Bhakti Ziek

Tapestry weft yarn debates and that wheeze in the freezer...

The freezer is doing that weird little barely audible rasp which sounds alternately like the ghost of a bird caught in the ice machine and your grandpa's nose whistle. The sound has become familiar over the last couple days and I have embraced it as white noise.

I'm camped out at a mid-level hotel in Golden, Colorado this week while I teach a class at The Recycled Lamb.

SIX things thrilled me today.
1. The sirachi-flavored turkey on my sandwich was not an abomination as I feared, but tasted quite zingy.
2. My students are absolutely churning out some fantastic color gradation studies. They are innovative, learn quickly, and are having fun.
3. Sweet potato pecan gluten free pancakes are fantastic and I may have to return to Blue Sky Cafe for breakfast again tomorrow.
4. The corner liquor store does carry corkscrews and a trip to a big box store was not required.
5. When you start playing with color in weaving, you learn not only about what weft yarns work in certain situations but how to mix colors to achieve various effects including transparency. By "you" I mean the students in the class. (More on this weft yarn debate thing in an upcoming post.)

And the BEST thing was reading this review of my online tapestry techniques class by the one and only Bhakti Ziek. It literally thrilled me to tears.

If you don't know, Bhakti is a celebrated fiber artist who works in many techniques but is well known for her digital jacquard weaving. Getting this kind of marvelous feedback from someone of her experience and skill is a lovely moment indeed. Just for one example, take a look at THIS commission she did for Princeton University called Stardust.

I like staying at this hotel on the edge of Golden. I love watching people learn how to move color around a surface they are creating in wool. And I love, as we all do, when I hear appreciation for something that has taken a huge amount of dedication and effort. It is a good day.

Bhakti's blog post is HERE.

And this is my life...

Here is a wonderful video of Bhakti Ziek working on a commission for Community Hall at Whitman College, Princeton. This is not tapestry weaving (it is jaquard), but it is a wonderful tribute to fiber. She ends the video saying, "And this is my life."

I am not sure how it happened, but weaving is also, in part, my life.
When I design a weaving, I'm thinking about the weaving process from the beginning to the end. And so I'm not just doing a painting and then referencing it into a textile, I'm designing a textile.  
I think one of the tricks to being a weaver is staying involved. Just being able to be present with each step as it is.                                                                     --Bhakti Ziek

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