Friday, December 23, 2011

2012 Tapestry Diary Coming Soon

I have decided to keep a tapestry diary again, starting January 1, 2012. Some of you may remember that I did this in 2010; you can read about it here. I was inspired by Tommye Scanlin’s tapestry diaries, which you can read about on her blog.

The basic idea is to weave a small section of tapestry every day. It can be a way to mark the passing of time, an opportunity to weave without the pressure or expectation of creating a masterpiece, a chance to play and experiment.

I wanted to try something different for 2011, and chose to do a sketch diary. page2detail

I posted on this blog about the first part, which was Moon Snails.

After that I worked from some photos of trees, mostly dark tree trunks against the snow….we had a LOT of snow last winter.

The sketch diary lasted about 6 months, and then all of my traveling got in the way. I know, you would think I could just  do a sketch wherever I found myself, but it didn’t work out that way. Page6TreesWebThe sketch diary had morphed into a serious study of certain objects and forms, with each sketch fitting into the ones around it. For example the page shown above contains 15 sketches.

Even though I did not continue for a full year, I feel like I got so much out of the experience.

DiarySoumakThis tapestry diary will be a bit different from the last one.

I keep looking at the last part of the 2010 tapestry diary, where I played with black and white. 

Most of my current tapestries are black and white, and I have been dreaming of adding little bits of color to them, so that will be the subject of my explorations in the 2012 tapestry diary. 

2012warp I decided to get a head start, so I have warped up the loom, and woven the heading with the year on it. I have always loved the look of a fresh warp, perhaps because it’s all possibility, like a blank canvas.

This warp looks cool because I put black poster board behind it. Otherwise, because it’s a circular warp, I would be seeing 2 sets of warp threads one behind the other, and it makes my eyes go blurry.

(This photo looks a bit crooked, so either I took it from a strange angle, or I need to adjust the spacing at the top of the loom! TIP: take a photo to see imperfections that you may not notice otherwise!)

Nevertheless I was a little peeved when my husband told me he liked the blank warp so much, perhaps I should just leave it that way….hmmmph. 


Tommye McClure Scanlin said...

This is a beautiful start to 2012, Jan!

About the blank warp and your husband's comment... the blank warp areas of my 2011 diary actually are very interesting. As I see the finished piece hanging in the current exhibit, I realize that there is lots of potential for that as a design aspect that I've not considered before. I know that Joan Baxter has sometimes used empty yet dyed warps as part of her designing of tapestry... others have, as well. I think Anna Stabell has been making use of large expanses of empty warps. And last time I visited with Silvia Heyden a couple of years ago she'd just finished a piece with empty warp areas in triangular shapes throughout the whole.

SO! Happy 2012 weaving to you!!

Jan said...

Tommye, when you were working on the 2011 tapestry diary (or was it the 2010?) and leaving empty warps whenever you were away from your studio, I was skeptical! But when I saw the finished piece I was blown away by how cool it looked with the empty warps.

I didn't know that Silvia Heyden was doing that, I'll be interested to see how it looks. My favorite empty warp tapestry is Sarah Swett's self portrait at the loom, where the warps are represented by empty warps. It's called "Half-Passed" Here's a photo

lyn said...

Think of the possibilities, Jan... minimilistic tapestry weaving. It would save so much time! :D

Merry weaving!

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

I love your heading. It's so crisp and clear. What sett do you use?

Jan said...

@lyn, I love it! I imagined taking a nice empty warp, attaching it to a large cloth covered frame, and then weaving a tiny tapestry right in the middle.

Thanks, Sherri, I am pretty happy with how that date came out. I am using 9 epi in this piece. My smaller tapestries I use 10 or 11. The warp for this tapestry diary is strange, I made it myself, from some "Rag Wool," which is a mostly wool blend. I have a ton of it, so I put extra twist in it on my spinning wheel, then plied it, and it seems a little like a wool seine twine. I realize now maybe I should have twisted it even it's an experiment!