The New Year is here and I have big plans just like most people. The trick is sticking to them and seeing it through. I have lots of weaving and painting ideas for the year. Many looms need dressing and canvases are stacked up in waiting. My notebooks and sketchbooks are over flowing all over the studios up and downstairs. There is no lack of ideas here. Probably too many at times. It's hard to shut the brain off, the only way to do that is get to work. Get those hands moving and with that movement my brain starts to calm and I settle in for a long day at the easel or the looms. Nothing works at quieting my mind like the actual act of creating. Throwing on the apron and getting those hands dirty, once I dive in it all feels ok. That long to do list doesn't seem so impossible anymore. The only way thru is by doing the work. Just start....and it will all fall into place.
A new tapestry on the loom. A peak behind the leashes at the cartoon. A new series begins..... Each piece will have Asemic writing. I've used it in many paintings and drawings and some stitched works but this will be my first time weaving Asemic text. More pics coming as I get further along in the work.
I'm loving these natural colors. I tea dyed linen, silk and wool for the background areas. I'm also using a tiny touch of sparkle thread for a dash of bling; so very subtle but when the light hits it just right you get a wonderful effect. I'm weaving this work on my Ashford Tapestry Loom with leashes. I really enjoy working on this loom. It's simple but very effective. I'm using the larger version of the loom, unfortunately the smaller version of this loom is not being made any longer. If I see one for a good price used I might snatch it up because it is wonderful to work on. The circular warping is great and the adjustable angles for weaving are really nice for your body after hours of weaving. The tension works well too. Not having treadles really isn't an issue once you get into a rhythm of using the leashes. You can weave 40" wide and about 29 or 30 inches high. I'm going to be at the limit on this one for the height. The leashes might get a little tight at the end. If so...pick pick pick with my bobbin will get me there. The link above is a pic of the loom on my flickr page from a few years ago. I had a Mirrix coil spring on it but I've removed it now and I'm going to be putting leather with grooves carved in for the top and bottom warp spacers. I did this on a copper loom that I made and it works great. The warps don't move around like they do with the coil spring. I'll post some pics of that modification after I get it done. Well, that's all for now.... off to weave.
2019 has been strange so far. Things got off to a rocky start with the whole family getting sick and me taking months to really recover from it. Finally starting to feel like myself again. So a slow start to 2019....but I'm getting back on track with my daily studio practices. Here are some pics of recent experiments, sketchbook work etc.
Back to this little bag again and warping the loom for more samples. Little bags like this are often called amulet bags or medicine bags etc. I'm not sure what I'm going to call mine, but for now I'm calling it "thimble bag " because it is the perfect size for that and it helps me from losing my thimble which is a daily thing with me.
American Tapestry Alliance Show
This small tapestry has been selected for the ATA Small Tapestry International 6: Beyond the Edge. "Two Moons"©DL Rigter. I was trying to find a way to create the tapestry within their size requirements without weaving a square format. This was my solution and I'm quite pleased with it. You can read more about the upcoming show at the link above.
Here are the Venues:
May 27–July 20, 2019
Orville J. Hanchey Gallery
Northwestern State University
75 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
Opening Reception: July 1, 2019, 5–7 pm
September 6 – October 12, 2019
Augustana Teaching Museum of Art
639 38th St
Rock Island, IL 61201
Opening Reception: September 6, 2019, 5–7 pm
Tapestry weaving... landscapes
I've been busy working on this landscape again. Making good progress but I have not posted in a while because I'm lost in it. When I'm not working on this tapestry I'm working on my stitching so back and forth I go between the two. I have several things going at once and all are so close to being done; I think, but then they are not. So I'm really feeling the need to finish something! This happens to be the way I work. I've tried to work on one piece and only one piece until completed and it does not work for me. So I have just decided to go with the flow and then they all come together and get done in the end. It's just the way I'm wired. Sometimes that can be a good thing because one idea here and another there and all of it work feeds off of each other. A painting here, a stitch there, a weaving sample etc. and each has it's purpose even if it doesn't become a "finished piece of art" in the end. So I plug along...and Spring is here so my painting will kick in a bit more as the little painting studio is not so cold now so the windows can open and I can breathe and feel the sun on my face and mess about in the paint.
