Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Not Gone (and hopefully not Forgotten!)

This is where I started today, and this is where I finished:-

The best weaving day in quite some time!

There have been some major life changes since my last post - one on that very day, and completely out of the blue. Another is that I will be beginning a new chapter as the part-time 'Anna' Chaplain for Chichester; https://www.thegiftofyears.org.uk/anna-chaplaincy-older-people gives a full explanation of the principles of the rĂ´le, but I will be tailoring it to include art and creative practice as paths to supporting the spirituality of older people, their care-givers, and care-workers. I am so honoured, excited (and a little scared) about such a wonderful opportunity to weave art and spirituality together, alongside my studio practice. I was commissioned last Friday by the founder of Anna Chaplaincy, Debbie Thrower, but will be fully 'in post' on September 19th.

Last Monday I saw the gynae-oncologist for the last time, and have been 'signed off' (not 'written off' as I first phrased it!) from the cancer centre; two years all clear!! I danced a little jig on my way back to the car.

Location:The Loom Room

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Making, and Making Plans (for '19, not for Nigel)

'Geode (139:15)' on a marble pillar at West Dean.

After a few struggles with warping, some diversions, and rather too many occasions when life got in the way, finally 'id1:nefesh' is properly underway. I have, since this photo was taken, woven up as far as the spacer on the right, and am now switching to bringing 'id3:neshamah' (glimpsed to the left of frame)up to the same level before winding them both on. My studio remains a complete joy to me.

One of the diversions was a rediscovery of printmaking and making artist books as other strands to my practice; there has to be something to go on the wall alongside plinths with sculptures on! I plan to take some classes, but have begun to really enjoy both the process and the results of Japanese Woodcut printmaking; no press required, designed for small space working, and the watercolour / rice paste combo suits my subject matter and drawing style. I did a 'drawing a day' of patterns from the stones on my windowsill of wonders in February, and have been working on woodcuts from those drawings. Not ready for public viewing yet, but showing promise.

The plans for 2019 are not yet for public announcement, but they are making me very excited!

Location:The Loom Room

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

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