Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Eyes

Thanks to ice in the Midwest I gained another weaving day. When I arrived at my substitute job at a reasonable time it began to occur to me it was a bit unusual the parking lot was completely empty.
School was cancelled, truly a disappointment. Coffee pot on and back to work at the loom.

"Donut Man", 24 inches wide and about 12 inches woven

I thought I would share the series of photos I took while working on Donut Man's eyes. A viewer on Facebook asked me about the amount of time spent weaving this particular tapestry and let me tell you this particular part took hours. I'm now content with the expression, so here goes.

First, laying in the yarns for the eyes and choosing the correct warps.

10 epi

Next, packing the yarns on top, building up the shape for the eyebrows. I did needle weave a tiny bit under the eye on the left and adjusted the yarn choices for the white of the eye.

Eyebrows are pretty critical for expression. This part is both exciting and exhausting.

Finally I packed down above the eyebrows, not much adjustment to do here, they both fell into place fairly well.

So there you have it, the positive side of an ice storm in WI. I am just beginning to transition back to wedge weave in parts of this piece and my mind is really being stretched to keep track of all that.

About another 8 inches to go...
Weather is clearing up tomorrow, so back to work...more updates to follow.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Lots of beginnings in January.
Even for Porkchop.

Snow weaving, but be assured there was nothing plein air about the weaving of this one, just the photo. I'm working on some samples for a class on complementary colors. I'm so effected by my surroundings.

red and green gradations, Wisconsin skies, 4" wide warp

Beginning the face on Donut Man, couldn't avoid it anymore.

this ought to take awhile...

And of course some lettering, continuing my series of questions because it seems I have more of them than answers.

Here's to a bright and Happy New Year, with many more things to learn and stuff to create.

Onward 2017!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Winter Work Begins

I realize it's not officially winter but when it's minus-land in Wisconsin you're allowed to declare it early. At least I think so.

maybe it was -5, you'll notice Porkchop is not on the end of the leash...

On the upside, lots of guilt-free indoor time for weaving and Donut Man continues to grow.

The width is about 24 inches.
As you may recall my last donut post focused on the relief I felt when the donut (apple fritter) was completed. The next challenge was moving to the background and making sure that transition from wedge weave to a more traditional use of weft yarns was working out. It was a bit nerve wracking at times.

I'm trying to add more angles with shape building and have them complement the existing wedge weave below.

Next challenge, the storefront behind Donut Man. With January fast approaching I'm betting there will be plenty more weaving time ahead and growth in the New Year.

To all my friends: Happy Holidays, be kind, and stay creative.

Tapestries wintering on the deck...WI natives are a hearty bunch.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

How to Weave a Donut

Indeed, how do you weave a donut? Especially when it's an apple fritter, the kind without the hole in the  middle.

Porkchop seems to be wondering the same thing and is no doubt thinking there are many things easier. But then again, I did title the tapestry Donut Man.

a dog who's an art critic, or perhaps just hoping for a walk

First task was research. I was compelled to head to Starbucks and obtain a model, then take a few bites of course.

I make a lot of sacrifices

Values were mighty tricky, after all this donut has glaze and the colors are similar to the skin tone of the man. I'm mighty glad he has a dark blue t-shirt on. The tips of the fingers have to be just right, showing him balancing the donut very delicately.

I'm a bit further than you see here and I think it's reading well.

Next step, the sidewalk and the cast of characters in the background. Wedge weave is giving way to the more traditional. Surprises ahead.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

More Questions

All I have are questions.

woven ?'s, 1 - 2 inches in size, cigar box courtesy of Cal the bartender in 1998.

And that's a good thing.
I think we should all keep asking.

9 inches wide x 1 1/2 inches high

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Donut Man, the Weaving Begins

Remember this?
Donut Man sample, 3.5" x 3.5"
And then I was compelled to do this...
Donut Man Coptic Style, 3.5" x 5"

Don't ask me why...I think it was some extra warp I had to use up.

But finally I'm on to the original goal, a portrait that should be about 2 feet wide and not quite as high. I chose Donut Man as a working title, but now I've grown quite fond of it.

value sketch, Donut Man

I warped up the Hagen loom and organized yarns I have dyed over the summer. Thanks to a friend I trust saying, 'why don't you try some of that weird distorted weaving' I have launched off on yet another wedge weave journey. This means there will be surprises.

some parts wedged, some traditional shape building

As always in my reports, Porkchop remains unimpressed and in the background.

beginning to lay in the skin tones in the arms

I'm keeping a careful eye on the values, working very slowly (why not?, nothing is fast in tapestry...) and the combination of the two methods seems intriguing.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

All I Have are Questions

I used to have very definite ideas about the way things should be but now...all I have are questions.

I guess I should be more decisive, but then again...

It all prompted a series revolving around question marks. If you follow my adventures you may know I like to work on word strips each year, holds me accountable. A couple years ago they started showing up as questions. The H project didn't help.

all strips 10 epi, 15 warps

Then there was my obsession with dyeing complement gradations.

Just barely readable, but some questions are like that...

I used to feel bad about not making up my mind, but I don't know...those other points of view have certainly made things more interesting.

And I'm pretty sure that's what counts.

Which means you'll most likely find more questions. Here.