Monday, January 15, 2018

Arlington 2017

A new tapestry has me going back to my traditional roots, leaving distortion weave behind. I'm enjoying the change and the opportunity to problem solve.


Hagen pipe loom, warped 26" wide, 10 epi


A  client contacted me with the idea of honoring her father's internment last year at Arlington Cemetery. She sent me photos she had taken and we identified three areas that seemed most important. Drawings and a watercolor followed.

photo resource, color swatches and beginning of watercolor

final sketch, half the scale


This is the perfect way for me to start the new year. It's a very proscriptive idea; I know what I need to do. The colors are a limited palette focused on grey blues and greens, most I have dyed this past summer, and the size is perfect for me, 12 x 22 inches.

What an opportunity!

My biggest challenge is naturally, the values. I need to manipulate the shades of the road, uniforms, and hearse to make the idea clear.

sunspots took over in the frigid temps when I started


Porkchop discovers a prime sunspot


And I will keep you all informed on the challenges as they arise...should be an interesting journey.

Here's where I stopped today...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Red Stripe

Happy Winter Solstice....and a Happy New Year .

To all.

It's been a tricky year, struggles and stress, but yet there is still so much to be grateful for...

6 inches wide, 10 epi


This tapestry I finished in the fall sums it up for me. A young person determined and hopeful. Creative and ready to face what lies ahead. I call it The Red Stripe.

multiple pieces worked on the loom


Young people inspire me to move forward, to trust in their ideas, to care about their decisions.



Happy New Year to all, stay creative and be kind.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Substitute Tales at the Ballweg Gallery

I wanted to show you how the show I recently hung at the Ballweg Gallery looked, so I brought my camera with me today. This gallery is part of the very active Goodman Community Center located on the east side of Madison, Wisconsin. The calendar of events today was impressive and ranged from Christmas parties to preschool to after school programs.

Here is what the hall looks like, located right off the main entrance.

people pass this area on the way to event rooms


I was especially happy with the effect of mixing the various media together in the show; journal, sketches, and tapestries.

one section of the wall

A few closeups for you...


on the left is the shadow box with my journal



these 3 are 6x6 inches and I made the frames...so proud



sketches from the journal, 8 x 10 inches

i framed 4 of the sketches



and 6 of the tapestries were mounted on painted canvas

It's quite gratifying to see it hung up and organized and inspires me to add to it in 2018.

I needed a new goal.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Four Selvedge Conquered

Well not really. I guess I should have said, " 4 selvedge finished".

That alone is something for me to be proud of.



four selvedge warping set-up on a Sara Swett inspired loom


As you may remember, I went off to see my friends Traudi and Jeanne for the 4 selvedge fun this past October. I learned that there is some skill involved in the warping, particularly in maintaining even warp tension from side to side.
I'm glad I followed advice to make a narrow piece. This is part of my ongoing series of questions: Who ?

ah, the telltale unevenness of a 4 selvedge warp amateur...that funky edge at the top.


One interesting thing I noticed involved values, as my Who suddenly turned into Whop. I couldn't get that out of my mind so I rewove that shape this morning to a lighter value.





Always something to learn.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Red Stripe

I'm always interested in the development of an idea and where that germ begins. The piece I am weaving now began with a tree down the street last autumn . The colors were incredible, the warm reds and greens of the sugar maple. Near the end of my dyeing season I had just enough stock to do a few complementary runs and fiddled with the formula for the actual red and green. In particular, I wanted a warmer red.



I over-dyed greys and charcoal along with my usual white and cream and did 3 different depth of shades to get lights and darks. What else to do with the results but work on a portrait.

laying in the initial blues for the t-shirt


As you can see from my photos I have started the face next to my last tiny t, it's about 6" wide and I'm not sure how tall it will become before it ends.

had to block out that gal on the left so I could see properly...


All the yarns for the skin tones are dyed from this sugar maple mixture. The dyed hair stripe gives credit to the great advances in such things since my mother told me never bother dyeing my hair - it's bleach blonde or jet black you have to choose from. Now, so many marvelous choices.

notice I re-wove the shadows of the nostrils...a touch too dark



The eyes will appear soon. This girl means business.






Monday, October 23, 2017

Four Selvedge Weave

For years now I have been saying, "I'll have to try that four selvedge weave"

It started with workshops Archie and Susan were giving (I couldn't go at the time), descriptions I read, Susan's elegant examples, and finally, Sara Swett's wonderful Field Guide to Needlework blog. That was the final straw. I needed to see what the deal was with this 4 selvedge mania.

Traudi and Jeanne, yes I know they are on their devices...

After whining about "never getting around to it" on a Facebook posting, leave it to my friend Traudi to get me going; our friend Jeanne Bates was heading to MN, why not drive over and we could do this together?



I had the loom (carefully following Sara's photo of the nifty little galvanized pipe loom she made) and plenty of materials, including the instructions I printed out on ATA's website.

I agreed.

look toward the loops at the right...see the uneven ones?, that will be trouble...


So here is where I am now with this process.

decided I'd do one of my simple 2 color word strips, designed it on some scrap


3 inches wide, 6epi 

my favorite triangle of 'minus 2's', the first letter of Who?


I'm so grateful to Traudi and Jeanne for getting me over there (non stop laughs with those two), but that was a very labor intensive warping session, probably 4 hours plus. Obviously I was solving problems, redoing, and developing understanding; another day I would be more efficient. But I would really question the reason I'm using this method.

I'm glad I chose to weave another of my word series, it may be a good fit. And I'm certainly glad to have a better understanding of what 4 selvedge weave really means.

Thanks Traudi.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Testing Some Handspun

I have quite a pile of hand-spun and I'm beginning to think I should pay attention to it. Although I've owned wheels in the past I only use a drop spindle now, so I though I would pull it out and see what happened with some dyed roving I have...from somewhere.





This seductive painted roving can be tricky - what looks great in a roving becomes grey and mixes as you spin the sections. I was interested in what I could do with such a bright multicolored hand-spun (of course a face came to mind) and so I began to spin.

fleece, singles, 2-ply and wound bobbins

I started a 4 inch warp with no planned idea other than a face at the end. Although I often don't ink on a cartoon, usually a sketch is involved at some point along the way, just to get the idea growing. In this case it was entirely designed on the loom.

4 inches wide, 10 epi, no name yet...

Naturally a bit of the wedge weave had to sneak in. The red parts are some hand-dyed norsk, so is the yellow. Otherwise her outfit is from that roving.

I'm intrigued by what an impact that yellow triangle has...it's fun to explore.