Monday, March 23, 2015

Social Graces Moves On

Last month I shared the beginning of my new tapestry with the working title Social Graces. The title fits so well I may not have to change it. This month I thought I'd tell you a bit more about how the idea came about.

I was flipping through a Martha Stewart mag from the library give-aways, tearing out shapes and objects. It may not be my style, but you can't deny the high quality of the pics. When I'm trying to get ideas I will glue random shapes in my sketchbook without much thought and see what shows up. One of her fancy serving platters intrigued me. It looked like a hairpiece so I painted a face in the spot where the cookies had been.

This is a tiny idea, the sketchbook is about 3 x 5 inches. I lived with the idea for a long time and enlarged it with a watercolor sketch. Then I came across the cotton gloves my mother bought me when I was 13. I needed them because I was signed up for an etiquette class in town, you did things like that back in the early 1960's. Another class confronted me at  boarding school a few years later, but by then it was 1966 and social graces were disappearing. It was mostly unpleasant so I find it interesting that I enjoy having the gloves.

The colors for this tapestry are very unplanned and grow from what has been woven before, I have picked up the drop spindle fairly often and still wonder what the colors around her face will be.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Ice Age Trail

It all started with sock yarn.

Those of you who follow my work are aware I like a very lively surface on my tapestries. Basically I will use whatever it takes, within reason.

While in Minneapolis teaching a workshop I began to consider sock yarn, the self striping knitting yarn, more carefully and dug through my basket to find the appropriate WI winter skein. I thought of the Ice Age Trail and some walks I had taken on this 1,000 mile hiking path that extends throughout Wisconsin. Seemed appropriate to think of that landscape on a below zero day a few weeks ago.

I gathered together a few yarns I had bought at the Madison Knitting Guild's recent Knit In event. And yes I realize I already have "enough" but....

As I think about the landscape workshop I'll be teaching at Siever's School of Fiber Arts this summer I realized I wanted to create a few more stories that focused on my local landscape. I did very little planning for this design, letting the yarns guide me through my memories of those walks with Porkchop.

I need to finish this. There are rumors this week that temperatures will climb above 50 degrees and a new landscape with hope of taking off the beloved red coat will be in order. New yarns will be needed.......