Sunday, January 30, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

I don't have much of a voice today so I'll be posting this week's video on Monday instead of today.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

Remember the sampler I did earlier in January? Well, it’s migrated from the collage elements pile to a collage. One more UFO down. I mounted the weaving on a canvas board that had been collaged with rice paper and a scrap of gold fabric, then embellished with a piece of repurposed jewelry.

I wanted to show these pieces so you’ll know the weavings that come off the loom that might be considered “failures” can still be used. Maybe not in the way you had originally envisioned, but still, not a complete loss. I have piles of “failed” experiments in my studio but most of these pieces will eventually find a home in a collage, an assemblage, or on a collagraph plate for printmaking. And just remember “one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure”. If you attend a class or workshop, you’ll be amazed what other artists might want to trade for from your stash.

The weaving on the loom is progressing slowly. Normally I would be obsessing over the fact that my edges aren’t straight but I’ll be able to correct a lot of sins once it’s off the loom. And since this one will also be part of a collage, I’m not too concerned at this point.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A loomed Needle Case!

This can be a very simple pattern to loom. It is quick and enjoyable!

I like to use a wine cork, to secure my scissors from damage. To make this a complete set, I am thinking about beading around the cork! If I do, I'll be sure to share the set.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

"Sushi" 2011

Okay, this piece is finally finished. I just couldn’t get happy with the yellow beads. I’m not a huge fan of yellow so it’s a difficult color for me to work with. Does anyone else have that problem with certain colors?

I wrapped the chopsticks with the same silk yarn I used in the weaving, then bundled the 3 chopsticks with an assortment of fancy black yarns, letting the excess yarn hang down. I finished the bundle off with the addition of a Swarovski crystal component. I then mounted the weaving on a canvas board that has been collaged with handmade paper and sprayed with iridescent watercolor. Now it feels finished. Finally something has moved from the UFO (unfinished object) pile to the completed pile.

The weaving on the loom is progressing slowly. I’m making adjustments to the design as I go along because some areas just need to be tweaked. They look okay on the cartoon but once the sections are woven with the darker yarns, some minor adjustments have to be made to balance the colors and to control where the slits occur.

For anyone who might be interested in entering, the Handweavers Guild of America is sponsoring “Small Expressions”, an annual international juried exhibition. The deadline is March 7, 2011. Details and entry form can be found here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

I came across the following video this morning and thought I would share it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

So, after a couple of sessions of weaving and unweaving, I finally decided the direction I wanted to go in.

I mentioned at one point, in last Sunday’s video I believe, that I wanted to outline each section in black so the weaving would have a Mondrian look to it. Let’s just put it this way… it looked better in my head than it did on the loom. Although it might have worked on a larger piece. Anyway, I went back to the cartoon and added in some additional small areas of black to break up the color a little more and anchor sections.

The other change I made was not to use the warp interlock technique but to use the slit technique when changing colors. What this means is that instead of the weft running continuously across the width of the weaving, there will be a slit between each color. There’s a method to my madness.

During one of the archaeological digs in my studio as I was looking for tapestry needles, I came across some handspun art yarns that I had picked up years ago and never used. What I think I’m going to do is work strands of beads into the art yarns then pull them through the slits in selected areas so they cascade down the front of the weaving. The entire piece will then be mounted on a canvas board that I’ve collaged with handmade paper and painted with iridescent watercolors.

I know, I know. My thought processes and how I create seems really disconnected and random at times. But, for me it’s a process of experimenting. Sometimes the experiment works, other times, not so much. And as you’ve probably noticed over the past few months, I’m not afraid to just scrap what I’m working on and start over. And there’s always the infamous future collage elements bin that projects get consigned to if I finish them and decide I’m not happy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

I was cleaning up my hard drive and computer files this week when I came across some pictures of a number of small samplers I did when I first received my Mirrix loom. I think I wandered off on a tangent at some point and never posted them. Most of them aren’t that interesting and are in a pile to be used in collages but I do like this one. I was experimenting with a Tibetan weaving technique – a technique that’s meant to be used on a different type of loom -- a friend had demonstrated for me so it’s extremely irregular. But, I think that’s why I like it. It’s rough and funky and I love the colors. I also love the feel of it since I used scraps of silk yarn to weave it, both for the warp and the weft.

We’re now 3 months into the “Social Market for a Mirrix” campaign. It’s been an interesting experience and I’ve been thinking about the impact it’s had on how I work. I’ve found that it’s a bit difficult to work with people “looking over my shoulder”. I’ve also realized that “traditional” weavings are of much less interest to me than mixed media, experimental weavings. So, all good revelations.

As for the current work-in-progress, I did go back and color in the sections on the cartoon to correspond with the yarns I’m using. It took a couple of versions before I was happy with the balance.

Also, I’m collecting questions as they come in and will address all of them, as well as provide links to a number of online resources, in my final post at the end of February.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

Image #3 it is.
I did a little test with the Tahki Cotton Classic yarn and decided to enlarge the cartoon from 6x6 inches to 8x10 inches in order to accommodate the yarn I selected. I also waffled back and forth on whether to warp with the 8-dent coil or the 12-dent coil. I finally went with the 12-dent because of the number of small sections. You’ll notice that I’m not using the shedding device and heddles on this project. Since I’m working on numerous small areas, it’s easier for me just to work the sections with a needle.

