Monday, 31 October 2011

She is done....

 ....apart from the finishing knots, the cutting off, blocking etc, etc
The ending was delayed by lots of visitors to the museum over the weekend -which is brilliant - but I got the photos done and the entry form posted in time.  Took myself off to see Sweeney Todd at the Festival Theatre as a reward.  Excellent!!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Not Quite Yet...

Late start today because I went to collect a bobbin rack ('Free to a good home', thanks Hilary!) and popped in to see some of the WD crew on the way back.  Visiting friends meant that I did not really get seriously weaving until about 3.30.  Fuelled by tea I kept going until 7.
I have discovered the joy of handknitted wool socks for keeping my feet really warm in the studio, so have started another pair, this time in yummy grey alpaca.  The pair I wore today were started three years ago; I hope to make swifter progress this time!  The incentive of toastie toes should be compelling.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Talking to (interesting and interested) visitors reduced weaving progress today, but the cartoon is only showing her shoulder and hip to the world.  I aim to finish the shoulder tomorrow, and hopefully most of the hip, leaving just the background to finish on Friday and the weekend......

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What an Interesting Day!

We had a pair of small boys in this morning.  They spent an hour or so working with Paul dismantling cameras and learning about how they work, then we did battle axe fighting (with sponge axes!), learning about the origin of the word 'berserk' along the way. Then the older one (8) settled down to play GO with P while I started some painting with the younger (5).  He was very interested in colour mixing for his painting of a ruined castle (and he told me the whole tale of how it was ruined and what the King and Princes were going to do to stop it happening to the new one they plan to build), so we did a bit of colour theory (the PIGment who swallows some coloured light and reflects others - must work on some illustrations....).  He then decided to make a sheep, so I found one of the Henry Moore drawings to show him.  The finished beast looked like road kill, but hey ho.  I taught him a bit about tapestry and he added a couple of passes to the sample loom.  Finally, gave the older boy a fencing lesson in the car park; he armed with Granny's stick, and I with his plastic sword.  What larks, Pip!

This afternoon I did some more on the Grey Lady.  I should be able to make it for the ATB deadline...
We were visited by the Food Health people, who gave us the pass certificate we need to serve tea and coffee etc to visitors.  Good job we had hidden the poison mushrooms, ha ha.

Playing Hookey

I had a lovely day yesterday; away from the loom but still weaving related.  I drove up to Twickenham (via Ham and Petersham) to help take down the BTG exhibition which has been at the Stables Gallery, Orleans House since July.  Efficient planning by Mike et al meant that we were finished by lunchtime, so my WD chum Pilar and I went off for lunch together, which became a walk along the Thames, a drive through Richmond Park, tea and then supper at her house in Putney.  We reminisced about our time at WD, but also talked a lot about what we are doing (and planning to do) in our present studios, exhibitions we must go to and so on.  Left London at 9.30 and had a clear run back until the A27  bridge 'behind' my house (I think of it as MY bridge because I go over it almost every day, and under it fairly often), where bits of concrete had fallen or been knocked off, and were being repaired.  Frustrating to be less than a quarter mile from home and not able to get there!  Intriguing to ponder how it happened.  Not too long a delay, so home and in bed by 11.30.  Back to the Grey Lady today, although being half term we may have lots of visitors at Time Machine who desperately want to learn to weave.  We shall see.

Friday, 21 October 2011

At the End of the Day

We had a few interesting visitors today - including another weaver (cloth) who remembered seeing Lament at West Dean, and who used to be a tutor there many moons ago.  I still managed to get quite a bit done of the fiddly area of the upper thigh (6 bobbins / butterflies in about three inches; I feel like a lacemaker!).  I am planning to go in to the studio tomorrow morning to work on the neck and shoulder area.  The lines all slope to the left, so it has to be filled from left to right.  One of Paul's 'regulars' is a good and keen photographer and is going to bring in a tripod and help me with photographing her for the exhibition entry - he has already provided me with an adjustable height stool to work from, so no more Wurlitzer or Portsmouth FC leftovers for me.  The  3 mile drive through the wooded lanes to the studio is a delight at the moment.  I intend to cycle it one day.  Hold me to that dear Reader.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Finished Head.....

This was how she looked at lunchtime yesterday.  Pleased with myself, so had a bit of playtime with COLOURS, revisiting the optical colour mixing tapestry that I have in mind.  I also added a bit more to the sample loom that I have set up in the studio so that visitors can try weaving.  Strictly speaking I had to subtract somewhat; at the weekend when I was elsewhere, a child had done a whole section in the most marvellous (and presumably accidental) double soumak!!  Very nice, but unhelpful to anyone who wants to try authentic plain weave.

Back to the Grey Lady today, as although I had the closing date for entries to ATB9 in mind (31st Oct), what I did not have in mind is how far October has progressed already.  Doh!  She will be finished (if not cut off the loom - we want to have a ceremony / open studio for friends and guests), it is just whether the post will get there in time......

Sunday, 16 October 2011

If you are in the vicinity...

the studio address is

The Time Machine
West Sussex
PO18 8EF

I am usually there 10-5 Monday to Friday, but it is worth calling first just in case.  Weekends by appointment.

We like visitors, and treat them very well.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Where I Have Got To....

 A bright shaft of sunlight warms her feet.  Admire my lovely weaving bench (and the Wurlitzer stool stage right)
 Detail of head progress, ready to resume next week.
Her crossed ankles and right foot.

We have had a lot of visitors in the last couple of days which has slowed things down a little, but it is good to talk about work and 'educate' the public as to the work of an artist and the techniques of tapestry.

We heard yesterday that we have funding for the sensory garden, which includes two commissioned tapestries; an upright 'landscape' of textures and found objects, and a floor-based touch/soundscape of contrasting textures and materials which produce sounds when touched.  This is all part of Paul's vision of a resource for full spectrum families.  It is such a privilege to work in such a space.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Better Late Than Never...

 Lady on the loom; I have now completed her feet and am half way up the torso and head.  Working from a platform 'wombled' from Portsmouth FC.  Before that I was perched on a pile of cushions atop a Wurlitzer organ stool.  Precarious and reminiscent of the Princess and the Pea.....
 South West corner of the museum...
 North West corner (I am but mad North - North West...)  These are the old projectors from the cinema at the now defunct Graylingwell Psychiatric Hospital.
 Some marks on the top of Lament
Lament hanging between two trees.  There are plans to take her on tour; watch this space.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Lawks! Is it really that long?

On August 18th I moved into my new home, and last week I moved into the Time Machine and started as the Artist in Residence.  No internet for a while at home, but no real news to post either until now.

'Lament' is hanging in the grounds at the new studio.

I have ordered new business, change of address and post cards.

I will normally be in the studio 10am - 5pm Monday to Friday, and visitors will be most welcome - and may even find themselves with fresh baked bread or a cream tea!  The Time Machine is a most fascinating place ( I will link it, and post some photos next week).

I have also found a Life Class locally, and the discipline of drawing has generated some new ideas already; I have about five tapestries in my head, and lots of thoughts about more accessible and affordable (i.e quicker to make) works too (a girl has to find a way to pay bills).

And I love living near the sea.

All-in-all, I am as happy as a clam.

Which will be good news for those who thought my email silence meant that I had fallen off the edge of the world.
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