Landscape tapestry off the loom
Well, it's off the loom. Now for the finishing. First it needs to sit and rest a little. That's always a good idea when the tapestry comes off the loom and is no longer under tension.
So I've got looms to dress and I must get back to work on my watercolor tapestry asap. And as always more paintings to go thru so I can decide which one will become a tapestry. That is always a challenge because I want to weave so many of them but I know that is never going to be a possibility. It has to be the right one, I mean face it, this is an image that I'm going to be looking at in progress on the loom for weeks or mostly months. So I must choose wisely. More pics of this tapestry will go in the Tapestry section of my site when it's all finished.
Landscape tapestry weaving
I can see the top of the cartoon and I'm inching my way along. About 2 or 3 inches to go now. This is always really exciting for me when I can see the end is near. Well, the end of the weaving is near but the finishing still has to be done. I have a stack of paintings waiting to be laid out to see which one makes the cut for the next tapestry on this loom. I have 2 more looms waiting for warps as well. I was hoping they would be ready to go by January so that deadline came and went. So much to do. Here are a few more in progress pics.
Only about 5 or 6 inches to go.Yay! Well, in the land of tapestry weaving that is still going to take a chunk of weaving time but I can see the end is near. Only the weaving is almost done. Then all the finishing work which really takes quite a bit of time too. It's not my favorite part, that I can say with honesty. But it will have to be done. Between weaving I've been dyeing yarn and thinking a lot about the next tapestry. But before I can dive into that too much I have to get back to the Watercolor tapestry on the black pipe loom. I call that loom hopping, which I do often. Actually, I love doing that. Having several looms going at the same time keeps me from getting bored. I like it but I can only do so much without getting a little crazy. You start to feel like nothing is ever going to be finished. So I have to curb myself. So here she is at her current state...why do I always refer to them as "she" maybe one day I'll weave something that is a "he"...
Not the greatest shot with the daylight bulbs glaring but it's getting late and I can't stop weaving just because the sun goes down. If that were the case I would never get done. The glam shots will have to wait until she is done but for now you get the idea. Woven sideways as I seem to do about 95% of the time.
And a few more shots from the dyepot sessions. And for those that have been asking I'm not selling hand dyed yarns again. These are for me. I know so greedy am I.
Small Tapestry Weaving
Small drawings, paintings, weavings and so forth. I find when I'm working at a small scale I can test out ideas rapidly. It's fluid....what is that exactly.....changing readily; shifting; not fixed, stable, or rigid.
Not rigid. I like that. Drawing and painting small can go very fast if you wish but these small tapestries they don't go so fast. Tapestry never really does. So is it still fluid? Yes, it can be. How to stay loose and fluid when weaving tapestry? Hmm, maybe weave free form without a cartoon and let the textures and colors lead the way. Have a concept but keep it simple. I'm always asking myself these sorts of questions when it comes to tapestry weaving. It is so different from painting. That damn gird that I have a love/hate relationship with. Maybe let the grid dominate....but back to the idea of working small helps open my mind...it does with painting but does it really with tapestry? I'm still thinking about that one. It is intimate, very much so when you have to get so very close to a 2 or 3 inch wide tapestry. I like that it's a small almost precious object and that the viewer has to really get close to it physically.
The weaving starts at the bottom always and you work your way up. Art is not linear...or is it? If you have to begin at this point and end at this one. Questions...always questions.
It is better to ask some questions than to know all the answers __ James Thurber
Small tapestry weaving
Playing around with a very fine sett of 22 epi on this little tapestry. The warp is a button and carpet thread that is very strong. So far so good...no broken threads. These might be great for stitching accents due to the fine sett. Experimenting continues.
Artist and maker living and working in the beautiful state of Pa.
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