Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
This collage / assemblage isn't finished yet but it will be completed in time for the final video on Monday. Once the paint is dry, I'll be able to pull the pieces together relatively quickly.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Here is the picture of what I shared. You will notice that the fringe is holding the graphed design, very well. You can actually make out the design I graphed. Not often, does the fringe work out in that way, especially with a graphed picture.
To keep the fringe 'picture' in order, I ran a thread through each of the fringes, after completing the over all picture. It didn't matter where I ran the tread, just that it held each of the fringes together. Notice the red lines, in the picture below. This is the direction I ran a new black thread, picking up a few on one fringe then going to the fringe next to it and picking up a few more beads, then back again. I completed this trail throughout the entire fringed area.
Holding the fringe spread apart with my fingers, you can see the thread holding each strand together. However, it is not noticeable in the first picture, after I complete sewing each strand together. This will now hold my design and still resemble a fringed picture!
Not every fringe needs this extra attention, but it is nice to do when you want to create a picture or extend a picture from your looming, into the fringe.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Well, it grew up to be this piece. And now it’s finished and ready to go to its new home.
I took the original weaving and beaded the bottom half to give it the illusion of flowers. Then I tied off the warp threads leaving them long enough to form a fringe at the bottom of the weaving. And the warp threads at the top of the weaving were left long enough to hang down to form a veil. I like that the veil breaks up the surface of the weaving and makes the viewer have to work with the piece a bit to understand it. I attached the weaving to a canvas board that had been covered with rice paper and painted with metallic acrylic paint then topped off with iridescent watercolor. I finished the piece off by embellishing it with an old Southwestern style earring. All things considered, I’m pretty happy with how this piece turned out.
One down, two more to go. Tick, tock!
Monday, February 21, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I’m currently working up the left side of the weaving and starting to level it off so I can cut the weaving off the loom. I’m also trying to finish off the two remaining pieces that were completed earlier in the campaign so I can get those posted by the end of the month.
Susan left a couple of questions for me on my blog…
What tapestry books do I recommend and do I have a favorite?
Based on personal use, I can recommend “Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide” by Nancy Harvey, “Tapestry Weaving” by Kirsten Glasbrook, and “Shaped Tapestry” by Kathe Todd-Hooker. Those are the ones I have sitting on my bookshelves. I think the Glasbrook book is an excellent guide for beginning tapestry weavers to start with. Harvey’s book is more detailed but it’s also out of print.
The American Tapestry Alliance offers a distance learning program, Helping Hands, designed for beginning weavers who want to explore tapestry weaving with guidance and mentoring from a more experienced tapestry weaver. The details are available on the American Tapestry Alliance website.
What do I like best about the Mirrix Loom?
I really like how easy it is to warp the loom and to be able to get sufficient tension on the warp threads. The coils make it easy to keep your warp threads evenly spaced. I also like the fact that the loom has a nice solid feel to it and it doesn’t wobble, shift, or slide when I’m weaving.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Each strand was loaded with beads, not counted, but measured. I threaded a four inch portion of beads, then added my drops. The second half of the fringe was also load with beads, but measured against the first half's length, (still appx. 4 inches). The tricky part comes now. I found the best way to make the perfect twist was to use 'rubber finger tips', similar to what can be purchased in an office supply store. Holding the thread, closest to the last bead added, and pushing taut to make the beads set very close together, I began my twist in one direction. As I twisted, I made sure my efforts were twisting more towards the beads and not allowing both halves of the thread (thread length on each side of my finger hold), was also twisting. At the same time, I was turning the 'dagger' or focal at the bottom of the fringe. I did not count the number of twists, as is suggested in many online directions, but continued to twist the thread (still taut against the last bead) until the entire length of beads were twisted around.
To secure the twist and keep it into place, I used a 'spring bead stop' to hold my twist and not allow it to unravel. My needle was then thread into two beads, of the row I was adding the fringe, and passed through two additional beads, for the next fringe to begin. I pulled the thread through the four beads, still holding the original twist in the same position. Once all the thread was pulled, I made a 'half hitch' knot onto the end warp, between the two last beads I just passed through.
The best advice I can give, is to measure the length you want to twist, hold the twist taut against the last bead and keep that same twist from unraveling until you are able to make the half hitch, somewhere, to secure.
I love how this finish drapes. It has such a great feel and will add more dimension to my SLN then if I completed a 'one strand' fringe accent.
My Mirrix loom is becoming the perfect loom for adding all types of creative accents. The loom is holding my SLN, while I am making the twisted fringe. I'll bet, not that far yet, but I'll just bet, I won't be cutting this 'Lotus SLN' from the Mirrix, until it is time to attach the clasp!!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Right now the plan is to start to level the weaving off so you’ll have a better idea how it would look. I’m finding myself making a lot more adjustments now, especially with the black areas. Actually, now that I'm looking at the picture and have some distance, I think I would be a lot happier with that orange section if I had separated it from the brick red with black.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Susan posted some questions on my blog I thought I would answer in today’s post.
First, my disclaimer... I’m not good with “shoulds” and rules and boundaries. I tend to work in ways that suit what I’m trying to accomplish rather than doing what’s “right”. This is the main reason I don’t try to teach. This is also one of the reasons I recommended books at the beginning of the campaign for people who want to learn tapestry weaving. So, that being said…
Why do you start weaving in different places?
