Thursday, February 5, 2009

Up Next: Tapestry

In my on-going quest to finish some projects, 15 minutes at a time, I'm ready to open the next project bin. Ooooh - tapestry!!

What's in the bin? Yarn, a ski shuttle that I forgot I owned and the book Tapestry Weaving by Kirsten Glasbrook.

I even left a note about where I stopped on this project! Bonus!!! (I haven't worked on this since last February.)

I have my rigid heddle loom set up for tapestry. The tapestry book has beautiful, colorful examples of the author's work, as well as a detailed, step-by-step teaching sampler in bright colors. I'm working through the sampler in more subdued colors.

(Oops! I just realized this morning that I have the tapestry on the loom upside down - so I don't have as much space to work between the heddle and the beam as I should. That's OK this time!!)

Since I started this project, I was lucky to attend a two-session tapestry workshop at the New Hampshire Weavers Guild taught by Micala Sidore of Hawley Street Tapestry Studio. She said it was possible to weave tapestry on a rigid heddle loom - although now that I've tried a vertical tapestry loom and tapestry bobbins, I must admit I miss them!!

Inspiration: My inspiration for this project is the beautiful scenery of Chile, and this yarn I bought in Ushuaia, Argentina at the bottom tip of South America. I'm keenly interested in different ways to create figures and complex patterns in weaving - although I'm very much a beginner in that very broad arena.

Project Hiatus: This project stalled because I envisioned drawing a cartoon, and making a tapestry following the cartoon. I can't draw!! To help me create my Chilean tapestry, I took a drawing class a few years ago at a difficult time in my life - and that class was too much for me. I got frustrated with this project, and let it languish.

Meanwhile, I know that people make tapestries in many ways, from cartoons or from photos, as in these examples from Argonaut. I'm certain we have plenty of photos from that trip to Chile! My tapestry dream is not out of reach.

Motivation: Why do I want to work on this project now?
  • I want my rigid heddle loom for a scarf I have in mind!
  • To free up the energy sapped by this blocked project
  • To make room in my studio for new projects
  • To learn some tapestry basics

So far I've just done some basic techniques using Halcyon rug yarn and some left-over Lopi.

The Glasbrook tapestry book is wonderful to follow....lots of pictures and good explanations, so I'm confident I can complete this sampler!


sheilabythebeach said...

So many projects to weave, so little time, right?
Nice that you kept notes on your unfinished project, I hope to develop some good habits like that too.
I feel torn between my loom and my clay! Projects going on in both worlds...

Sue said...

Torn between two cool things....a wealth of choices....not a bad place to be!!

Susan said...

That is the best book ever for beginner tapestry...
You are on the right track!


Anonymous said...

Very impressive sequence of steps to get yourself moving on this - what you want to achieve, understanding what stalled you (with solution attached) and some good reasons to get stuck into it. Best wishes with the project - you've certainly set yourself up for success this time round.