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

New Year! Ready, set, GO!

This past year has been a contemplative one. I've spent a great deal of time thinking about what I want to be when I grow up and very little time taking action. I won't be so hard on myself about it. It's good to take time and gain perspective. And I've been busy parenting a toddler, which is (AAAAAAAAAAAH!) no small feat. :P

I've been totally obsessing with my professional development lately (could it be I'm turning 30 soon?), and one day just shy of Christmas I sat upright from my slump on the sofa with an epiphany. It was so overwhelming and so simple I couldn't help but speak the words out loud to the universe. I'm Capable. Sounds silly right? TOTALLY.

Everyone might tell me that a million times and I would say: yeah yeah I know. I can do anything I set my mind to. But I never really really believe it. I'd hear the little voice in my head telling myself things like: Oh you're not good with numbers. You could never actually market yourself. You'll get taken advantage of. You'll fail. You couldn't handle the logistics.
I'm Capable. I can be. I can do. I can succeed.

The last time I checked I was pretty sure I wanted to be an artist. In fact, every time I check it's the same. So time to start making art. I did keep myself productive with small scale projects and items for the SSWG annual sale. I just want to up the scales a notch or two and start back into the stuff that got me to and through art school: my painting, drawing and tapestry, the latter leads me to my first goal of the new year.

I have decided to submit a tapestry into this year's Saskatchewan Craft Council DIMENSIONS touring exhibition. I'll post progress updates with photos until the completion. Starting with this one!

Step 1: I hauled that mammoth tapestry loom up from the pits and set her up in my living room.

Step 2: I tore off all the fail. Long story short I was so burned out after weaving my grad work that by the time I graduated and got this BEAUTY as a gift I was too tuckered to weave on it. That's not to say I didn't try starting a few projects and petering out a few inches in. So I tore all the badness off, re-tied, tensioned and twined the remaining warp for a completely fresh start. It's time to christen the thing properly.

Step 3: I came up with a mission. Actually this came first but I never spoke it out loud and made it a mission until after I received the call for submissions, at which point I thought to myself: This is a sign. My preoccupation with my professional development this past year, the epiphany, the concepts for 3-dimensional tapestries, and now the call for submissions for a show called DIMENSIONS?

So here I go!