weaving

How to mount small tapestries so they look great and sell well

How to mount small tapestries so they look great and sell well

My studio table has been covered with mounting projects for a few weeks now. I sold a handful of small-format tapestries and not all of them were mounted. I also finished a small tapestry that was a donation to Petrified Forest National Park from my artist residency last November. (Read about that HERE.)

I have been posting photos on Instagram as I worked on this but thought I'd show you the steps all in one place.

Have loom, will travel OR love notes from TSA

Have loom, will travel OR love notes from TSA

So you're headed for a week-long vacation in the sun and you decide to pack your little pipe loom for some beach-side weaving. Then moments before you head out the door, you pull the loom out, afraid TSA will think it is a bomb... 

Have you been there?

I have flown a lot in the US and have never had weaving equipment taken away from me. I have, however, had my bags searched repeatedly. I get love notes from TSA almost every trip. I chalk it up to the combination of metal looms and electronics. And for the record, I am glad they are checking. Aren't you?

Marginalia: the tapestries of Sarah Swett

Marginalia: the tapestries of Sarah Swett

I have been enchanted by the tapestry of Sarah Swett for a long time now. And if you've ever met Sarah, you'll have to agree with me that she is pretty enchanting herself. 

I was able to go see her new show at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum in La Conner, Washington last week. This is most likely the last time she'll be exhibiting her Rough Copy series all together and absolutely it is a sight not to be missed.

A return to Penland

A return to Penland

At the end of my time at Hambidge I was able to take a day to visit Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Tommye Scanlin and Bhakti Ziek are two amazing masters of fiber art. Tommye is a tapestry artist and has been a big inspiration and mentor for me over the last half-decade. Bhakti has also become a mentor in a wide variety of ways. She is the master of jacquard weaving but also has a vast knowledge of weaving and weave structures.

The two of them are teaching an 8-week concentration in textiles at Penland. They have 12 motivated students who are working on everything from tapestry to complicated weave structures to overshot to indigo dyeing. I was quite impressed by the variety of projects these students are working on.

A game of yarn chicken

A game of yarn chicken

I finished the piece today. Emergence VIII. Three panels, total size, 54 x 54 inches. Though really I should say I finished weaving the piece. There is still a great deal of work to be done before it is hanging in the client's home.

At some point yesterday I realized I might run out of one of the colors in the spiral. This almost never happens to me with weaving anymore. Because it used to happen a lot and now I dye much more yarn than I think I will need for a piece (see photo, right--yarn for this very piece). But I miscalculated a particularly wide spot in the spiral and there I was. 5 inches from the end with an amount of yarn that looked suspiciously slim.

Refusing to panic, I looked around for another ball of the missing yarn.

Horizons

Horizons

I love the desert. I'm not all that fond of the heat, but you do get used to it. I grew up in the high desert of western New Mexico and I'm used to horizons. Having a day in the desert of southern California was a lot of fun even if I didn't have time for a big hike (or the mojo to battle the 100 degree heat). 

. . .

Emily came out and said, "Did you find the carcass?"

Fall has come

I live very close to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Last weekend I climbed to Mosca Pass in the park (a great hike along a stream which is not too strenuous--although people have complained that when I label a hike as "easy" that doesn't mean they won't need to be carried out on a stretcher. All I can say is, get your Colorado Search and Rescue CORSAR card before hiking with me). It was beautiful, but I was completely shocked to find the aspens well on their way to full yellow. I don't know how I let this sneak up on me. It happens every year around this time. I like to keep my level of denial high in the fall. I desperately cling to hiking season and hate to admit that I might have to abandon my beloved mountains until as late as June unless I'm willing to take up backcountry skiing... which I'm not because I'm a total klutz and afraid of smacking into a tree at 60 mph.
So, the winter is approaching. I'm hoping for one more backpacking trip into the Sangres the end of October... but the thought of camping under a tarp covered with snow is a little daunting. BUT winter is a good time for weaving and my studio space is sunny and warm in the winter. So bring on the snow (and if you don't know, Alamosa is often the coldest place in the nation--routinely hitting -30 degrees F especially in January)... maybe I'll get some weaving done.
This little guy was hanging on for dear life. Sort of how I feel about letting go of summer.