Friday, 7 September 2018

Penbury Knoll

As promised, the first trial in my ‘Ritual Landscape’ series; the focal point for Neolithic burials that is Penbury Knoll in Dorset. The tapestry is 5cm square and includes Ghiordes Knots for the trees, soumak for the paths, verdigris copper wire for contour lines, and beads to mark the high point (hidden in the trees) and a spring.  Next up, Gussage Down.
I am building up a textural vocabulary to make pocket maps of sacred places - the ‘thin places’ of the Celts.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Things I Have Been Doing Since June

1. Finding interesting images for journal (see above)
2. Doing important Chaplain things (meetings, services, visiting)
3. Parting company with The Beau
4. Going on walking / research holiday to Dorset
5. Planning new series of small works as a result of 4, *, **
6. Revisiting research proposal, prior to rewriting
7. Weaving
8. Knitting
9. Reading Improving Books
10. Finishing a small commission

How I feel about the above:-

1. Neutral
2. Content
3. Surprisingly OK
4. Delighted
5. Excited
6. Pleased
7. Myself
8. Satisfied
9. Smug 😝
10. Chuffed

* I finished weaving the first one this morning; it is currently undergoing the verdigris process.

** Now, of course, I have to bind a new sketchbook for this 'Ritual Landscape' series. I have approximately five million*** in the drawer, but none of them are quite right.....

*** May be a slight exaggeration!

Location:All Over the Place

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Of Scaffold Looms and Junk Shop Barglins*

*word coined by nephew =bargains

My dear friend D recently moved to Hastings, and now has a lovely studio to put a scaffold loom in - she has been waiting for this since she and I were at WD together eight years ago. Now that I have Lemminkäinen, there were most of the components in my garage, which were sent over by van a month ago. (This photo was when I had it in my studio in Northants)

Last Tuesday was Loom Building Day, hoorah! I have discovered a very useful scaffolding supplier, so headed off to acquire the missing components (one pair prop-bracing double couplers, and an 8ft tube) armed with my long spirit level and a big spanner. I had taken spare rope in case the tube was too long, but my little car can fit said 8ft tube, along with dinghy mast and boom (of which more later). Little jig of joy!

After a very pleasant drive along the coast, and a welcome cuppa, we unloaded the goodies and began our task... Upon realising that we needed some carriage bolts, D took me to a splendid old-fashioned ironmongers, where they still sell nails etc by weight, and wrap them in newspaper. Oh joy and rapture - I could have spent hours in there, but we had an important job to do..... Short detour to a community charity shop where I found my barglin - a hairdresser's saddle stool for £3.50! The very thing for saving my back when at desk or loom. Another little jig of joy!

For those of you who wish to build your own scaffold loom**here are the ingredients:-

2 Acrow props
2 Scaffold tubes (length as required or to fit space available)
2 prop-bracing double couplers (pbdc)
2 swivel couplers (sc)
2 short scaffold planks

Large adjustable spanner
Long spirit level (another junk-shop barglin, £3 eight years ago)
Second person (D is exemplary)
Step ladder

1. Bolt lower sections of acrows to planks
2. Insert upper sections, adjust height to fit under ceiling
3. Fit pbdcs to lower section at height required
4. Fit scs to top section, ditto
5. Add scaffolding tube to pbdcs, loosely
6. Add scaffolding tube to scs, loosely
7. Check levels, correct if necessary, then tighten all bolts.
8. Drink tea and congratulate self

I was thrilled to bits that first the lower tube (now beam) and then the upper, were both spot on level. Three cheers for me / us! And another jig of joy.

**I am available for consultation, supply, and construction.

We then decamped for a fish and chip supper and mooch around Old Hastings, which still has proper junky antique shops.

The final task was to put a practice warp on, which we did. Final jig of joy.

A splendid day! Drive home, Gabapentin, and sleep.......

Monday, 21 May 2018

Handling Warps of a Different Sort....

.....or, what to do if the boatyard 'forget' to install the main halyard before stepping the mast. Do as the Beau did:-

1. Buy a safety harness
2. Ascertain that girlfriend (=me), henceforth known as First Mate (FM) is available as winch woman
3. Hire some ladders (mast has no steps) Wait for tide to ebb so bilge keels settle in mud and boat will be still.
4. Manoeuvre ladders onto deck with FM; lash to anchor post and shrouds
5. Make and drink tea
6. Don harness, attach safety line (the Genoa halyard), climb up ladder while FM winches you up
7. FM ties off safety line, Cap'n lashes ladder to mast
8. FM releases safety line and pays out while Cap'n climbs down ladder
9. Cap'n ties new main halyard to harness
10. Climb ladder while FM winches you up
11. FM ties off safety line; Cap'n hauls up new halyard and feeds it through the thingy at the top of the mast**
12. Repeat step 8
13. Secure new halyard to piece of chain and stow in the lazy jacks
14. Repeat step 10; undo lashing at top of ladder
15. Repeat step 8
16. Make and drink tea and eat teacake
17. Remove lashing at bottom ladder, Cap'n and FM carry ladders onto pontoon then back to hire place.
18. FM moves car which is in 2hr only spot.
19. Make and drink tea.
20. FM makes whipped, thimbled eye splice in the new halyard (her first eye splice in nylon rope, and first with a thimble, and all after a year's gap since last one)
21. Congratulations all round.

