Monday, January 3, 2011

Ring out the old Diary, ring in the new….

On New Years Day we had an impromptu “cutting off” ceremony for my Tapestry Diary. I have been weaving a small parallelogram every day since January 1, 2010, except when I’m away from home. At those times, I would weave all those “days” after I got home. DiaryCutOff2Most days were simple, sometimes I just wove a color I felt like weaving, but on other days it seemed appropriate to weave something special. I have a small notebook that identifies those special days, like a birthday, my Mom’s memorial service, or this day when my grand niece Ruby visited from afar. June-Ruby 

Every month has a color scheme. Below is September into October.

This choice, as well as the choice of what to weave each day, was not something I gave much thought to…these decisions were quite spontaneous. IMG_6839I realized after a while that this project was really about the process and not the product. 

Each day I would sit at the loom and weave what I felt like weaving; at the end of a month I’d think about what colors I felt like using for the next month. I didn’t worry too much what each day looked like, after all, it was only one out of 365! DiaryLabel Every  inch is a week, so the width of the tapestry has 7 parallelograms, always beginning with a Friday (because January 1 was a Friday). At the end, I had ONE day left to weave, so I wove an entire line that day, including my signature, the year and the words Tapestry Diary.

DiaryCuttingOff So back to the cutting off ceremony, my husband was a little perplexed to be intercepted on the way to his woodworking shop…and to suddenly find himself performing this (not so) solemn ritual, all properly documented with a camera.

The back side looked like a rya rug, I have spent some time trimming all those ends, but have not hemmed it yet. I also cleaned up the mess around the loom.

Diary-TrashCan This project was woven with left over yarns from my Thrum Bag, which is still quite overstuffed. I actually threw away some of the short pieces that were lying around in my yarn basket and on the floor. I feel so virtuous.

I have started my 2011 Sketch Diary. It will consist of large pieces of paper, made into a grid. Every piece of paper, which has 20 days, will have a theme, and maybe a medium….so far, I am drawing moon snail shells and using a china marker. I expect to use this, as with the tapestry diary, to try out different approaches and techniques.DiaryEnd

It’s very exciting because although I don’t know exactly what I will sketch, or how, I know that it will be an adventure, and a learning experience, just like the tapestry diary.

 

The last few days of October, and all of November and December.

12 comments:

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

What a great piece.
kathe

Tommye McClure Scanlin said...

Jan... looks just fantastic! Thanks for joining in on such a grand adventure. Have you posted to the private blog about this yet?
I'm looking forward to seeing your dailies as sketches for 2011. The grid of days sounds quite intriguing.

Tommye McClure Scanlin said...

P.S.
Just posted to my blog about your blog entry...
http://tapestry13.blogspot.com/2011/01/jan-austins-tapestry-diary-for-201.html

Vera L Hazelgrove said...

I very much love your tapestry diary! Very nice colours and it just amazes me how all these strips of weaving form such a nice whole year picture!
Best wishes for your new diary, I look forward to be able to share your journey too! Vera

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

Love the parallelograms and the colors. What a great way to make a weaving year! I like the sketchbook idea--may try that myself!

Jan said...

It's been quite a learning experience and lots of fun too. Honestly, in the first month I was having a really bad day and suddenly realized I had not woven my entry yet. It really cheered me up and made my day to have that to look forward to.

Edith said...

I love your tapestry diary so much Jan. It is such an inspiring idea. And your concept of a sketching diary is great too. Somehow your method of dividing each of your chosen methods of work (tapestry and sketching)renders them more approachable for a beginner like me. Time to re=awaken my old, malnourished blog! :-)

Jan said...

Part of the point of dividing the work is exactly that, to make it less intimidating. I'm glad it's inspiring for you, it is for me too!

The idea is just to make a plan that you know you can handle. If that means you only weave for 5 minutes a day, then fine. Part of the point is getting into the habit of doing something every day.

Ixchel tapestry weaver said...

Well it was precisely this idea of the diary that I came to think about the woven tapestry journal for the Birch Tree project being woven at the Attic at Joshua Creek on Oakville. It is finally finished, but the work of documenting the everyday progress, which I have in pictures is just about to start. I am a weaver more than a writer, especially not being my first language the English. I will try to do my best to follow up on your ideas and suggestions. They are fabulous and inspiring! Thank you for sharing.
Ixchel

Jan said...

I am very happy that my ideas inspired you. Your Birch Tree tapestry is so beautiful. I will be interested to read your documentation.

The tapestry diary was an amazing experience, one with so many lessons. I will be looking back to it for years to come.

Deerie said...

What an awesome idea! Not only did you make a marvelous piece of artwork but you gave yourself a lesson in discipline at the same time! It's wayyyyy cool. :)

What sort of loom did you use?

Jan said...

Thanks! The fact that it turned into a work of art was a pleasant surprise!

I used a Swedish vertical tapestry loom. I don't know the brand, I bought it used many years ago, but it is similar to the Glimakra, Gobelin style loom. It has rollers top and bottom but not treadles. One shed is always open, the other has string leashes that you pull on to make the other shed.