Tuesday, 26 September 2017

My Home Smells Like a Chip Shop Again

The first tiny tapestry with its verdigris formed:

Two 'objets trouvés' tinies, verdigris in progress:

'Vortex (Storm in a Teacup)' off the loom and in its verdigris making tent:

I know Autumn has arrived because I needed to wear my new hand-knitted studio socks for the first time:

A view of western Chichester Harbour from Langstone; I love where I live!

Location:Fraser Row,Chichester,United Kingdom

Tuesday, 12 September 2017


Only about 3-4" of weaving (at the highest point), the supplementary warps to fill, and the woven part is complete. Then to verdigris and shape forming (oh, and end-burying on the reverse - which will become the outer surface of the bowl - and may take some time).

I am following a 30 day Book Art challenge on Creative Bug; a new mixed media spread each day. Most enjoyable!

I have also been on another road trip; on Saturday I drove up to London on the A3 - all the way to its beginning in The City. I was driving across London Bridge, with a huge grin on my face, never having expected to do such a thing in my life, when I realised that I was the only vehicle on the bridge - a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was like the Cheshire Cat by the time I reached the other side and nipped through the canyons between the skyscrapers. I made a day of it by driving along Fournier St and up Brick Lane (amongst other streets) - basically a tour of Whitechapel and Stepney. I find that I really enjoy driving through places where I have walked or 'bussed many a time. I returned on Sunday morning; not quite the length of the A3 to the edge if the sea in Old Portsmouth, but nearly. Positively Dickensian :-)

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Of Road Trips, Dancing, and a New Loom*

*or two

'Vortex (Storm in a Tea Cup)' at the end of yesterday's studio day. I have run out of copper wire (again) having gone a bit profligate with supplementary warps; I am glad it is something we stock in the shop at WD. It has been a lot of fun bimbling down various weaving rabbit holes :-)

Two weekends ago I helped some dear friends move from London to Edinburgh; driving a transit van through two cities (rush hour in one, Fringe events in t'other) was such a delight that we did it twice in 48hours. To anyone contemplating such a trip, my sage advice is this: use the A1 rather than the M6. The A1 really is the Great North Road; interesting stopping places, good scenery, and The Angel of the North.

I managed to get to the National Gallery to see the Dovecot / Chris Ofili tapestry before it left for Clothworker's Hall; beautiful, stunning, exquisite..... Photos were allowed too, so I have some detail shots on my phone for future reference. They are on my Instagram feed, morrisloulou. I also made time to nip to Handweavers Studio to look at the 'Last Hokett Loom in London' (as yet untried, so waiting for a future post), only to be seduced by this:

A teeny tiny loom (with yarn provided)! It fits in my drawing case! I took it to the Isle of Wight with me last weekend and made a couple of quick sketch tapestries with found objects:

I found the copper washers in an old-fashioned chandlers in Bembridge; yet to be verdigrised. I am delighted with my minute loom. I am off to a boatyard on Hayling Island later, and shall forage for more rusty, ropey stuff and do some more sketches.

And so to dancing; last night I went to the Hall Barn Bash - a charity gig (Help for Heroes) organised by my brother and his wife in Beaconsfield. He plays bass in a brilliant band called Friday Night Konspiracy, and they were on top form! I joined them (unplanned) to sing 'Smoke on the Water' with bro. My rock chick days revisited :-D

Tomorrow a quiet studio day......

Location:The Loom Room

Monday, 14 August 2017

A Quick Peek.....

.....of the tapestry sculpture that I began on my 'residency' at Boathouse 4 Summer Festival. I spent most of the time running workshops for groups of children (and their Carers), which was a delightful way to spend my time - so much energy and creativity! In between I began this:-

My favourite weft - as used for 'Derrière', 'Shrine', and 'Derrière II'; wrapped copper wire for both verdigris and structure. There will be supplementary warps and all sorts - I am just weaving as the fancy takes me. The working title is 'Vortex (Storm in a Teacup)' as I plan for the form to be bowl or cup. It may change; I can, as my Polish Uncle Stan used to say, "Choice Myself".
[Aside: engrossed in writing this post, I have burned my lunchtime toast].

id1: nefesh and id2: neshamah continue apace:-

They are now wound on, the spacers are in and the weaving resumes - soon I shall be at the first image stage - a handprint.

Now to scrape the burnt bits off the toast!

Location:The Loom Room

Friday, 28 July 2017

Verdigris Gorgeousness

Isn't it just yummy? A gift from my beau's boat (for the nautical reader, it is the seacock inlet cover, now replaced with a new one).

Next weekend I am running children's workshops and weaving a small tapestry at Boathouse 4 Summer Festival at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - I think I now have the inspiration for the tapestry :-)

Location:The Loom Room

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 rôle, 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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