Cherry Lake

Photographing tapestry

I have my piece for the Small Tapestry International 3: Outside the Line show sitting on the counter in my kitchen. I know this seems odd (after all, I am risking a ketchup malfunction by leaving it there), but I need to remember to rephotograph it and my memory has been failing me on a regular basis the last few weeks. Really I'm just taking things moment by moment at this point. The original photo I took was on the right track, but somehow I didn't get the entire piece in focus.

Cherry Lake is hung inside a larger frame and several times a day I walk by, see it out of the corner of my eye, and think, "who left that television there and what a waste of electricity?!" and then remember that (1) we have a TV but no reception, so it isn't really possible that that could be the blue glow from a TV and (2) that Emily would never have left that tapestry sitting there for a week. Since she is visiting our new niece in a land far away, I am left to fend for myself and for now, the tapestry stays in the kitchen.

I am attempting to learn more about photographing my own work. As a kid I had a Pentax K1000 single lens reflex camera. I got it for my 14th birthday and I loved it. I used it right up until that moment in Seattle in 2004 when I bought my first digital camera. I still keep the Pentax in my closet right next to my softball shoes. You never know when one of those will come in handy after excavation from the layer of dust. I wonder if the shoes still fit.

A couple years ago I bought a Canon digital SLR and have been amazed at what great photos it can take considering the hands of the person operating it. I do understand shutter and aperture and ISO (which used to be ASA in the world of film cameras, didn't it?) and depth of field. But I am no professional.

So today my task is to get a better photo of Cherry Lake. I have left it too late to take it to my professional photographer, so I am screwing up my patience and setting up the light stands and hoping that I can get this one done well myself. Here is the old photo (which was cropped for submission). I'll let you look for the new photo, which I am sure I am going to nail, in the STI3 catalog.

Cherry Lake

Here is the little tapestry I just finished. I referred to it earlier and showed you a picture of the back while it was still on the loom in this post. I love that these smaller works take me less time to actually weave, but the finishing and mounting seems to take so much longer. Perhaps it was all the complications caused by the pick and pick and the constant color changes... though I ended up liking the effect a great deal and will do something along the same lines again soon!

Here are a couple details.

This piece was inspired by a hike Emily and I took to Cherry Lake in the Sangre de Cristo mountains just north of Crestone, CO in early September. The aspens were changing all the way up the mountain and the range of color was phenomenal. I wanted the shape of the pick-and-pick form to mirror the beauty of the mountains as well as the beautiful colors of the trees.

And here is the actual Cherry Lake.

I just had to show you what I used to mount this piece. I had a disappointing trip to the hardware store on Sunday to get parts for this project. I needed some thin, uniform wood to mount the tapestry to and our small hardware store just didn't have anything I thought I could use. I went to MalWart WalMart and ended up getting two school rulers, but they were about half an inch shorter than I wanted them to be. As I was rummaging through my pile of weaving "sticks" at home hoping that I would find something I could use, I spotted the yardstick that my friends at Taos Fiber Arts gave me recently. I was sorry to cut it up, but it was perfect!

The aspen leaves have all fallen now. I am still hiking as the snow has only flown in small amounts up high thus far. But the end of my high altitude hiking season is fast approaching. I might be able to squeeze another month with my snowshoes if I'm lucky.
San Luis Valley far below. Look carefully to see the center pivot farms on the valley floor 4,000 feet below and the San Juans in the distance.