Wednesday, 29 June 2011


I have finished weaving 'Picasso's Tear', cut it from the loom and wrapped it to keep it clean during the great clear out.  I feel a curious sense of finality, or even loss; no more weaving now until I get back home, and I may not have time even then, with packing and such to do.  I can see the half built frame for 'Lament' from the window here.  It really is close to the end now.

We are having a celebration barbecue tonight, off campus.  I will have left WD twice in one day (Dr appointment this morning)!  And then tomorrow we have to clear all our stuff from our spaces so that the technicians can move the furniture and partitions on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday is 'paint the walls and floors' day, and Mon / Tues we hang.  Watch this space.....

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Thunder and Lightning!

The poles were ready to assemble into a frame, the tapestry is ready to go onto a frame, but thunderstorms made it inadvisable to start waving four metre iron poles about outside.  Or any length poles for that matter!  A lull late afternoon made it possible for Gary and Dell to start making the frame - they are about half way, so we should be able to hang on Thursday, the next day that they have available.  That will indeed be a frabjous day.
Picasso's Tear is well on the way, I have ordered new business cards and did a whole lot of etchings today - inky fingers once more.  I really enjoy printmaking, and hope to be able to continue next year, using the print room here in exchange for 'services'!  I made some small book pages with drypoint images and text, and experimented with copper plate etching on to printed photo backgrounds and chine collĂ©.  Need to do a lot more to become a real adept, but am pleased with results so far.  The prints will not go into the show as such, but will be available for sale.  I also used the super-whizzbang printer to print some high quality A3+ images of drawings from earlier in the year, also for sale.  This one is called 'Embrace 2'.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Final Tapestry (of my MFA) is Underway

I started weaving Picasso's Tear (12cm at its widest point) yesterday, and have continued today, interspersed with beginning to pack things for the move out of here to make room for the Show.
We had a visit from the professional weavers this afternoon, who braved rain and hail storms to get here, so Diana went and acquired a coffee cake from the café to have with tea and chat.
We are planning to open a bottle of champagne ( left over from the birthdays in December) at 6pm. Partly to celebrate the end of both my tapestry and Diana's, and partly to obey the dictum 'Drink Champagne for no reason'. Seemed good to us!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


I finished weaving 'Lament' at 1.05pm on 21st June. Interestingly enough (to me at least!), it was 21st June last year when I completed the weaving of 'Megalith'. I have been up to the Old Sidings with GB and an angle grinder to liberate (hem, hem) some rusty acrow props and iron water pipes for fabricating the support / frame in the next few days. I was photographed last week ready for the press release, and they are coming back once it is hung to take some more photos of the finished piece in its temporary location. The good news is that they are hoping that I can put it into the tree circle after the show, and leave it there until after the Apple Fair, so that it will be seen by all the garden visitors between July and October. Hop-te-tooty!!

I warped up a borrowed scaffold loom with fine red linen this morning, in order to begin weaving 'Picasso's Tear' this evening. Today has been too full of Prof. Prac. interruptions and questions. The peril of having lived through the process once I guess; I have a role as End-Of-Year-Show panjandrum.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Getting Above Myself!

For the last few centimetres I am perched on a triple platform so as to be above the weaving line. It means that I can peep over the top of the scaffolding at passers by. What larks, Pip!

Random photo of fungi because the Tapestry is NOT Finished....

....but only about 10cm to go. Many distractions last week - a day printmaking, various Prof. Prac. activities, AND, I have a studio space for the next months! More on this in a later post. Solving this 'problem' helped in my decision to accept an offer on my house in Northamptonshire, and reserve a property down here. Suddenly things are beginning to fall into place, and at a time which will enable me to concentrate on them fully once the Show is over. I find myself more than a little scared (but excited too) about the prospect of a new location and future, but equally certain that it will be OK - this is what I came to WD to prepare for - building up my practice as an artist. If I do not at least try to make a go of it, then I will always regret it. And I comfort myself that they cannot shoot you for failing!!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


We did the final 'pull for the shore' yesterday afternoon, and I finished the head of the standing figure last evening. I plan to go about 50-60 cm above the head and then finish. GB is primed to make the steel armature next week. It really is nearly there! After two years, there are only a few weeks to go until graduation and the big wide world. Plans are moving ahead a little on that front, with a potential studio space and possible movement on the relocation and finance front. Things may actually be falling into place, but I will hold my breath for a bit longer.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Moving Megaliths.. not just for Obelix.

Gary B, who built the armature last year came with a van to help me move 'Megalith' to her new (temporary) home in the circle of Quercus ilex. It did not take long, and I have left her to settle in. I have to go up there tomorrow with some signage, and also create some flyers for the Gardens Visitor Centre, to direct people to find her.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Progress Report

At the beginning of yesterday:

and at the end:

After a few days away from the loom (recovering from the epidural-for-my-back, and then handling warps of a different kind in the Solent), I came back pain-free, full of vim and made excellent progress yesterday. The end is now definitely in sight. Tomorrow I shall be working off the double platform (wooden box atop carpetted metal) to a height of about 2'6", then a final 'pull for the shore' and work as far as the tightness of the warp will allow. Aiming for the end of next week, allowing for interruptions and another weekend afloat (hopefully). No weaving today as we had an all day life class. I drew this morning and modelled this afternoon - both activities are strangely exhausting, and I do not think that I will be in the studio late tonight. The weaving edge is all marked up ready for tomorrow morning, and I have made the necessary adjustments to the cartoon. When I finished last night it was with pondering over exactly how best to represent the lines of strain in the neck of the upright figure; different wefts, cording, staggered slits? I am going to try cording on the morrow, and see whether it gives the right effect. The joy of tapestry is that unpicking (or evaew-ing) is a possibility.
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