Week whatever it is!

Well, as you can see I am starting not to know whether I am coming or going. This morning I heard that this tapestry has been accepted into an exhibition in Scotland, it is nothing to do with my course as I finished it before I started, but it is particularly exciting as although I have exhibited before this is the first time I have had my work go into a juried exhibition. I now have to get all the boring stuff like sewing it onto it’s brass rod and everything and off to Scotland in the next two weeks. And I have to get my essay done and lots of other things so any post may not be very coherent between now and Christmas. Christmas! Don’t even think about Christmas. If you don’t get a Christmas card it isn’t personal.


Week Eight

Yes this one is a bit late too. Here is a picture of the latest tapestry which I am quite happy with.

I am off to an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection on Saturday. It is about death which sounds a bit depressing but hopefully some of it will feed into my essay. I then intend to come back and sit down on Sunday and write my essay, well, the first draft anyway.

As for the weaving, supplementary warps are still enchanting me, I will post a photo next time so you can see what I am talking about.

This photo hasn’t quite got in the right place but I don’t have time to faff about.

Week Seven

Having been chastised by my brother for not posting at the weekend I am putting up a hurried note. It has been absolute bedlam between college and everything else.

I have finally decided on the title or at least the subject for my essay which is only 2000 words and has to be in by 14th December. That was a trial, starting with a tutorial last week where I just sat like a rabbit caught in the headlights, it is silly to feel like that but that’s how aesthetics gets to me. I’ll get my head round it eventually.

I have finished the weaving I had started and will post a picture soon. Philip, our lovely weaving tutor was with us on Tuesday and I have now discovered supplementary warps. Well, I knew about them before but I got inspired. (Oh dear).

So I will finish this post now before it turns into a week seven and eight blog and will post some pictures. I have to go as PJ has found the cooking chocolate!


Week Six

Firstly I must correct the last post. On describing the felt ‘ball’ I think I gave the impression that I just wrapped the felt around the marble. This is not the case, I wet the fleece and then wrapped it around the marble and then felted it in situ so to speak.

To the right here is my latest weaving. It is about 18 inches wide and if you get it in the right light you can see some brighter blue lines just below the top of the weaving, it is very subtle but if you squint you can just make it out.

So I really have been doing some weaving although maybe not as much as I would like. Last week did involve three days in the studio so I was able to do some but there is still huge amounts of reading to get done. There’s lots of aesthetics and colour theory not to mention learning to weave in three dimensions and drawing workshops.
Last weekend we went to Compton Verney which is near Stratford Upon Avon and they have an exhibition of tapestry weaving on. The Dovecot is a commercial weaving studio in Edinburgh who have their 100 anniversary this year and Compton Verney is the only place outside Edinburgh to host the exhibition. It was quite remarkable from very traditional to very modern and I could not decide which piece was my favourite but I have to finally decide it is probably Archie Brennan’s piece know as ‘The Lady in the Spotted Dress’ or something like that, it has several titles and I think that is the unofficial one. Check this link to see an image: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O127801/at-a-window-lady-in-tapestry-archie-brennan/.  It just leaves me speechless the skill required to weave a frilly black and white spotted dress.

Going back to my own attempts above, it is mainly an exercise in blending, getting gentle gradations of colour through various changes of yarn. It is going to go paler again as it gets higher but I shall use a different technique just to see how it works.  I have used 5 shades of teal yarn and cream, the teal yarns are numbered teal 1 which is the lightest to teal 5 which is the darkest. The lower changes I have just used two colours of yarn, so I started with three strands of cream and one of  teal 1, moving onto two strands of cream and two of teal 1 and so on slowly getting darker. From now on I am starting to go from dark to light and I shall use three shades at a time, so I am currently using two strands of teal 5 and one of teal 4 and one of teal 3. This gives a more speckledy blend and it will be interesting to see how it looks compared to the other technique.

There, that is quite enough from me for now. We have a busy week this week, Colour Theory today, Academic Writing tomorrow, a drawing day and tutorials on Wednesday and more aesthetics on Thursday. Depending upon how much reading I need to do I might finish this piece on Friday.



Comfort Weaving

Just a quick picture of my comfort weaving and also the felt ball I made. The felt ball is made of lots of layers of felt rolled around a marble and the slashed open with a very sharp knife. The weaving is very fine, around 6 ends to the centimetre, I shan’t be doing too much more of that over the next year.

Week Five

So here I am at the end of Week Five and at the end of a week’s felting. I have to admit that I was not enthusiatic about felt but am now quite a convert. It has been suggested that my prejudice was exacerbated by having my fuzzy felt book stolen whilst in hospital at the age of about 3 years.

So, felt can be all thin and wafty or as hard as wood and was not as messy as I suspected but that may be down to the tutor who is called Heather Belcher who produces lovely work. Her web site is: http://www.heatherbelcher.co.uk if you want to have a look. My felt was mainly thin and straggly because I wanted it that way not just because I am not very good at making felt, although I did actually wear through the skin on the index finger of my right hand with all the rubbing of the wool trying to encourage it to felt. I thinnk Heather is a witch of some description as her felt felted almost as soon as she looked at it.

We also had another aesthetics lecture on Friday. I am still not sure what to make of it but it is early days yet, although I have to produce an essay on aesthetics for the 14th December, 2000 words, which isn’t too many but a lot if you don’t quite know what you are talking about. I was also introduced to ‘structural linguistics’ which I am not sure I have ever heard of, lets face it I didn’t even do grammar at school. (Yes I have no doubt it shows in the way I write this blog. PJ says I write as I speak and I can’t see what is wrong with that, this blog is not my work of art, just a sort of diary.)I never got around to loading the photo of my large silk piece, so here it is. I will try to put some felt photos on in the week. This coming week is rather quieter than last, we are over the 3 weeks of compulsory short courses and have several days in the studio next week so I can do more comfort weaving. (And maybe some felting.)