I volunteer one day a week in the Collections Department at the International Folk Art Museum here in Santa Fe and the project that I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks is processing photos of their textile collection. As I was working last week, I found myself being drawn to the pieces that were primarily earthtones… beige, brown, brick red, orange. So, I dug through my stash and pulled out the following colors to use. I’m a little ambivalent about the turquoise at the moment but I’ll see where the weaving takes me. Because there are so many sections in this weaving, I may color in the individual areas with colored pencil so I have a more detailed pattern to follow. I have a little more prep work to do then I’ll be ready to start weaving.
I have a feeling this weaving is going to take a while so it may very well take us through to the end of the “Social Market for a Mirrix” campaign which is scheduled to end on 2/28/11.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

Image #1

Image #2

Image #3

And it’s time for audience participation…

I’m warping the loom in preparation for the next project. While I’m doing that, here are 3 cartoons (each is 6 inches by 6 inches) and I’ll let you decide which design goes up on the loom next. I’m warping with the 8 dent coil and will be weaving primarily with the Tahki Cotton Classic in a variety of colors. Just leave a comment and let me know which design you prefer by midnight on Thursday, January 13th. If I don’t hear from anyone, I’ll just randomly pick one.

Since up to this point I’ve been focused more on various yarns and how they look when incorporated into a weaving and less on technique, I thought I would use this piece to demonstrate some of the various weaving techniques from “Tapestry Weaving” by Kirsten Glasbrook. This will give me a chance to work with techniques that I rarely work with and will hopefully show you how different techniques look when used together in a tapestry. And since the weaving is only 6 inches by 6 inches, I should be able to complete it fairly quickly. I’m trying to avoid larger, more complex projects that will drag on.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

So, here's where I'm at with embellishing the weaving. The yellow beads aren't quite as glaring in person as they appear to be in this photo. (Note to self: Actually READ the user's guide that came with the camera.) It's still a work-in-progress. Right now I'm thinking about layering the entire weaving with embroidery on Solvron to "veil" the weaving and collage elements in order to give it more depth. I also need to shorten that piece of yarn at the top that's curving. For some reason, that's really annoying me.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

I’m still working on the sampler demonstrating how different yarns look in a weaving. This little guy is 4 inches tall right now. Starting at the bottom, here’s what I’ve used so far… black #5 pearl cotton embroidery thread, a thin multi-colored chenille, a very thin boucle with a silver metallic thread running through it, a thin multi-colored boucle, a purple eyelash yarn, and a medium boucle.

Pearl cotton embroidery thread is always a dream to work with and it comes in 300+ colors so it’s one of my favorites. I use both DMC and Anchor. I also love the look and feel of chenille but it’s been my experience in the past that using chenille over large areas can be problematic because it sheds and you can sometimes end up with bald sections. But because I was weaving a small area, I didn’t have that problem this time. The eyelash yarn is interesting but I don’t think it will hold up well in wearable items like a tapestry cuff. And there are so many types of boucles that it really just depends on the fibers as to whether it weaves well or not. Ones with fuzzier fibers tend to be more difficult.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Loomed Earrings!

I just bought the cutest little loom, perfect for making loomed earrings. This is an idea I have been working on for many years, but only feel I am finally perfecting the perfect method. Be sure to look at the Mini Mirrix, here on their website. The 'Mini' is not only perfect for travel, able to handle lengths of looming from credit card cases to cuffs, but now that I am working out some patterns and directions for earrings, this would also be great to make loomed earrings too!

Quickly, I am sharing one earring, of one particle pair. I named these, "Navajo Blankets". They are loomed with sterling findings and hand woven triangle drops. I have many more to show, but I still want to work out some of my ideas before I share them too!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

I received a request on my blog to create a piece using a variety of threads and a finer weave but with no beads. So, here goes.

I warped the loom using the 12-dent coil with a warp thread through each dent and I’m weaving with #5 DMC Pearl Cotton embroidery thread and mixed fibers from Ancient Earth Echoes. The piece is only 1 ½ inches wide. Once this piece is finished, it could be used as a bracelet but I will probably use it in a collage at some point.

The Ancient Earth Echoes fibers are bundles of disparate yarns in defined colorways that were marketed by Maria Teresa Stoa of Ramah, NM. I used to buy them from but Barb no longer appears to be carrying the line. Fortunately I stocked up on them in various colors when they were available. They’re perfect for projects like this since each bundle was made up of short lengths of a variety of art yarns. The hunt is on for a new source.

I’m still contemplating how I’m going to embellish the last piece I finished. It definitely needs a little “something” but nothing I’ve tried feels quite right.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

Here's the finished piece (10 in. x 10 in.) ready to be cut off the loom and embellished.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Social Market for a Mirrix

Welcome to 2011 everyone!

It’s a new year and there’s a new weaving on the loom. It’s so nice to finally be back in the studio weaving that I’m just enjoying the process and letting this piece evolve. I’m using an 8-dent coil and the loom is warped with a warp thread through every other dent to accommodate the bulk of the yarn I’m working with. The width of the piece is 10 inches and I’ve started out with Tahki Maya yarn. I love, love, LOVE this yarn because you get such an interesting texture when you weave with it. Right now I’m not sure what other yarns I’m going to be using. I have a box of candidates sitting beside my work table and I’ll just see what strikes my fancy when I finish the sections I’m currently working on.

One of my goals for 2011 is to be more aggressive about promoting my artwork and part of that process is going to be entering shows. The first show on my calendar is the Handweavers Guild of America’s Small Expressions 2011 with a deadline of 03/07/11. So, I’m hoping some of the pieces I finish between now and the end of the “Social Market for a Mirrix” campaign on 02/28/11 will be viable options for submission.