On the current weaving, I’m weaving in different places instead of straight across because I’m balancing the colors as I work. Even though I’m working from a colored cartoon, I still need to make adjustments as I move through the piece. For someone else it might be easier for them to just work straight across. I think it just depends on how you visualize things.
Does that make uneven tension?
Yes, it could. But the weft of your weaving can also be uneven if you work straight across. Getting a nice even weft is more about practice and developing a feel for what you’re doing.
Do you always use the shedding device on small areas?
I never use the shedding device on small areas. I use the shedding device when I’m working on large weavings or when the weaving that I’m working on has large areas of color.
Do you ever use anything but plain tabby weave?
Sometimes. It really depends on what I plan to do with the piece once it’s off the loom. As you’ve seen, a lot of my weavings are incorporated into collages. I really prefer my changes in texture and design to come from the different yarns and fibers I’m using.
Can you add texture changing the weave and if so can the heddles be arranged to change the pattern using the shedding device?
I haven’t tried it on the Mirrix but I don’t see why not. Hopefully Claudia or Elena will jump in if I’m totally off track on this. My best suggestion would be to just give it a try.
How would it look using your fingers to lift the warp threads and change the weft pattern to add texture or break up a large pattern of color?
It’s going to depend on what you’re using as warp and weft. Warp your loom and just try out all of the wacky things you can think to try. Some you’ll love, some you’ll hate, but I think experimentation is important in order to grow as an artist.
Can you embellish the weaving by adding some metallic thread as a highlighted area?
What about shading an area?
You can play with the colors that you’re weaving with in order to shade an area.
Just a reminder also, videos will be posted on Mondays instead of Sundays for the remainder of the campaign.
Other then the Laurel & Hardy Cuff, you have been seeing posted, I am also looming a large piece on my Mirrix. This loom is perfect, for so many reasons. However, not versed for the 'quick warped-loomed piece'. It is wonderful for carrying out the most creative looming ideas. Here is a picture of how I am fringing a 'layer' of my Lotus SLN. The Mirrix is allowing me the option to loosen the warp tension for ease of fringing, then tighten the warps back for looming.
I am using the Duracoat Delica line, Metallic Silver 11/0, for the design nestled in with the matte black Delicas. The design was graphed, not unlike any other loomed pattern, only having to keep track of how the beads will lay. Each bead is shaped more of a rectangle so when loomed, they are on their side, laying longer. When they are graphed for a fringe design, they lay straight up, thinner on the sides. Keeping this thought in mind allows the pattern perspective to stay correct.
Continuing a design or creating a separate design, in the fringe, adds much more to the bead art and can even widen your size of the 'beading canvas'.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
In case you missed the announcement, Mirrix is offering free bead patterns for download on their website. There’s a really great Valentine’s Day heart pattern available that I believe is based on one of Claudia’s zendoodles. I might give the image a shot at some point weaving with DMC #5 embroidery thread. But that’s a project for much later in the year.
The pink and black “weaving over a weaving” is still very much a work-in-process but should be finished this week. One of the ideas that crossed my mind when I was working on it yesterday was what would happen if there were multiple layers of weaving, then areas were burnt away so you could see the underlying layers. Yep, it’s just a matter of time before something goes up in flames.
As I start to look forward to how I will utilize the Mirrix Loom in my future work, I see it being a really useful tool in my mixed media / collage / assemblage projects. I’ve realized over the past few months that for me “traditional” tapestry weaving is very restrictive.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I’ve been re-working a couple of sections so there doesn’t appear to have been much progress since my last post. There’s actually much more contrast in the colors than there appears to be in the pictures. I experimented a bit with weaving the handspun yarn I’m going to use as embellishment into the weaving but decided against it. It’s much more interesting pulled through the slits. I just noticed that I need to increase the tension on the warp threads again which will straighten some of the wonky areas out a bit. I decreased it when I was working with the handspun.
With every project, no matter what medium I’m working with, there are always lessons learned. If I were starting this weaving over and still using the Tahki Cotton Classic for the weft, I think I would warp every other dent instead of every dent. Of course downside to doing that is the really small areas would be problematic.
For anyone in the New England area, the American Tapestry Alliance’s 8th American Tapestry Biennial is being shown at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, until May 1, 2011. In addition, two artists will be giving talks:
- March 13, 2011 @ 2:00 pm Susan Martin Maffei “Under the Influence, or Is It Just Inspiration?”
- April 10, 2011 @ 2:00 pm Anne Jackson “Anne Jackson: Knotted Tapestries”
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The current weaving is progressing slowly. I’m trying to work from left to right and from the bottom up as much as possible. You’ll notice the large square of orange in the middle has been partially removed. Something truly heinous was going on with that particular section. Somehow I managed to get the weft threads way too tight so I have to redo that area. I’m okay with the edges of the individual sections not being perfectly straight, actually I prefer them to be crooked, but that one was far too distorted for me to be able to close the slits if I needed to. As I continue to weave, I’m finding I have to work in a bit more black than was on the original cartoon in order to break the colors up and provide balance. I’m still happy with the basic color combination though.I’m also working on the two remaining weavings that I completed earlier in the campaign. The pink and black one you saw in the video on Sunday is sitting where I can see it every day and is waiting for me to be struck by a bolt of inspirational lightning. So far… nothing. And I’m continuing to embellish the first weaving with beads. So, hopefully I’ll be able to post both of those by the end of the month.