Hi guys, Long time no post eh?
It’s not for lack of things to post but more lack of time to sit down and document what I have been up to. Right now I have a few spare minutes in the coffee shop to jot down a few lines.
Have been up to my ears in commissions for viking period legwraps (natural coloured and in woad and madder) and working with another artist on an environmental piece of tapestry\weaving – I would classify it as a bit of craftivisism.
To be totally honest I find I dont really like commissions. I will do them sure, they pay the bills etc but I find them quite stressy. My plan to handle this is to get ahead with items that people might be interested in owning and getting them into the shop. Got a good deal of madder wools to make some items from.
I am also totally for natural fibres – as you have probably gathered but was fortunate to work with another excellent artist who paid for my time weaving (of all things) roadside trash and waste plastic into an experimental peice of art. We made a tapestry\weaving of clouds (the picture shows the final work in situ at a recent weaving symposium) by spinning the warp and the weft out of plastic found plowin around in the Adelaide Hills and other waste. Its amazing how aesthetic the piece turned out. It had the second purpose of collecting mist\clouds and was therefore called a cloud catcher. I am consideing getting and electric spinning machine just for future experiments with waste plastic while continuing on my journey of discovery with nature fibres and ancient fibres.
This is my first test tapestry I started last weekend with no cartoon, just making up the picture as I went with scraps of yarn. It turned into a nice beach, hills and sunset sky scene. I’m working on a more abstract piece above it using the remaining warp and throwing together a different sort of piece as I find out what you can and can’t do.
Earlier last year I decided I needed to learn how to weave tapestries so I had a use for my left over hand dyed and spun wools when I have woven something else. I set up one of my weaving looms and started ambitiously reading from books and trying to apply what I had read on my loom.
I did get a picture started, but shortly into it I realised I had laid the cartoon the wrong way and I was doing a super fine weave and well eventually I ran away from it and wasn’t enjoying it at all. (Yesterday I hacked the awful thing off the loom and tucked it away in a shelf.)
This year, 2015, I decided to go back to classes with my weaving teacher the wonderful Bev Bills and learn some basics about tapestries. Have only done one class with Bev so far and I have learnt more in that class than all my messing around at home.
I think I quite love being able to paint with yarns. Consequently a friend of mine who knows I weave and that I am getting into tapestry gave me a huge box of bobbins of all sorts of natural fibres. I spent an afternoon getting them all sorted into their respective colour groups.
So exciting. I can’t wait to start designing cartoons and colours for a more organised tapestry.
Yesterday I got my first ever tapestry started on a four shaft, table loom.
I’ve decided to use natural linen for the warp and wool bits and pieces I have around the house for the weft. Since it is my first one I am not expecting to set the world on fire and I am not going crazy with spending hours on predetermining colours, designs etc but if what I chose to weave works out it should look good.
It appears to be working so far, although I reckon I have chosen a pretty fine weave. I certainly don’t have all the professional tools and bobbins yet but I am making do and apart from glancing at books, a few you tube videos and a basic weaving background, my knowledge is pretty basic. I still quite don’t know how one attaches a cartoon when weaving in this manner but I am coping. Please be gentle with me oh more experienced tapestry artists of the world.