Saturday, January 22, 2011

ATB8 Opens at ATHM

Lots of acronyms there! The American Tapestry Biennial 8 opened at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA on Thursday evening. It was a lovely reception, lots of artists, staff and other guests. I was relieved that the weather cooperated and I didn’t get lost.

ATB8-Wall-4 It was great to see old friends from near and far, and to meet a new friend too. Marie-thumette Brichard came all the way from France. Her piece is beautiful and SO BLUE, and the way it’s displayed at ATHM makes it glow and makes you feel you are falling into the blue waves. Spectacular. Here it is at the previous venue, it’s the blue one in the middle. You have to see the real tapestry to get the feeling. It is 57.5 x 76.5Jan&KathyLaugh

Kathy Spoering came all the way from Colorado, and her husband took some photos of the two of us with our tapestries. Mine is above and hers is below, and is titled “January.” It’s part of a series she is doing of each month. It looks an awful lot like those tree shadows on the snow in my front yard, but in fact, it’s HER front yard!

You can see that the walls are painted to compliment the tapestries which looks really great. They did an excellent job hanging the show, the groupings are very good, and I like the galleries, which are big enough that each tapestry has enough space, and yet small enough to feel intimate.

eyedetailFor once I did not take any photos of the exhibit, just enjoyed looking and chatting.

My daughter came along and it was great to share the occasion with her, and get her reactions to the work, since she’s quite an accomplished artist herself. This is a detail from a collage she did back in high school. You can click on it to see it larger.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dazzled by the Snow

SnowDayFrontWIt snowed a few inches last Saturday, then another 11 on Wednesday. I can barely  make it through a day without taking photos.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been weaving in black and white, but today when I went for a walk in Goddard Park, I kept having to take off my gloves, fish my camera out of my pocket and take some more pictures! I guess I need to hang it around my neck!

treedesign9 I’m thinking of a series of tapestries of very simple tree images. I was thinking of it even before the snow.

What I really mean is the spaces between the trees. If woven sideways, trees make perfect sense to weave, which would be new for me. I usually weave things that don’t make any sense at all, and I’m getting a bit tired of all that struggling! Treedesign4

Sometimes the trees are dark and the background is snowy white. Other times the trees are white and the background is dark. And I love the sun and shadows on the snow.

Sadly, the camera that has served me so well the past 4 years bit the dust. It traveled to Europe on our sabbatical in 2009, where it took thousands of photos. Somehow it got moisture inside the lens, and for what it would cost to get it repaired, it made more sense to buy another one.

CameranewAt least I was smart enough to buy a new one that uses the same batteries, so I can use the 2 spares I already have. There was  a sale on, but they had run out of silver, and I didn’t want black because it’s too easy to lose, so I chose this bright pink color.

On the plus side, it’s 14 megapixels (although why would I need that when I mostly save them as small files for the web?) and has the image stabilization that the old one lacked.


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.