Making up for lost time.

I can’t believe it is November already. Sorry started this blog ages ago and now it is December.

I seem to have done nothing at college and suspect beginning this blog post is just displacement activity to stop me getting on with the dissertation. It is going okay, I have written 3500 words which is all I need to hand in for the draft but it needs lots of work still even for the draft stage. Several nice friends have been kind enough to give it the once over and they haven’t been too disparaging. I had a tutorial with the new aesthetics lecturer today, he is really nice and even speaks plain English, such plain English that he described a Thomas the Tank Engine cake as ‘transcendental’. I described my dissertation to him and he says he is really excited about it. Some people get easily excited! Let’s hope he is excited enough to give me good marks.

I am continuing to dye at college. I thought I had the samples all the right colours and then dyed larger quantities and the colours came out different, very different. Then looking back at the original samples I decided they probably weren’t green enough anyway. So I have just finished dyeing a load more rayon and that is it, I shall weave the colours as they are like it or not.

This is some of the dyed stuff:

DSC_6987 DSC_6998 DSC_6984







But this is what I ended up using:

IMG_0119It is a bit of a horrid grainy photo, probably because it was taken on my ipod, although others haven’t been this bad. Please note the very organised labels on each skein/cone of yarn. The idea is that I can duplicate the colours exactly – some hope. I had been wondering if the lack of colour in my work up until now was because I had lost my confidence with colour but I suspect I subconsciously realised how long it was going to take to dye kilos of yarn.

Having said this I am anticipating dying some red yarns for use next term, all being well.

I am about to start another weaving using some yarn I had dyed for me a few years ago (a sort of bluey tealy colour which has become the suppliers best selling colour) and the really acid green rayon in the first picture. I hope to get that on the go in the next couple of weeks because I am demonstrating at Modern Art Oxford on the 27th and 28th December. Call in if by any remote chance you find yourself that way and say hello. I thought it would be a good thing to have something real on the frame rather than just some warps and a few lines of weaving for the sake of it. I have no illusions about the place, I doubt they are very concerned about my work or skills they just want craftspeople there over a period of the exhibition. The exhibition is William Morris and Andy Warhol and they will have a tapestry of each there. The Andy Warhol is a tapestry of Marilyn Monroe and I am not sure exactly whether it is woven tapestry or not, I will find out when I get there. The exhibition is curated by Jeremy Deller who won the Turner Prize some years ago. This link will take you to a Guardian article if you want to know why Warhol and Morris are apparently such good bedfellows for an exhibition:

So much for what I am going to weave, here is a picture of what I am weaving with the dratted green rayon:

IMG_0126Once again it is a bit cloudy, maybe the lens on the ipod needs cleaning, it does spend a lot of time stuffed in my handbag.

Now for the technical stuff. Remember last year I was doing bits of weaving coming three dimensionally out of the main body of weaving? Well this is two big layers of weaving but the cream layer is on top and the green layer is at the back. When I want to weave the green layer I put the cream layer behind it so in a way I am weaving two sets of warps whilst weaving the wefts.

I bet that is as clear as mud, I don’t know why I think I might be able to explain it, I can’t get my head around it at all when I am doing it, in fact I am seriously beginning to think it is a bad idea. The cream layer is slightly bigger than the green layer hence if you look you can see than it is bulging in and out. If it works it’ll be a miracle and if it doesn’t I’ve wasted a term or more. I am about a third of the way through it but I have been weaving the easy bits lately so have to buckle down to the tricky bits on Monday.

My dissertation has to be in on Thursday but I think I almost have it tidy enough to go, I just need to sort out the citations and footnotes and get PJ to make sure it is written in English and not my own personal gibberish. Then I have a tutorial about it on the 15th December and THEN I have to find a way to get another 15oo words into it in a coherent fashion. I just wish they have let me do the whole 5500 in one go, I guess because it is a conversation it flows fairly well and tinkering around the edges is really difficult. Yes, I hear you cry but you are doing a Masters of Fine Art it is supposed to be difficult.

I think the end of term assessments are on the 14th, I’m not quite sure, it’s all a bit of a blur to be honest, I’ll be there anyway so I am sure they will come and get me. In previous years we have had to tidy the studio and make ourselves scarce for the day but this time they are just taking us into a separate room and discussing our work with us. We have to do a self assessment form and send it to them beforehand. If they are not careful they will get my tax return and I am not sure which is trickiest, yes I do, the tax return is easier, the number have to add up. Whereas the college one has to have a certain amount of artspeak in it which is a whole different kettle of fish.

That is quite enough for this post, I hope it is not too incoherent. I expect I’ll do another over the Christmas holidays. (Holidays are you kidding!)