Thursday, 2 February 2017

'Geode (139:15)': Completed







I am very pleased to say that the experiment worked; it is possible to make a hollowed out form from one long piece of weaving. The texture both inside and out is exactly what I hoped for.

My Open Studio went very well; a goodly number of visitors who experienced The Loom Room and my enthusiasm for weaving with good grace! I also had a pop-up gallery in the sitting room, which generated some sales. People lingered over tea and cakes, chatting and making friends. An Art Salon almost. I shall certainly do it again.....

Today is the post cut-off clearing up ritual in The Loom Room. The warp for the new series is ready to go on (I was able to use the warping mill at WD last week; 400 ends of 5m would have been tricky on my Heath Robinson warping board) and I plan to start the dressing process too.....

Location:Cuckoo Fields,Chichester,United Kingdom

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Looking Forward by Looking Back










My original plan for 2017, once 'Geode (139:15)' is finished was to start weaving a full-size version of 'Shrine', but it had begun to dawn on me that it might not be the best plan; various considerations fed into this:-

- once the 'Big Shrine' warp is on, the loom is then 'blocked' for up to a year
- I need to build up a body of 3D weaving at a more reasonable size
- a sketchbook review showed me some abandoned ideas worthy of re-evaluation
- A visit to Anselm Kiefer's 'Walhalla' last month showed the value of revisiting and iterating forms and themes
- There is a delay in the arrival of the 2.0m reed

And so, 'Big Shrine' is on hold for a few months.....

Instead, I intend to revisit the 'Identity' series that I was working on in 2012 and had to stop when I moved out of Time Machine, but on a smaller scale (the original banner format was w30cm X h100cm) and in combination with the Shrine form. There will be five:-

Nefesh (Soul)
Neshamah (Spirit)
Ruah (Breath)
Hayyah (Life)
Yehudah (Uniqueness)

By making them 50cm high, woven sideways as before, I can fit two side by side on the 1m warp that is my current maximum, with space for a sixth design still nebulous in my head...

I have adjusted the cartoon plan so that the join will occur inside the cleft, and will incorporate a tracing of my fingerprint with the text, as I did in 2012.

There are some other technical changes to the warping (a 5m length), sleying and heddling which I shall describe in a later post.

First I have to finish weaving 'Geode (139:15)'......................

And I am holding an Open Studio on January 14-15th:-









Location:The Loom Room

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Studio Joy: addendum





IKEA racks on the back of the door.

I can listen to music without headphones. Radio 3 is a frequent companion.

I can sing along to said music without alarming anyone (it has to be said that me singing along to the bass parts in Walton's Belshazzar's Feast would alarm the most sturdy soul!)

My favourite armchair and blankie are just across the landing for knitting / thinking / reading / crochet breaks.

A purring cat on my lap or at my feet.


I will be sharing this happy place with an Open Studio Weekend, January 14-15th 2017. Message me for details. There will be cake!


Location:Cuckoo Fields,Chichester,United Kingdom

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Studio Joy





Since beginning this journey from utility textiles to textile art, there have been many permutations of studio spaces. At one point during my BA I had small workspaces in Leicester, Northants and Jura simultaneously; keeping track of what was where was a logistical challenge, but I learned to pack light (eventually) and trusty trolley Marilyn came into her own:-




as she still does!

With the arrival of Lemminkäinen I now have a single studio, small (10' X 10') but near perfect for me; I have to be well-organised, which is a good discipline, but I have my desk, my books and equipment, and my loom. The studio faces south, so I know that the sea is only a mile away as I gaze out of the window; the sky over the sea is almost always beautiful. When I sit at Lemminkäinen, who resides against the north wall, the sun often shines on my back. I have a prism in the window, so I often work in rainbows. Other advantages:-

Close proximity of good tea.

I can (and often do) work in my PJs first thing in the morning.

I can work late into the night without travel concerns.

Doglet and catkin are faithful companions, if not any actual use!

Desk and loom are only a step apart, so ideas can flow between most easily.

I can weave, draw, plan or journal in even the shortest periods of time.

Last week, when my old back problem flared up, I was able to carry on weaving (if only a little) between lyings down.


You can probably tell that my studio is one of my happy places, and I am well content.




And I have this splendid sign, salvaged from a rubbish dump, on the door.

Location:Cuckoo Fields,Chichester,United Kingdom

Sunday, 13 November 2016

On the Mending of Bobbins

My favourite ebony bobbin, the one that has been my faithful weaving companion throughout, came apart again; my whipping technique was not enough to withstand my weaving technique!

Enter my colleague Andrew, of Artisan Bobbins, who mended it with glue and boxwood dowels (only 2mm diameter!) with ebony shards. Watching a craftsman at work is always a delight, and he was very happy to be trying out his new lathe to turn the dowels.









Very glad to have it back in working order; the reserve bobbin was just not the same.

Location:West Dean

'Geode (139:15)' : Panels 1-4 Completed














I have been adding extra texture to what will be the outer surfaces of the geode form by weaving thinner wefts over singles (using my lovely treadles :-)) and thicker ones over quads, as I did for 'Shrine'. Texture and form are my thing.

Location:The Loom Room

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

'Geode (139:15)': First Panel








The weaver's cat does like a basket to curl up in......





I finished this first panel on Monday evening. I am pleased with the 'crusty' effect of weaving with sari ribbon. There are also amethyst chips and other beads embedded in areas. I will attempt to take some close ups next time I am at home in daylight. Yesterday I put the next pair of cardboard spacers in and wove the slim triangular area between panels which will become a rib when the piece folds up. Moving back into single warps for that area enabled me to use my new treadles again. After a busy day at the office, I am just re-energising myself with tea (M&S Extra Strong, loose leaf; splash of whole milk) before beginning panel 2. I received a parcel today with more stocks of the Coton à Broder which figures in the pink to mauve areas, so there is nothing to hold me back.

Location:Cuckoo Fields,Chichester,United Kingdom

 
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