Now for the rest of my Studio Day!

**technical term temporarily escapes me

Monday, 14 May 2018

Getting Back To Normal (ish)

The Art Trail is over, so today is about putting my home back to rights; with the challenge of maintaining the current level of tidiness! It has been a good experience - many enjoyable conversations about weaving in general, and my practice in particular.
I found it most salutary to tell my story and be reminded about the blessings I have gained in the last few years.
I was right not to become stressed making lots of work for sale; people came to look and talk, not buy necessarily, and that was fine - I now have a good stock of tiny tapestries to stock my Etsy shop (taking photos and doing that will be a day's work).
There are affirming comments in the Visitors' Book to look back on.
I have several new ideas to work on, and a new impetus to finish the larger works.
I shall participate again.

Location:The Loom Room

Friday, 11 May 2018

Making the Most of Lovely Days

My walking mascot Manny Kin; I am working on the 1000 mile challenge with Country Walking magazine, and there is a mascot subgroup on Facebook.

The restored signal on the Hayling Billy coastal path, looking north towards Langstone. It was an excellent day for walking; just enough breeze to stay cool. I clocked up 5.5 miles; Flo probably managed twice that with her scamperings. She is clearly fully recovered from her hip injury!

Last evening I went to see Rory Kinnear and Anne Marie Duff in Macbeth (NT Live streamed to my local indie cinema). I have seen several productions (and been First Witch in one); this was spine-tingling, chillingly excellent.

I have yet to decide on today's activities; aren't holidays delightful?

Location:Hayling Island

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Art Trail Update

The first weekend of Chichester Art Trail took place in blazing sunshine, which rather impacted on visitor numbers - and who can blame people for staying in their gardens or heading to the beach in such glorious weather? Not being overrun with visitors, I was able to spend time in my (beautifully tidy) studio, working at some more tiny (5cm / 2.5") tapestries:-

Samples / experiments from earlier in the year

Made up into brooches (soon to be available in my Etsy shop)


The weather next weekend is supposed to less clement, so it will be interesting to see whether more visits ensue.

I have a couple of days holiday this week; I spent much of today reading my lovely book while lounging on The Beau's boat. Not a bad life!

Location:The Loom Room

Thursday, 19 April 2018

To Do Lists......

I have been looking through images of past work, as well as photos of things that have just caught my eye - all with a view of having more postcards (and possibly greetings cards) printed, ready for the Art Trail. Whittling down and making choices is proving trickier than expected!

Spring has finally arrived in West Sussex; I even managed to get slightly sunburnt on Saturday. The tulips which The Beau planted as a Christmas present surprise are glowing in the sunshine.

I have a loooong ToDo list of tasks to complete before the first weekend in May, but I am not panicking, no, not me..........

Location:The Loom Room

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Ch ch ch changes

Good things have been happening since I blogged last (in September, shame on me!)

A detail of 'Geode II: the bling geode' being woven for a client.

Today I was teaching at WD - a tapestry taster day, encouraging students to use the Purl and Loop minute loom as a sketchbook to generate quick experimental pieces. I have been using mine a lot, and it has proved a very fruitful practice. I am teaching another tapestry day in July, and also a drawing weekend at the end of June (I have a wry smile at that; I was not allowed to do O Level art because the teacher told me "you can't draw". When I got my MFA, I (internally) waved the certificate in the air and shouted "here's to you Mrs Price". That early discouragement is what makes me so passionate about nurturing creativity in others, so I am thankful for her.

The major news is that back in September I was appointed part-time Chaplain with Chichester Anna Chaplaincy, a charity whose volunteers are spiritual befrienders to older people, particularly the room bound and bed bound in Care Homes. It is very rewarding (and very necessary) work, and a great joy to be part of.

Next month is Chichester Art Trail ( and I am participating for the first time, necessitating much shopping for Really Useful Boxes, carpet cleaning, and so forth - a downside of my studio being in my home.

I also plan to get back to regular blogging.

Location:The Loom Room

Locations of visitors to this page